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

Published 5 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. My problem with casting Hamm is that he’ll be too old by time a third film comes along (you KNOW they’re planning a trilogy), and then a younger actor will be needed. So why not just cast someone young now, and now have to worry about that down the road.

    • Let Superman age. We all want to see the character doing something different. The Dark Knight Returns, anyone?

    • I don’t think so. Downey Jr. is a midle-aged actor, and “Iron Man” is comming to 3.

      • Hey…someone else in here actually gets it!

        No fanboys are whining and complaining when they see Jackman at 42 still playing Wolverine (who doesn’t age fast either) and Downey Jr in shape and playing IronMan AND is also in another franchise as Sherlock Holmes and Downey Jr is almost 46 years old!

        Jon Hamm as a kick ass SuperMAN FTW!

  2. Whoa seems pretty interesting!

  3. I say make the first film great and worry about what comes later…. well, later.

  4. I think I missed something. If the movie is about Superman before he becomes Superman, how would an older looking Superman benefit that direction? I mean if it can be explained I’m all for it. That dude is perfect for Superman otherwise.

    • Joe Manganiello looks more like a villain type than Superman. I highly doubt they would cast him as Superman.

      • Well there are some moments on True Blood where he’s real heroic if you check out some clips on youtube, plus he dresses like Clark when hes on the farm lol

        But yea its just what i hope for, dont know what the liklihood is!

  5. I have no problem with Hamm but yea the question about his age for the JL movie might be a concern. I’d say choose him or Henry Cavill. This could be another rumor since nothing’s really been confirmed yet.

  6. Tom Welling is THE choice for the reboot. For starters he’s 33 or 34, very close to what Warner bros. is possibly looking for if the rumor is true. Plus, with Smallville having 10 years worth of origin story, they could hit the ground running and give us a continuation of Smallville on the big screen. Another thing is that the fans are very familiar with Welling at this point, and seeing him in full costume is what people are waiting for. And if I’m not mistaken, Christian Bale was early 30’s when he filmed Batman Begins, so Welling is close to the same age Bale was when he filmed Begins.

    Casting John Hamm is a bad choice, due in large part to the fact that he’s 39 now, 40 by the time filming starts if he’s cast, 43 by the time they film the sequel if there are no delays. 45, 46, or 47 by the time they film the third if the first one does well enough to warrant a sequel and a third.

    Personally I believe that casting someone so old as Superman in his origin story is ridiculous. What is the story, Clark Kent hits his mid-life crisis and decides to throw on a cape and tights? Simply ridiculous.

    • Well it’s not gonna be Welling since they don’t want any connections to other live action Superman media . Plus him having 10 yrs of Smallville is enough.

      • Having a middle-aged Superman is a ridiculous idea, and to even be for the idea just shows that you are not a Superman fan.

        Plus the movie will tank in the box office anyway. The reason being that everyone is still going to be comparing it to the Christopher Reeve Superman films and will be looking for any and every reason to hate it. Superman Returns suffered the same fate, people claim it’s a terrible film, but it’s only because 9 people out of 10 were comparing it to Christopher Reeve.

        I’m just speculating, but I don’t see this film doing good in the box office. Because if it strays TOO far from the source material, than the comic book fans will not go and see it, and eventually everyone else will realize how terrible it is.

        Look at Spider-man 3, it’s considered the worst movie of the trilogy just because of how Venom was portrayed in the movie. Fans want to see something new but also stays true to the character. And if it’s a retelling of the origin story, than they need a mid to late 20’s Clark Kent finally donning the cape.

        A middle-aged Superman will just look like Clark Kent had his mid-life crisis and instead of buying a sports car like most men in their 40’s, Clark Kent decides to throw on a cape and tights. Give me a break.
        I am a life-long comic book fan, and if something strays too far away from the source material, I don’t like it, and everyone else that collects comics is the same.

        Let me remind you of the flop that was Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. It tanked because they changed too much about Galactus and the Silver Surfer, not so much the Surfer, but a planet eating cloud ruined the movie.

        If they want to do a movie about a middle-aged Superman, it needs to be something that takes place 15 or so years after Clark becomes Superman. That’s the only way a middle-aged man could pull off Superman

    • the nolans dont want a Smallville film

      • Well NOlan should want to do a good job with Superman the way he did with Batman.

        But I guess you can’t hit the ball out of the park all of the time.

        • so, if he doesnt go with Welling its Auto-fail??

    • Yea man i agree about Hamm being wrong, i think people are going crazy for the guy because he happens to bear resemblance to the old fashioned Superman but they arent taking into account that he’s much too old. And it isnt a sure thing that he could put on the type of muscle mass to pull off the role. The guys body is all frail lol

      And although i’m a big Smallville fan, Welling is just not gonna get it, he’s not a good enough actor to helm a real film, his acting is dodgey in so many Samllville eps. But i still love the show and within it he is Superman!

      • Couldn’t agree more. Henry Cavill could pull it off.

        • Henry Cavill looks like he could make a good Superman. I haven’t seen much of his acting, but he’s got the look, he’s tall enough. Plus he looks like someone that’s good looking enough to make the strong, independent Lois Lane weak in the knees, and he looks like he could pull off an epic fight scene against the likes of Bizarro, Brainiac, or Zod. Depending on who the villain is. As long as it’s not another Lex Luthor land fraud scheme that involves sinking California or something like that.

          So I have to say I’m rooting for Cavill, Welling, or Brandon Routh, Routh didn’t have have the opportunity to shine in Superman Returns. The movie focused more on how people are dealing with Superman being back than on Superman himself. Routh knocked Clark Kent out of the park, and I’m sure with a better script and better creative team, Routh could prove to everyone that he was the perfect choice for the role.

          • At 31 Routh could still be in the running for the film despite what Hammer says, after all he would be hovering around 33 before the film would be in theaters. Really this statement by Hammer doesn’t mean much, it’s still a toss up who will get the call and as far as story goes, we’re no closer to being in the know there either. Perhaps the best indicator is to take the pulse of Warner’s board and see how they feel about playing the heavy in the whole heirs question. That could still play a role in what kind of future movies Warner is able to produce with Superman as a character…

      • he isnt superman just yet lol…

        • Oops I meant “probably” lol

        • Well he’s Clarkman lol

    • You do know that Robert Downey, Jr. is 45 and going on his third “Iron Man” movie in addition to “The Avengers” right? He was 43 when “Iron Man” came out in 2008.

      Your ‘not casting someone more expierenced in an origin story’ argument can be a valid argument but not that he’ll be 43 by a sequel. Downey, Jr. began his franchise at that age.

  7. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. John Hamm is a fantastic actor and Mad Men is my favorite show on tv right now (yes, I watch Dexter but this beats it for me) but I just can’t see Hamm playing mild mannered Clark Kent. He just seems to have this natural confindence to him and I can’t see him as a meek reporter.

    • I’ve seen Mad Men, and I don’t believe that Hamm is Superman material.

      • I’ve seen Mad Men too, and I firmly believe Hamm “IS” Superman material. He has incredible range as an actor and age shouldn’t be an issue. Look at Robert Downey Jr., Michael Keaton, Christopher Reeve, and Bruce Willis in Unbreakable. All older actors who added gravitas to their roles and made audiences believe in their characters.

  8. speaking of Dexter… why not have Michael C. Hall as Supes? Would be interesting to say the least!

    • I think the time for interesting is gone lol. It’s time for a Superman movie that can live up to the present day comics.

    • naw… more fit for daredevil if rebooted under marvel studios. But that’s another story. lol.

  9. Seeing Hamm in The Town made me say that I really could see him as Supes. I think he’d be a great choice. Just get on with it!

  10. Well this certainly doesn’t jive with the rumored “early days of Superman” plot.

    Not that I’d have a problem with an older Superman.


    • I’d rather have an old Superman than a scrawny Superman like some of these guys are suggesting.

    • I was thinking the same thing Vic, this certainly seems to contradict what has been said before, while speculation is always fun, until something is confirmed by the director or the actor, its nothing more than hearsay and conjecture.

  11. hammer wants to be superman, and apparently, Snyder doesnt want him for the role. i bet snyder is going to cast someone under 35.

  12. Superman returns failed for a lot of reasons, one main one being supes didn’t have anything to beat the crap out of. thats what people wanna see. a superman movie with great action and good story. i may be alone on this, but i want something other than being reeves inspired. if thats the reason returns did bad because people compared it to the original movies, make it different. make an edgier, more serius, (not gunna say darker or more realistic) superman, somewhat on the lines of the upcoming Superman: earth one! or it may just be that that reeves, routh superman hairstyle (slicked back and all) annoys the crap out of me lol. i don’t know why but its annoying to me. have a hairstyle more like superman in the supes comics today!

    • Superman Returns didn’t fail. And anyway, Superman doesn’t fight with his fists, he fights with his head. (unless he has to be up an alien or something)

        • Fairly certain he socked them both.

          There needs to be a middle ground, in Smallville Clark is perhaps too violent, but Superman does fight with his fists but the point is that he doesnt need to most of the time. He’s incredibly intelligent and can think around a problem.

          This new film needs some action if its going to be a financial success, thats a shame, but that appears to be what people are looking for, Superman needs to be a mix of brain and brawn. This is a man who could literally level a mountain with his fists. But he doesnt like violence.

          • I know he has before, but only when he has to. I’m just saying that he didn’t need to punch anyone in Superman Returns. I liked it just fine. Superman is a symbol of hope. He is a rescue man when he needs to and a crime fighter when he needs to.

          • Dr. Sam and foopher…

            Thank goodness there are a few of us in the world…people who realize that what makes Superman so SUPER is the fact that he is balanced and level-headed. Clark is intelligent and (despite what Bruce Wayne might say in his alter ego) very clever. He is able to think through most problems and only resorts to a full-on physical response when he requires that power to complete the plan he has(and/or others have) formulated. THAT is why heroes like Superman and Batman appeal to me :)

  13. Maybe they are going to do like a flashback with an older Superman recalling his origin.

  14. I’m almost certain Tom Welling won’t play Superman in the new movie but I still think he’s their best choice. I also think Erica Durance is the best Lois ever portrayed on screen. The thing the new superman movie needs to take from what Smallville is to make Lex a true threat and not a character thats to campy. Christopher Reeve is the best superman, but someone has to take over for a new generation, the character of superman has to continue. Some die hard Christopher Reeve fans I think hate the idea Tom Welling taking over because with a decade of playing Clark Kent and to play Superman in the new movie he would be considered this generations superman. Whether Tom Welling gets the part or someone else does, it seems those die hard Christopher Reeve fans will hate them. You can respect the memory of Christopher Reeve and embrace a new superman all at the same time.

  15. what they don’t get is superman doesn’t actually age like humans. lois and jimmy and everyone clark loves would be dead if superman looked middle aged, right? the oldest an actor should be is maybe 35.

    hamm is so old. he may have a good look for an OLD superman, but he just has too aged of a face to play a reboot superman.

  16. Uhm, if they want to do a film about the early days of Superman before he becomes what we know today, isn’t that what we got with Smallville for the last 10 years. Come on, give a good kick-ass Superman film.

    Jon Hamm is perfect for an older Superman, but how would and 39 year old Superman serve a film about the early days? I think these reports about conflicting and something got lost in translation.

  17. No origin story please unless its a re-imaging, something fresh, new, and interesting.

  18. Tom Welling FTW!

  19. I want Hamm!!

  20. To all the people saying a middle age superman is stupid, you obviously haven’t picked up a comic for some time. He isnt drawn as a 20 something, he looks to be mid thirties to forties.
    Superman does age.

    • Maybe so, but remember, this film isn’t going to be based off the comics.

      • Not going to be based on any specific story from the comic was what Snyder said, it has to be based on the comics in some respects otherwise there would be a film at all.

      • I thought the storyline was going to be about his journey while deciding to become Superman as we know him. So am I to understand that in his mid 30’s Supes was still trying to figure out how and if he wanted to be a superhero?

        • Exactly. Ultimately no one knows what is true. Certainly not Armie bloody Hammer!

          • i dont want, nor need a Supes origin story, been there done that.

            • Exactly. And Superman fan’s who have been watching Smallville for the past Decade certainly don’t want to see the origins again.
              The smartest thing they did in Superman Returns was NOT tell the origins. It is a story know the world over, there probably isnt a country in the world where you couldnt find some who didnt know about Superman and Krypton. It’s more well known than the Bible! ( I joke). (Only slightly)

    • I’m all for fanboy high hopes, but do people really think there is a chance that Tom Welling will star in ‘Man of Steel?’ Can anyone picture a guy like Snyder directing what would essentially be a ‘Smallville’ movie? I honestly can’t. I’m a huge ‘Smallville’ fan, but I don’t think it’s the right fit.

      That being said, I can’t think of a more Superman-esque looking face in Hollywood than Jon Hamm’s. If the script permits it and he is willing to bulk up, he is one of the best options out there. Still though, I really like the idea of an unknown stepping into the role. It’s almost like a tradition at this point.

    • Yes WB did learn from Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns film which is why they are supposedly casting older this time. Routh was only 25 when casted as Superman. I think having an older dude who knows how to ACT is MUCH better than having some young 20 somethin year old who can’t act or evoke any emotion ala- ROUTH!

      WB would be wise to choose Jon Hamm. He’s a great actor.

      All we’ve ever had are young turds…Chris Reeve was 25 when he was casted as Supes…Routh was also 25…and Welling was about 23 when casted as Clark Kent in Smallville. It’s ABOUT DAMN TIME they started going a little bit older! I pray to god this rumor is TRUE!

      JON HAMM FOR SUPERMAN 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  21. JON HAMM FOR SUPERMAN 2012!!!!!!!!!!! He has the acting chops, the classic Superman look and an Alex Ross endorsement!!!

    C’mon Zack Snyder and WB GIVE US JON HAMM FOR SUPERMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • If by classic Superman look you mean wrinkles and a scrawny body than yes, yes he does.

  22. I dont want to see a old superman. i dont like the look of this Hamm guy. It wont be Superman more Supergrandad. I liked Routh in SR he was the best thing about it. I think he should get another crack at it.
    Id love to see Tom Welling (well samllville) on the big screen. Iv been a fan since it started. It just makes sence to me. Who wants to see a 1940’s Superman movie.
    Plus if they go with an OLDER Superman then they will have to age the rest of the cast as well, A middle aged Louis Lane, no thank you.

    • Plus they would have to have it take place far into the future.

      • Why would they have to set it in the future? I don’t get that at all.
        Why does an older actor taking on the role force them to set the film in the future? Just make it so his ship crashed in the late seventies/early eighties.

  23. If they are going to do an Origin story… again… then why the hell are they casting someone over 40? If you are going to restart the franchise then you need someone young. This guy will be alright for a few movies and then it is all down hill.

  24. Hamm’s age has nothing to do with it really, with make up and special effects these days they can make anyone look any age, and if its a concern about him not physically being up to the role when he might be in his fifties thats ridiculous.
    Look at people like Bruce Willis, he’s older than Hamm would be after finishing a Superman Trilogy. Pierce Brosnan was still playing Bond way into his fifties and didnt look a day over forty.

    • But Bronson and Willis weren’t playing Superman.

  25. So that’s two massively conflicting reports in the space of a week.

    I’m also not inclined to believe a single word that comes out of man who is walking around calling himself ‘Armie Hammer’. That’s not a name, its a punchline to a bad joke.

    • i agree 100% never heard of this guy, dunno why he’s mouthing off about it at all really

      • I think he was going to play Superman/Batman in the cancelled Justice League movie. But he should get over it and jog on!

        • i dont care what he thinks he knows, seems he just wants publicity to me.

          • He’s been doing this for the past few years, every now and then he pops up with these little glimpses of a film that never got made, not long ago he was talking about when he saw the sets being constructed and all the props and being fitted for his suit.

            As much as the JL film would have been an interesting curiousity, with people like this idiot involved, I’m glad it got canned.

            But here’s the worst part, he mouths off about something he knows nothing about, and then boom, its all over the net and here we are bloody discussing it!

            • lol. dudes got too much time on his hands

              • Well he doesnt do much acting thats for sure! Ha :)

                  • The only person who has heard of Armie Hammer is Armie Hammer’s mom.

                    • LOL

                  • He was great in “The Social Network”, but I’ve not heard of him, otherwise…

                    • True. but he was going to be playing Batman in the JL movie, when all he had done where a few bit parts, he would have ruined the whole DC name.

                    • Didnt watch that movie and dont care too. I dont care to know the origins of facebook.