James Gunn has given fans the first slate of the new era of DC films and on that slate are new movies and shows featuring their iconic heroes. Gunn announced the first project to come out of the new slate is a Creature Commandos animated series and I was tempted to fancast it since the characters will transition to live action with the same actors, but knowing how long animation takes to produce, it’s a good bet that they have already been cast and I am anticipating the announcement when it’s made.
The next project he announced and is currently writing is Superman: Legacy. While no definitive story has been revealed so far, it has been widely rumored that the new film will feature the adventures of a younger Superman. This is a smart move because it allows the character to grow across the upcoming future slate of DC Studios movies and will give the actor playing the man of steel an opportunity to grow along with it.
With that in mind and not knowing who the ultimate threat or villain Superman will face in the upcoming film, I decided to fancast my picks on who should play the lead along with the supporting characters that make up his world.
Superman/ Clark Kent
To embody an iconic character like Superman is a tall order for any actor. To be able to portray the power of the character as well as the vulnerability and nuance of someone with unlimited power who carries the weight of his adopted world on his shoulders is a tall order. I think the actor that could not only handle the physical presence of Superman as well as the innocent charm of Clark Kent is actor Ryan McCartan.
McCartan doesn’t have a long filmography, but he has played some great roles on the stage in productions of Heathers: The Musical, Wicked and Frozen. His straight-laced performance as Brad Majors in the live television production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show is textbook Clark Kent. He can next be seen in the Supernatural prequel series The Winchesters playing Kyle.
The most tenacious reporter at the Daily Planet and the love interest of Clark and Superman, Lois Lane has been by the side of the character for decades and has carved out a personality beyond being Superman’s gal Friday. A new big screen Lois Lane should have tenacity, grit, brains as well as beauty. She should be able to hold her own with any character on the screen as well as being fearless in the face of danger.
I think Zoey Deutch would be a great fit for the role of Lois. From her roles in films like The Disaster Artist and Zombieland: Double Tap to series like The Politician. Her breakout role in the romantic comedy Something from Tiffany’s impressed me a lot and I think she could bring some great charm to the role of Lois Lane.
It’s been said by many people that villains are the heroes of their own stories and the best versions of Lex Luthor in the comics play to that delusion. While I hope Lex isn’t the main villain of Superman: Legacy, his presence should absolutely be in the film as an antagonist to Superman and the people he cares about. Lex Luthor was Metropolis’ favorite son and self proclaimed savior of the city until the blue Boy Scout arrived and that hatred and jealousy should be showcased through a great performance.
Domhnall Gleeson is my choice for Lex Luthor. He’s played everything from heroes in the Harry Potter series to villains in the Star Wars sequels. He’s done light comedies like About Time to dark dramas like The Revenant. He absolutely has the range to bring to life a character who can be a dashing playboy one minute and a remorseless sociopath the next.
Not knowing anything about Superman: Legacy allows me to speculate a lot on who could be in the upcoming film and whether the adventures of a younger Superman will allow for the characters parents to still be alive and active in his life as a hero. To that end, whenever Superman has faced doubt or a crisis of faith or consciousness, he’s always turned to his parents to help him find the right path.
Nicolas Cage has always been a huge fan of Superman and was cast as the lead in the Tim Burton’s reimagining of the character that got as far as the costume stage before being shut down. Beyond his incredible range as an actor, casting Cage as Jonathan would be a great bit of fan service to those who have followed the character for decades.
Martha Kent is the rock that holds the Kent family together and is the other half of the pair that teaches Clark to be the man he is as well as the hero he becomes. She is wise, sweet, caring and nurturing with a strength that even Clark is in awe of. I absolutely loved Diane Lane’s performance as Martha in Man of Steel and would love to see her come back, but for the sake of moving on, I have another Martha in mind.
Jennifer Garner has made the transition from being smoking hot super spy in Alias to amazing on screen mom in films like Yes Day and The Adam Project. I think she could be great as a Martha that knows the world Clark is trying to thrive in and has the strength and compassion to help him make his way through it.
The wise, grizzled editor of the Daily Planet has always been fiercely protective of his people as well as tenacious in getting to the truth. One of the things that has always troubled me with the portrayal of the character has been that he taught his reporters everything he knows about journalism, but he never suspected that Clark was Superman the whole time? I would love to see a version of Perry on the big screen who knows more than he lets on and surprises Clark with his knowledge of the truth about his double life.
One of my favorite actors who can bring levity and gravitas to every moment he’s on screen is Andre Braugher. From Homicide: Life on the Streets to his iconic role of Captain Raymond Holt on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Braugher has always turned in performances of integrity, charm, wit and intellect that I think make him perfect for the role.
Jimmy Olsen has usually been the comic relief of the comic books, but the other thing he’s always been is fiercely loyal to the people he loves. I would love to see Jimmy be portrayed as a true friend to Clark while being in awe of Superman and wanting to be like him. It would also be great to see him evolve on screen and grow along with the other characters.
Jorge Lendeborg, Jr. would be a great choice for Jimmy. He’s delivered great supporting performances in films like Love, Simon, Bumblebee and the Spider-Man films.
We’ve had multiple films exploring Lex Luthor as the main antagonist. We’ve had multiple films exploring General Zod as the main antagonist. Personally, I would love to see Superman face a threat as dangerous as Brainiac. A character that has no ability to be reasoned or bargained with, Brainiac has no desire for power. He simply wants what he wants and will destroy anyone or anything in his way to get it. I think the power of Brainiac should be shown with a fully CGI character and the menace should come from his voice.
Clancy Brown is definitely my choice to voice the character. His roles in films like The Shawshank Redemption and Highlander as well as series like Carnivale and more have showcased the intensity he brings to any role. Also, Brown is a prolific voice actor across multiple genres and created my favorite iteration of Lex Luthor in the Superman animated series as well as Justice League.
So these are my choices for the upcoming Superman: Legacy film being written by James Gunn. What are your thoughts? Who are your picks for these iconic characters? Let me know in the comments.