Do You Want Jon Hamm To Play Superman?

Published 5 years ago by , Updated July 12th, 2013 at 10:16 am,

Our friend and ex-Screen Ranter Jamie Williams over at Think McFly Think has posted an update on the upcoming Superman reboot movie, The Man of Steel, which is being produced over at Warner Bros. under the guidance of David Goyer and Chris Nolan, with Jonathan Nolan potentially directing the film.

Actually, this latest “update” isn’t really that – it’s more a continuation of a rumor floated by TMT from earlier this year, stating that WB is considering  Mad Men star Jon Hamm for the role of Superman. TMT made it clear in both reports that the studio has simply been considering Hamm for the part (not to be confused with making an offer), but that hasn’t stopped EW from firing back that Hamm’s reps haven’t heard about the deal and that “Superhamm is just a dream.”

Earlier this year, MTV caught up with Hamm and asked the actor first-hand about the fan push to have him wear the iconic cape. The actor’s response:  “It’s a tricky road to go down with some of those heroes, because they’re not flawed. Superman is Superman – he’s invincible, so where’s the drama?

Well, we know that Goyer and the Nolans are working hard to bring the drama to the next Superman movie, and while these comic book casting sagas can be a migraine for fanboys (See: Captain America and the new Spider-Man), until we know for sure who is going to be donning the red and blue outfit next, I thought I should at least ask you guys: Do you want Jon Hamm to play Superman?


Of course, the first issue to discuss is the age factor. Jon Hamm would be forty before he ever stepped in front of cameras to play Superman, and for some fans (and studio powers that be) that is simply too old. Personally, I’ve never been a big believer in the notion that an actor’s age affects their ability to play a superhero – I’ve always thought that what truly mattered was how the actor’s swagger and stature meshed with the swagger and stature of the superhero they’re playing.

Just take a look at the current roster of actors playing some of our favorite superheroes: Robert Downey Jr. has been in his forties since he first stepped into the Iron Man franchise, however, his eccentric rapscallion personality has been the perfect fit for the eccentric rapscallion persona that has always defined Tony Stark. Chris Hemsworth is in his twenties, but with a full-grown beard and time well-spent in the gym pumping iron, he now looks gruff and tough enough to play a convincing Thor. Meanwhile, Chris Evans is about to turn thirty, yet many fanboys think he has too much of a baby face to pull off the commanding stature of an iconic hero like Captain America.

On the DC movie side: Ryan Reynolds will be trying to prove himself as a proper Hal Jordan when Green Lantern hits theaters next summer – though the fact that Reynolds will be in his mid-thirties has little to do with that issue. Christian Bale was only in his early thirties when he suited up for Batman Begins, however by the time Nolan’s Batman 3 hits theaters in summer 2012 Bale will be staring at age 40. Taking all that into account (especially on the DC side of things), Jon Hamm’s age should in no way restrict him from playing Superman.

More to the point: there is a reason they call him “SuperMAN.” The character (as you can see in just about every piece of artwork inspired by him) has the look of a strong, chiseled and mature man, not so much a man with boyish looks. So if the character looks like a mature man, should there be any debate about casting a mature (read: older) man in the role? Not in my mind – though I’m sure that Smallville fans might have a few points of contention…


superman ross016 Do You Want Jon Hamm To Play Superman?

Now, we’ve heard names like Zach Levi, Brandon Routh and Tom Welling all being nominated or rumored for the role of Superman, and since all three of those guys are in their late twenties / early thirties, they certainly fit the age range. However, there are superheroes and then there are superhero icons – those heroes who have become household names not so much because of the comic books, TV shows, movies and other merchandising of their characters, but rather because they represent some profound ideal or symbol that resonates with many, many people across the world. Captain America is one of those heroes and Superman is certainly another.

As I’ve already mentioned, Chris Evans being cast as Captain America has a lot of people nervous (Evans himself among them). Cap is simply a guy who has a bright shining aura of red, white and blue heroism surrounding him at all times, while Chris Evans…does not. When that whole Captain America cast saga was unfolding, the big debate was over which actor could do more than wear Cap’s costume – we all wanted to know who could possibly embody his spirit (and Jon Hamm’s name came up then too, might I remind you).

Well, the guy playing the role of Superman has a harder job than that. Not only does the character come with big red boots that need to be filled, there was actually a guy (Christopher Reeve, you may have heard of him) who successfully filled those boots and managed to own the character in full body and spirit – and this was long before the days of muscle-padded costumes and CGI effects. While some people thought Brandon Routh was the second coming of Reeve, many, many, many, other people felt no such love  or adoration; in my opinion, Jon Hamm is a guy who could succeed where Routh did not.

Lets break it down: Hamm is tall, dark haired, handsome (I’ll say that just once!), all-American in appearance, with a jaw line that looks like it was shaped after a 1950s comic book character. Due to his role as troubled ad man extraordinaire Don Draper on Mad Men, Hamm has shown an impressive range of dramatic chops (inner turmoil), while women already fantasize about being swept up in his arms and carried off. Necessary ingredients for a proper Superman. Because of the actor’s hilarious turns as a pretty-boy geek on 30 Rock, fanboys can already imagine him in a pair glasses with tussled hair, bringing that “Aw shucks” friendly awkwardness you need from Clark Kent. In Ben Affleck’s upcoming crime thriller The Town, Hamm will show his boiling intensity and action movie physicality, playing a lawman who is  hell-bent on collaring a ring of Boston crooks. In The Day The Earth Stood Still… um, let’s just forget that Hamm was in that flick.

jon hamm clark kent Do You Want Jon Hamm To Play Superman?

Hamm on ’30 Rock’ – Clark Kent appeal?

The point is: despite the fact that Smallville fans love Welling, or that Superman Returns fans think Routh “wasn’t that bad,” there are few leading men who can convince movie goers the world over that he is our all-powerful protector, while simultaneously convincing us that this godlike figure is still able to disguise himself in plain sight as the caricature of an average schmo. It’ll be even more complicated to convince a modern audience that Superman is vulnerable (emotionally speaking), insecure, and yes, even lonely.

When you properly explore the character there’s actually a lot of deep-seeded emotion and turmoil that comes with The Man of Steel (see: Richard Donner’s Superman II). I think that Hamm is definitely one of those chosen few who can bring both the look and “the drama” to a character who so badly needs to be seen as human again. This will not be lightweight acting if DC/WB wants to do Superman justice in their next cinematic venture – but Hamm is one actor I certainly believe in for the job.

The question is, do you agree?

If you want to talk more about what you expect from the next Superman movie, be sure to read our article “How to Reboot Superman“.

Sources: Think McFly Think , MTV & EW

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  1. i think he’d be just fine

  2. While I would LOVE to see Tom Welling get the role and have the newest Superman film continue the Smallville franchise on the big screen, I doubt that is going to happen. In that case, I DO think Jon Hamm would be a pretty damn good choice to play Supes. Which of course means that Hollyweird isn’t going to do it. I swear, if some drunk executive at WB thinks it’ll be a good idea to cast a pretty boy like, say, Ashton Kutcher, I will fly to CA and smack some sense into that exec!!!

    • I think the cast of Smallville deserves a theatrical movie. Like Star Trek, the cast of the show did the movies. I think the same could be done here.

      • the different is Smallville sucks they butch the Superman story big time plus Tom Welling cant act. he had no good film credit under his belt Cheaper by the dozen 1-2 and The Fog all failed. he just stay as a tv actor and nothing else.

        • Yup, Smallville sucks so much and is so hated that it only has been on the air for 10 years. Sheesh.

          Tom Welling would be fine as Supes. Who cares if he doesn’t have a big list of feature films. Name 2 other movies in which Christopher Reeve was a blockbuster star? Oh, you can’t because there AREN’T ANY. Besides, he also guest starred on Smallville, so I guess it got the original movie Man Of Steel’s approval.

          • Maybe not big box-office, but Somewhere In Time, The Bostonians…those were good; in fact, I think Bostonians got him an Oscar nomination.

          • so what i rather want a good actor not a bad actor to play the Man of Steel. if Tom Welling did star in the Superman reboot people would want all the Smallville actors to be in the reboot instead of been a Superman movie it will end up been a Smallville movie.

            we all know it lasted 10 years but in them 10 years Tom Welling have not shown real acting skills. we might aswell get Dean Cain to play Superman cause this is how stupid casting Tom Welling as the character. Nolan look for actors with real acting chops so sorry Tom Welling fail on that department.

        • Have you even watched the show? It’s a “retelling” of a classic story. It’s even it’s own story. He’s not Superman yet. Tom Welling’s acting has improved very much since the Fog.

          • yes i have seen the show the only good thing that is interesting is Justin Hartley as Green Arrow. i dont like Chloe Sullivan i feel that character should be killed off to be honest.

            i know it ment to be a retelling of Superman but it does not help that Clark Kent still can not fly for all them years on the show. Smallville is basically Jon Peters version of his Superman movie were he did not want Superman to never fly. now we just need to have a giant Spider in the show LOL. if u dont know what im talking check on youtube of Kevin Smith talking about Superman Reborn

            • Well then you’ll like to hear that the producers of the show have stated that “Clark will fly” this season.

    • the Nolans wouldnt let that happen anyway lol they want thier own stamp on the coming franchise.

  3. hmmmmm… as of now, i can’t see it, but i think i would be okay with Hamm as Superman.

  4. Err…no. I think he’s too old and honestly? I just don’t see Superman or Clark Kent despite his dark, All-American looks. There’s this mixture of innocence/purity and strength that is Superman and I don’t think Hamm has it.

  5. I’m not dooubting the man’s acting abilities. As far as that goes I think he’d be an excellent choice. I just don’t think he has the “superman” look. Ya know? I wouldn’t boycot the film if he was cast, I’m sure I’d actually enjoy it very much seeing that I’m a big Superman buff. I just think there may be other options out there.

    • I definitely agree. I don’t see Superman at all in him, I see a nice chin, but I also see a skinny face, a scrawny body, and wrinkles. Not to mention his age which isnt bad, but in my opinion it shows in his face. He doesnt look invincible. All in all I wouldnt hate the film, but I do not think he could pull off the Superman society sees as the iconic charachter. Lastly, I really want someone buff to fill the role, its just the way it should be.

  6. No, i want Tom Welling!

    • LOL yeah good luck with that pipe dream

  7. NOOOOO!!! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD FIND SOMEONE ELES- i think he be great for LEX

  8. Yes, yes, and yes. I think he’d be perfect for the role.

  9. Everyone knows what a huge Superman fan I am, I’ve never seen this guy in anything, looks wise he can definitely do the part.

    I’d love to see Routh back, I’d love to see Tom Welling given the chance he deserves, but I have come to realise this is very unlikely. So I’m not going to argue the point. The Smallville haters will just crawl out from the ashes of Krypton to complain. But Smallville has flown the S shield for a decade and doesn’t deserve the harsh criticism dished out here.

    What I want, more than anything, is a Superman film that does justice to a character I love, I enjoyed Returns a lot but I can see why others didn’t. They wanted an action film and Synger gave a thoughtful film full of intense emotion and stunning visuals. Each to their own.

    However to give something of this magnitude, to a first time director is not a good idea. He can write a great film, but this needs a director who is experienced. If they fluff this up, we won’t see Superman on thr big screen again for a long time…

    • its not that i hate Smallville Sam, i just think it needs its own film if anything. as far as chris’s brother directing it, he’s in good hands i would think.

    • I’m sorry Sam I’m one of those Smallvillie haters don’t hate me lol. My biggest problem with the show though Is Tom Welling. However Lex was a good actor on that and he was also great at Voice work on the justice league cartoon.

      • I’m not saying your opinion is wrong, but you can’t say that Tom hasn’t improved over the years. He’s come far and he definitely looks the part.

        But yes, Michael Rosenbaum (Lex) was a great actor. He’s what saved season 7 for me. When he finally went “evil”. Muhahahaha!!!

  10. Still want Tom Welling as Clark Kent/Superman and Erica Durance as Lois Lane for the MOS.


  12. I’m on the fence. It’s not the Superman part but his alter ego of Clark that I think might be a problem.

  13. I updated the article with a picture of Hamm on 30 Rock. IMHO, he has total Clark Kent appeal – in fact his real personality is more Clark Kent than Don Draper (I’m paraphrasing something he once said himself).

      • Agreed!! The more I think of this, the more I like it. C’mon Hollyweird, don’t drop the ball!!

  14. He definitely looks the part, I’d need to see his acting though. I’ve been circling Mad Men for a while.

  15. I LOVE MAD MEN but I can’t see this happening. He’s a TERRIFIC actor in every way but this just won’t work in my honest opinion. It’s not the age thing it’s just I think that the character would have to change a little. I can’t see Hamm doing the whole mild-mannered Clark Kent and to be honest I only see Don Draper. I don’t see him in the suit. I think if this does indeed happen then I would have to just wait and see how it all works out because honestly I just don’t visually see it.

  16. I need to see his acting. Why not consider Tom Welling?Nahhh…because he’s been around for 10 years as Clark Kent of Smallville?

    • I wanna see how he would act as Superman. Right now Smallville fans realize that Tom Welling acts very diff on the show than other characters in other movies. So I think a movie, not relating to Smallville, would show him as superman in a completely different light with different charisma and new sense of himself as the character. I do not think it would be a straight copy that he plays in the show, and for that it would be very interesting to see, even though I doubt he would be given the chance.

      • i have to disagree with you there my friend.

        • might be a completely different superman when working with the nolans

  17. Brandon Routh was a great superman. I don’t see how changing Supermans is an advantage just because superman returns was anti-climatic.

    • I think they should go with Routh. He’s a great actor, if you watch some of his other films. He was fantastic in “Scott Pilgrim” and “Table for Three.” Routh shouldn’t be blamed for the writers of Superman Returns not giving him time to shine like they should have. The focus was more on everything else and less on Superman.

      And now with Routh being in his early 30’s, now people can’t cry about his “being too young.” Put Routh back in the suit, and with the team that made “Dark Knight” on the film, Routh will be cemented in everyone’s minds as THE Superman. Because to me Bale IS Batman, and can’t be replaced. Routh can do a great job, he just needs a better opportunity from a better director

  18. John Hamm would have to do some very serious beefing up if he wants to play Superman. Right now, he’s a bit too slim.

    • Because Christopher Reeve was a bodybuilder? The only disadvantage to Hamm would be his height. Barely over 6′. Reeve was 6’4″. Not an insurmountable obstacle, but we’ve seen the arguments about Hugh Jackman being too tall. This would be “He’s too short!” LOL. How about Jackman as Supes and Hamm as Wolvie? LOL!

  19. I see Heck yea. He’s a fantastic actor and in my opinion looks just like Superman/Clark. Great choice and good article.

  20. NOPE i dont like this idea at all he wont suit the role of Superman unless they put his head on a CGI body but even then i dont see him as Supes but Lex on the other hand he’d do a decent job at.

    Id still like to see Tom Welling play Superman on the big screen but i doubt Nolan and co will use him but lets face it all the Superman films have sucked the originals were cool for their time but the stories really sucked and Returns story wasnt that great either even though Routh wasnt to bad as CK/Supes.
    we’ll all just have to wait and see who gets the role of Superman my bet is that they may go for a lesser known actor for the role

    • The first 2 Superman films are 2 of the greatest superhero films ever made. I don’t know how you can say “The stories sucked.” The first one was his origins and saving the world from Lex, and the second brought in Zod and his cohorts. As for the 3rd and 4th films, ya, they blew.

      • the 1st film is the only one that had any kind of decent Story to it but it still had its flaws, as for the 2nd film it was just about him fighting Zod and the other 2 kryptonians and for about 5mins he gave his powers up so he cld get with Lois so its not that great of a story but the 1st 2 are still fun to watch even if their not the best of films in my eyes anyway. as for the 3rd and 4th films they really did suck and returns needed more action and shouldnt have used Lex as the main enemy instead they should have used DoomsDay.

        if this new film is gonna be any good they need to make Lex the secondary Enemy and have Brainiac the main one and right at the end have either DoomsDay or DarkSeid pop up ready for the sequel.

        oh and i was watching race to witch mountain today and thought Carla Gugino would make a good Lois Lane

      • Donner and Lester didn’t know what they were doing in the first 4 films. Making Lois Lane a chain-smoking skank isn’t my idea of doing a good job. Jimmy Olsen had curly black hair, and Lex Luthor had hair the whole film. Plus trying too hard to make the villains “comical” is what ruined those films. Zod was alright, but with a terrible “fight scene” that involved Superman and the evil Kryptonians using powers that aren’t in the comics. Such as finger beams, telekinesis, multiplying powers, etc.

        Superman Returns wasn’t perfect, but he at least only had the powers he was supposed to have.

        • What about the Expand-O-Matic “S-shield” Superman threw at the bad guys?

  21. Perfect!!!

    I hate young actors playing old superheros!
    You got to have an believable actor with carisma and Hamm is one of them.

  22. I like the point That he is a superMAN not a boy so maybe not hamm but someone with a bit more experience in his looks and the beef too

    To me routh was to much of a “doesn’t he look like reeve” play than taking on The mantle of a great character and moving on with it,
    Ill be honest I hated smallville in the early seasons, It was like dawsons DC creek!! But the latest series has come a long way and has had some great momentds. but still I don’t think the nolans (the brothers not the band) will chose welling but they will chose wisely, I mean come on leading men wise have They really failed us so far??!

    Whatever happens I don’t think we could have it in safer hands

  23. With all due respect to Tom Welling and the whole smallville run, which by the way I have really enjoyed, I would be more intrigued if the studio went “Old School” and found and actor (Age notwithstanding) that could carry the part as well as Reeves did. He wasn’t a household name at the time, simply an up and comer who actually had the acting chops, the look, and a good director, script, and supporting cast. I guess the point I’m suggesting is that the Nolans could very well, through due dilligence and research from hollywood to off broadway, give us an unknown who brings the same authenticity to the character that Reeves did. How cool would that be?
    Besides, I honestly think that Smallville as a body of work should be left to stand on its own considerable merits. Not alot of shows out there get a ten year run and have the opportunity to wrap up the seminal part of Clark’s experience prior to donning the red cape.

    • When you say “Reeves”, are you referring to George REEVES, the star of the Adventures of Superman TV Series from the 1950s…or Christopher REEVE (no “s”), from the movies?

      Please folks…respect both men by getting their names right.

      • danlister,

        You are absolutely right – I often do confuse the two. If you look the correction to the name has been made – I apologize for the mistake.

        • I second that apology, sir. I was deffinatley referring to Chris. 😉

  24. With this being a reboot, it shouldn’t be someone in his late thirties playing young Superman. In the comics, Clark Kent was in his mid-twenties to late twenties when he finally donned the iconic costume. Why would anyone want to see a guy in his forties play a Superman who is just now putting on the cape?

    Unless if the movie takes place after Clark has been Superman for 10 or so years, I don’t think they should get Hamm to play Superman.

    And using Downey as an example is irrelevant. That was Ironman, who may be a popular character, but isn’t one that I would be so inclined to care what age he is cast. But we are talking about Superman, the greatest comic book character in the history of comics. If it’s a reboot, it needs to be done right. That means get Welling or Routh. Maybe a new unknown actor in the mid to late 20’s range to play Superman.

    But Superman has always been depicted as mid-20’s to mid-30’s. Getting someone in their forties is ridiculous.

    Yes, Bale may be closer to 40 than 30, but he is heading towards his third and final film. This is the retelling of Superman’s origins. So it has to be a younger Clark making his Superman identity.

    And are some of you guys serious about wanting a CGI Superman? That’s crazy. It works for Hulk, but it would be something I would deem unwatchable if Superman was fully CGI the entire film.

    • this film isnt going to have the origins of Superman in it coz thats been done so many times in different formats so their gonna start the film with CK being Superman and the Daily Planet struggling to survive due to the internet and ppl not buy the paper that much any more so im guessing their doing it that way so they can have an actor who is in his mid to late 30’s or early 40’s to play Superman

  25. I’ve enjoyed a few seasons of Smallville and sat through one of the show’s ComicCon panels, which was enjoyable. That said, I don’t think playing Clark Kent (or Superman) on TV automatically qualifies an actor to make the jump to the big screen. It’s nothing against Tom Welling, rather, the silver screen is a much different arena than the small screen.

    Even if their worlds don’t crossover, a Superman film should prove to be a great companion piece to the world created by the Nolans/Goyer team in Batman Begins & The Dark Knight. Invincible or not, I think it’s safe to say Tom Welling would be eaten alive on the screen by Christian Bale.

    Superman/Clark Kent is incorruptible and, as has been said before, the light to Batman’s darkness. With that in mind, the actor who portrays Superman on screen should be someone that an audience would believe that Batman could respect and even look up to.

    Jon Hamm is an impressive actor, to be sure. His remarks, however brief they might be, put in my mind the idea that he is interested in something more conflicted and emotional than playing Superman. Is he a better pick that Welling or Routh? Maybe. Better than Nic Cage? Absolutely. Part of the fun with these movies is the casting process, the imagining of who could/could never fill such a role.

    For a character as iconic as Superman, the choice has to be an actor that gives off an immediate “Of course, he’s perfect!” reaction. It’s just my opinion but he has to be a choice that an audience is willing to get behind long before they ever see him in blue & red.

    • The silver screen is the small screen. I think you meant to say “The silver screen is a different arena than the big screen” :)

      • Indeed! Thanks for the correction.

        • Haha. Just saying

  26. I disagree with this article. Hamm simply looks TOO old. He reminds me more of Luthor or Batman than Supes. We need someone with a more modern look. Someone who inspires, someone with the energy to carry on the franchise. And someone who actually wants to be Superman. Hamm said there is no drama in a character like Superman who is practically invincible. He doesn’t seem to undertand the character. forget it! And actually, you’re wrong, Routh was liked in the role by many, many people. And deservedly so because he did a great job in SR. He also looks even more mature and buff now and is an even better actor as well. He’s still the best choice by far to me. Bring Routh Back!

    • You don’t “reboot” a series with the actor who starred in the film that caused the studio to decide to reboot it! Routh was ok as Supes(better as Clark, though), but to distant itself from that film is going to require a new Superman. Brandon Routh will NOT be putting the Superman jammies on again.

  27. No. Let Routh finish what he started. Did you see him in Scott Pilgrim? ’nuff said. He knows what he’s doing, and he’s not the terrible fanboy-begging replacement that idiotic fanboys want like Hamm. Never bring in the star fanboys whine for, it will be a let down every time.