Warner Bros. Might Be Looking For Middle-Aged Superman [Updated]

Published 4 years ago by , Updated January 30th, 2011 at 10:55 am,

superman man of steel directors Warner Bros. Might Be Looking For Middle Aged Superman [Updated]

With Zack Snyder locked in to direct the upcoming reboot of Superman, fans are quickly forming their own expectations, desires and questions about the project. Who will play Clark Kent? Do we have to suffer through another origin story? Are we getting another Lex Luthor movie?

While Snyder did confirm that Superman: Man of Steel would not be based on any particular story from the DC Comics and that it would be a reboot, we’re still unsure of what that means in terms of the origins of the character on screen or what they’re looking for in their lead star. However, if actor Armie Hammer’s words are accurate, Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment may be aiming for a middle-aged man, approximately 35-40 years of age.

[Update: They’re not looking for an older Clark Kent. Henry Cavill has been cast as Superman]

The movie will follow the “early days of Superman” as Snyder stated but the question of his comic book origins is a hot topic in the legal battles between DC and heirs of Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joel Schuster. David Goyer’s draft of the script, which some say is rushed, is reportedly following Superman before he becomes the hero we all know him as. Some fans however, including myself, don’t want to sit through another origin story and don’t mind if Snyder and the Nolan brothers take us in another direction with something fresh.

What that also means is that WB doesn’t need to cast a young face into the title role. For a long while now, fan-favorite Mad Men star Jon Hamm has been reported as a candidate for the studio with the only complaint against him being his age. Interestingly enough, 39 year-old Hamm may be just what Warner Bros. is looking for after all. According to The Social Network star Armie Hammer, the 24 year-old, 6’5″ actor who was previously set to play Batman in George Miller’s now-canceled Justice League movie, they’re aiming for someone older.

jon hamm superman reboot Warner Bros. Might Be Looking For Middle Aged Superman [Updated]

Hammer has been listed on some blogs as an ideal candidate for Superman: Man of Steel, and when asked about it directly in an interview with Vulture, Hammer laughingly responded:

“You know what’s funny? I did talk to my people recently about that for the first time, and I think they’re going a little older with Superman. I hear they’re going 35, 40.”

If actor Armie Hammer’s words are accurate, Jon Hamm might just be the perfect choice to play our favorite Kryptonian and the more I picture it, the more I like it.

Will be be too old come time for sequels and Justice League?

Superman: Man of Steel is being targeted for a December, 2012 release.

Follow us on Twitter @rob_keyes and @screenrant.

Source: Vulture

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  1. The yellow sun constantly regenerates Superman’s cells, therefore technically making him immortal. However this isnt necessarily suggesting that he wont age, he aged from a child to a teenager to an adult didnt he?
    And what about all the times he isnt in range of the yellow sun, then he would age and his cells would degenerate just the same as anyone else.

    There are many comic and cartoons that show an aged Superman, Dark Knight Returns he is older, isnt there a Batman Beyond episode with Superman and he has grey hair at his temples?

    If he didnt age people would surely notice that Clark seems to stay the same age and Lois ages. The only reason people are making an issue out of this is that the comics have never directly addressed the problem. Superman is the same age as he was in the 30′s.
    Why hasn’s Bruce Wayne aged? Because its a freakin comic book!!! As long as the actor playing Superman isn’t in a zimmer frame, I think someone the age of John Hamm is perfect to play this character.

    People should instanly respect Superman, not just because of his strength and size, but because of the way he speaks and acts, a young man of say 25 couldnt project the same respect.

    • Yeah and how far is BB in the future again?

      • 50 years.

  2. good point about the whole respect thing….I actually do feel an older superman might demand more respect from others (both in the movie and people watching the movie too)…….you may have changed my mind…

  3. I could see a Superman about Hugh Jackman’s age as long as they can get in as good of shape he does for the Wolverine movies.

    • Plus whoever they pick could always wear a bulk up suit like Chris Evans is in Captain America.

      • i dunno if the need for a bulk up suit is needed, Reeve didnt need one

        • Very true. Neither did Routh and Tom Welling certainly wouldnt need one. But a lot of people are complaining about Superman not being large enough, I recall on a relating thread some lunatic thought a wrestler should take the part!
          But, the Superman of the comics is a massive man whose physical proportions simply don’t exist, and I’d much rather they got someone who was a decent actor than someone just because they are the right size.

          • The Big Show for Supes!! omg i can see it now lol.

            • At least with Nolan we know that is unlikely to happen.

              • LOL besides there isnt a big enough suit to hold his flab in.

          • Dr. Sam…

            A lot of people may be complaining about Superman’s proportions, but those people are simply being nimrods. Yes, Kal-El is athletically strong and fit, BUT he is not a mutant! Reeve, Routh, and Welling have each portrayed Superman’s physical traits excellently. Basically, the actor should be tall and athletically muscular. THAT is, by no means, an impossible find in the acting community. People are simply being ludicrous in their expectations, and I am extremely happy that they are NOT touching any aspect of this film besides the tickets and theater seats :P

            • You’re absolutely right. All of the modern Supermen (Reeve, Cain, Routh, Welling) have been the correct proportions in my mind. The way comic book characters are drawn is always exagerated and some people seem to fail to grasp that.

              But those people you mentioned will be the ones moaning, are in fact the ones moaning that Hamm isnt bulked up enough. the guy can bulk up a bit in time for shooting, Bale did it for Batman and Evans has done it for CA.

              I have issues with the story and director/writer but they need to pick the right actor. That’s the most important aspect for me.

              I’d be happy if they brought back Routh, or they got Welling or indeed if they brought in John Hamm. Because each one of those people has the ability to portray this character.

          • When the first Spiderman came out a DJ in Pensacola said that McGuire was way too small and somebody like the rock should’ve played Spiderman.

      • for your info…..chris evans isn’t wearing any “bulk-up suit” for captain america…they say he put on alot of muscle…..he was already pretty big in my opinion….didn’t you see him as the torch….pretty jacked if you ask me.

  4. Anyone but Brandon Routh.

  5. Ok. For the whiners about the age: IRON MAN IS 45!! Age doesn’t matter for a superhero, as long as he looks cool and kicks some heads and still stand for the thing the comic stood for: Truth, justice and yada yada yada.

    • I’m with ya there. And how old is Hugh Jackman? it makes zero difference how old the actor is.

      • 42.

        • Exactly, and he is nowhere finished playing Wolverine yet, so Hamm could easily play Superman for 2 or 3 films.

  6. Oh. My. Heavens.

    After reading this thread I’d think I was brainwashed and thought that anyone over the age of 30 needs to live in the old folks home, bag on the hip and a creaky cane!!

    Ask yourself: why would they consider Routh again as those rumors crop up? Well, it’s been a few years later, right? By the time Man Of Steel is released, Routh would be about 30, right?

    Hamm is fine, and has that Alex Ross art look about him.
    Jim Caviexel, of course.
    Eric Bana
    Ha! I knew that last one would knock yer socks off!

    • Routh would be 33 in 2012.

      • Jim Caviesel all the way. Old but younger looking than Hamm.

        • I can’t picture him as Clark though.

        • Slighlty younger looking…

          ok maybe not, but still a good choice.

          • So aside from Caviziel who else do you think could take on this role?

  7. All these different reports are confusing.

    Obviously if they go with an origins angle, they’ll need someone younger.
    If not an origins story then they can do whatever they like.

    Whoever said up there that the younger crowd is what drives the entrance numbers is mistaken. Parents are the ones who usually dole out the cash for kids to go to the movies, and Im willing to bet parents (especially Dads) will be piling in, in droves to see a slightly older Superman.

    • Im a dad and i wouldnt. And about origins i think Superman was great.

  8. I would be very happy if either Routh OR Welling portrayed Superman on the big screen. I think they’ve both done a great job with him in their respective mediums and versions (others can debate if the other aspects have worked as well). Realistically, I DOUBT either one will get to be Clark in this upcoming film. If they ARE going older (still a rumor, people!), John Hamm would look practically perfect in the suit; in fact, he DOES look a lot like Alex Ross’s renditions, facially. Also, to those who are bemoaning the idea of an older Superman, consider the fact that “Kingdom Come”, actually illustrated by Ross, shows an older, more experienced, often dour-faced Superman who possesses even more power and ability than the current incarnation and commands respect by his mere presence. That series was (and IS) immensely successful and popular. In short, to those bemoaners…GROW UP.

    • You and I are in complete agreement, all of your points are spot on.

      • Well said sir. Well said. Hamm does incorporate that presence in Mad Men. Just apply that to Superman by making him just slightly more god like but naive, and serios when need be.

  9. A couple of folks have brought up a great point. An older guy dressed in what is basically blue and red pajamas will look just plain silly. And I say this keeping in mind that I’m as old, or even slightly older, than Jon Hamm. I had no problem whatsoever with Brandon Routh’s age in Returns. It brought a freshness to the story. And I guess in my mind, Superman should be young. I realize that’s not always how the comics portray him, but it’s how I see him. I think Jon Hamm is a fine actor. But I don’t think he’s right for the part. They should either recast Routh or find someone at that age equivalent.

    And regarding Superman’s size, I thought that how Reeve and Routh looked was perfect. I believe they draw Superman in the comics as too much of a barrel-chested lunkhead. He looks too much like a professional wrestler. Having him be more natural only reveals his power even greater. When a moderately muscled person can lift mountains, then that just screams strength. And it’s just plain intimidating when sheer might comes from someone you least expect.

  10. Ok, I’m going to get hammered for this…. Ben Affleck?…

    • No. No. No. No no no no. I refuse..No. No no no. Hell no! (Cop Out reference)

      But no. Affleck’s ok but he doesn’t fit Superman at all.

      • Fair enough, but the Cop Out reference, bad form. Bad film.

  11. My top choice is Tom Welling, he has been Clark Kent long enough he should be Superman. I mean that’s like running a race and then get told that someone in the stands won. He has the size, the look, and h is an ok actor ( won’t say great).
    Routh would be ok, he deserves another chance after the last film.
    The guy from Mad Men… I don’t know as I haven’t seen him act and I’m only going by what he looks by this one picture on this page and what everyone is saying. I would also like to throw in the names of Jim Cavizel and Eric Bana. I think they could pull off Superman too.

    • This might sound odd but Bana is too famous for the role, and try to picture him in the suit? Nah. He always seemed a little on the short side to me.

  12. So, question for all of you that think an older Superman is a terrible idea: I guess none of you thought The Dark Knight Returns was great?


    • I personally think, it’s one of the best comic stories of all time, and would love to see it adapted into a film one day.
      And I have no problem with Superman being played by an older actor, I think it’s probably the best idea.

    • Yes, I love that book. I guess I’m not a true Superman fan though. Therefore, it didn’t matter how Superman was portrayed in The Dark Knight Returns. I was just reading the book for Batman.

      I loved Superman Returns and loved that vision of Superman. That movie was the first time I saw Superman and didn’t think that the guy looked ridiculous. I think revamping the costume (however unpopular that was with a lot of fans) was definitely a step in the right direction. So maybe if they keep the Returns costume, then an older guy might look okay. However, it’s still careening in the direction of ridiculousness, at least in my mind. Truth be told though – no matter who they cast – I’ll still be one of the first in line to see it. I’m hooked anyway they go about it.

    • Vic i have no issues with an older Supes, never had, its just useless and pointless for this to be an origin story in my opinion. its unamerican to not know Supermans origin :)

    • I heard for years how I should read Dark Knight rEturns and I finally did 3 or 4 years ago. Am I the only person who doesn’t think it’s a masterpiece? It was ok, but not great IMO. I suppose the idea of Batman and Superman being ‘frienemies’ was unique at the time, but I found the overal story to be just so-so

      However, I am all for an actor portraying Superman, so long as he has the build. Taking it a step further (though I reallize it’s not what is proposed in Snyder’s film) I find the idea of a film about a long-in-the-tooth Superman to be pretty intriguing as a one-off

    • Here’s a different take, how about a double casting where you have an older MAN OF STEEL supes reflecting back on earlier years in which he iss portrayed by SMALVILLES own Tom Welling. The movie would be a 60/40 split with %60 of it happoening now with an older Supes and %40 being the reflection on his past. Just a thought but it would be a way to satisfy dual tastes.

  13. So today we discuss and argue over who will play Superman.
    Tomorrow we can discuss and argue who will play Lois Lane.
    The day after we can discuss and argue who will play Lex Luthor and Zod/Brainiac.

    And then when they finally announce the cast, we can discuss and argue over whether they made the right choice.

    • older Supes..why not an older Lois..i nominate Betty White

      • Anthony, Bea Aurthur is way hotter lol.

        • so u like the chicks that sound like the dudes huh…to each his own i guess lol :)

          • Like wynonna ryder, Anthony. She’s kinda got a mans voice

            • not croaky tho lol.

        • Bea Aurthur is dead….rest her soul.

      • If she was going to be anybody, Lois would’ve been played by Rue McClanahan. If only she’d lived a few more years…

        • Jessie no way! Rue was wayyyy waaaayy to saucey for Lois

        • She kinda had super powers too, she could sense a credit card or money in a mans wallet. I would back up her casting. Walter Mattau and Rue Mclanahan in Supergramps: man of cesium. That’s the world softest metal :).

    • Thanks for explaining the process of reading and responding, genius.

      • Here’s a question of etiquette: when i vet up out of my seat do I give you the ass or the crotch?

      • It was a joke! A satirical grab at the stylings of thread posting and the culture of internet speculation.

  14. Superman going through a mid-life crises? Hehehe…

    • Or an EMO Superboy struggling to grow up and be a man?

      No thanks!

  15. If Keaton can play a good Batman in his late 30′s in Batman 1989, and if Hugh Jackman is still playing Wolverine at 42, and if Daniel Craig can play a kick ass Bond at 42 AND if Downey Jr can play a solid and in shape Tony Stark in IronMan at 45 AND in an action packed Sherlock Holmes franchise…..then Hamm can certainly bulk up and shape up at 39 to play SuperMAN!

    We need to see SuperMAN onscreen finally…not some 24-26 year old EMO pretty boy who thinks he can play Superman….when in fact he would be SuperBOY.

    Jon Hamm as SuperMAN FTW!

    • SuperKnight,

      You forgot to mention Christian Bale. I agree that all these guys have been great with their characters. No doubt about it. Older actors bring a ton of depth. And they work very well. I guess my main argument is that the Superman costume is pretty dorky and that an older actor comes out looking even worse. But then, the more I think about it, the more I have to laugh because that’s not a very solid argument. What the hell! Bring on Hamm.

      P.S. But I’d really like Routh to reprise the role……

      • And keep the “Superman Returns” costume. It’s the best iteration.

        • I love Superman Returns but I hate aspects of that suit. The S is just far too small.
          And it’s meant to be blue and red, not blue and maroon! At least in Smallville they’ve changed the cape colour and made it the blanket he was found in.

    • Agreed.

  16. Jon Hamm as SuperMAN
    Rachel Weisz as Lois Lane
    Gerard Butler as General Zod
    Viggo Mortensen as Braniac

    • Rachel Weisz as Lois Lane? Agreed.

      • I’ll third that!

  17. Here is more from the Armie “Dude, where is my car” Hammer interview regarding WB’s, Nolan and Snyder looking for an older mature actor for Superman.

    Hammer talked a bit about it, some excerpts are below,

    Of course, you had a little bit of superhero experience already with George Miller’s Justice League, where you were cast as Batman. I know the movie was scuttled just before it was supposed to start shooting, but I also read that you never got a picture of yourself in the costume? Can’t you just send George Miller an e-mail asking for that, Armie?

    “Oh, dude, I would do anything for that! I would paint that on my living room wall. I would tattoo that on my back. No, like when we were down there on the soundstages, they would take our cell phones from us if they had cameras on them. This was so top secret and so locked down, it was like walking into the Pentagon.”

    Thank Zod, this kid will not be TRYING to play Superman.

    Dude….it was like….righteous….

  18. Hamm’s not right

  19. So let me get this straight, Clark is going to wonder around until he’s 35 or 40 before he decides to become Superman? And is this going to be Smallville the adult years?

    • @ Kev: I don’t see a problem with that. It’s better than having a 23 year old who can’t possibly know what they want to do with the rest of their life. And when you think about it, Clark should have a bout of rebellion shouldn’t he? Everybody does… where they don’t want to do what’s expected of them so they do the opposite.

      I’ve never read a Superman comic but in the movies I’ve seen he always just “knows” that this is what he’s meant to do. I can see an early mid-life crisis where he says, ‘To hell with it! I want a real life! Let these people fend for themselves for a bit!’

      That’s plausible.

      • I’m just tired of the whole origin thing. We’ve had 10 yrs of that with Smallville, and I’m just ready for Clark to just be Superman an handle up. And Jessie if you haven’t read a comic please read “Kingdome Come” you will love it.

  20. I highly think that Tom Welling should play Superman, he has had 10 years of experience as Clark Kent, he will do well also having a double identity and also playing Superman, he is middle aged and the part would suit him as he has been part of the Superman mythology for 10 years now.

    • Yeaaaah!!

  21. Look. At the end of the day when all is said and done, its going to come down to the basics-the audition…just cause some rope a dope actor in hollywood has a great agent-he still has to audition for the director.
    The initial audition is the key…trust me a picture looks great til they try to act the part and it literally falls apart..

  22. They’ll regret it if they don’t bring Routh back.

    I just don’t understand their reasoning. They went to all that trouble of finding a decent unknown and then came the perfect Routh, and they are just tossing it all away.

    What is wong with ths industry?

  23. Just throwing it out there but wat about Jeffrey Dean Morgan or Jensen Ackles.

    • Morgan is a bit too old. But good suggestion. And Ackles is alos good but a bit too young and he’s more of a Kyle Rayner or Nightwing than he is Superman.

  24. The problem is the studios think that everyone wants to see a young actor in there to play these characters. I.E. Ryan Reynolds, Chris evans etc. So he’s 39. Big Deal. You do a wonder woman film the actress has to be 35 to 40 years old. Doing X-men first class is ridiculous! I’m a young guy and I’m tired of seeing these young people playing these characters.

    Jessica alba as Sue Storm? Seriously?

  25. old and origin stories don’t mix in this case plus anyone that old will never make it to the sequels or the jl movie they should go late 20′s or do a new stand alone like the DC cartoons do

  26. The more i see this manip the more i get sure that he should be kept away from Man of steel franchise away.


    Armie Hammer, Matthew Bomer are to be considered seriously for Superman role.

    I don’t see Jon hamm as the modern day Superman. In my opinion, he is too old for the bright red and blue famous costume. If this movie was being made in 2001 instead of 2011, he would be perfect.Superman is the greatest hero, the most badass and he needs that commanding presence. But there is a lack of understanding and misinformation here that Superman character needs to be portrayed by a 40 years old actor only for the sake of passing as tough and mature looking Superman.

    I believe it’s the actor’s technique of embodying Superman, discovering the character’s physicality and gesture where his acting skills, voice techniques etc come to play.

    Christopher Reeve, a skilled stage actor was utterly convincing as a tough, commanding, strong Superman even though he was just a young boy of 25 years.

    Brandon Routh lacked acting techniques and prior training experience as he have never been on an acting stage before in such a demanding role. It wasn’t his young age but his lack of experience as an actor which forced him to helplessly try to imitate ready-made Christopher Reeve acting style. He did fine as Clark Kent though. Maybe he was asked to do Christopher Reeve style deliberately by Singer and team.

  27. Forget about Jon Hamm’s age and the fact that he doesn’t look like Superman. The fact is the he is TOO SHORT!!!

    No short actors please.

    Also, keep in mind that Superman doesn’t age quite the same way as everyone else. So if Supes looks 40, then everyone else would have to look OLD!

  28. I just had a crazy thought while watching Mad Men. What if this movie was set during the 1950s?