Casting Begins for Unknown ‘Man of Steel’; Superman Lawsuit Moves Forward

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 9th, 2013 at 1:24 am,

superman casting begins lawsuit moves forward Casting Begins for Unknown Man of Steel; Superman Lawsuit Moves Forward

With production on Zack Snyder’s The Man of Steel being fast-tracked for a December 2012 release date, one can expect a flurry of frequent casting announcements in the coming weeks and months. The obvious questions being, who will play Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, Lois Lane, the as-yet-unnamed super-villain (Lex Luthor, Brainiac, General Zod, or even Parasite), and the titular character himself, Superman?

Well, forget all those rumors about Jon Hamm, Brandon Routh, or whoever you’ve had your heart set on playing the man of steel in The Man of Steel – because casting is only just now getting underway.

According to Deadline, Warner Bros. is casting a wide, err, casting net in their search for the perfect Kryptonian super-man – with an eye on hiring either a television actor or a complete unknown.

Apparently, the studio is seeking actors between the ages of 28 and 32—too young for Jon Hamm and too old for The Social Network star Armie Hammer (who himself was up for the role, long ago, of Batman in George Miller’s now-deceased Justice League of America). Of course, this doesn’t mean that Hamm is out of the running completely, it just means that the possibility he’ll star as The Man of Steel is all the more unlikely. Other casting possibilities include True Blood’s Joe Manganiello, 34, who recently claimed to have been considered for the role, and The Vampire Diaries’ Ian Somerhalder, 32, neither of which particularly scream “Clark Kent” or “Superman” to my comic-book-nerd eyeballs.

In fact, my personal favorite would be Matthew Bomer, 34, star of USA’s White Collar (and once upon a time, Chuck), who is basically the spitting image of Superman/Clark Kent – if a little physically unimposing. He was originally Brett Ratner’s top choice when Ratner was hired to help the movie that would eventually become Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns – and he even starred as Superman in a series of Japanese commercials for Toyota. I’m just saying, a good idea never stops being a good idea.

The casting news comes just a day after a federal judge lifted the delay for the infamous Superman lawsuit, which, according to The Hollywood Reporter, “will allow Warner Bros. to proceed with key depositions of the families of Man of Steel creators, Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel.”

Basically, this means that the conclusion to this lawsuit, whatever the hell that may be, will come sooner rather than later. Previous rulings have tended to side with the Siegel family, rewarding them with rights to certain facets of the character, including his costume, his alter-ego (Clark Kent), Lois Lane, their reporter jobs, his Kryptonian origin, et cetera. This is because the original Action Comics #1 was created and sold by Shuster and Siegel to DC Comics.

jerry siegel and joe shuster creators of superman Casting Begins for Unknown Man of Steel; Superman Lawsuit Moves Forward

Other elements of Superman’s character, including Kryptonite, Lex Luthor, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, and Superman’s powers related to vision and flying, will continue to be owned by Warner Bros. and DC Comics because they were created as work-for-hire after the initial purchase.

This will inevitably kick-start fan-conversations painting the families of Shuster and Siegel as evil, greedy jerks hell-bent on stealing their precious character from them. Listen, I love Superman as much as the next guy, and I certainly don’t want him to be anywhere but at DC Comics, but the law is the law. If there was no work-for-hire contract, then Warner Bros. and DC have nothing to go on. You, me, the families of Siegel and Shuster, and everyone you’ve ever met would be a fool not to retrieve the rights that are rightly theirs. Superman isn’t your character until he returns to the public domain, which, with the way our Congress works, will likely be never.

The hope is that Warner Bros. and the Superman creators’ families could work out some sort of deal that rewarded both sides—Warner Bros. with the character of Superman and the families with their just dues. But as this lawsuit becomes more and more vicious, one wonders if that’s even a possibility anymore?

superman with thors hammer and captain americas shield Casting Begins for Unknown Man of Steel; Superman Lawsuit Moves Forward

Depositions of the families of Siegel and Shuster are expected to begin immediately. If the Warner Bros. legal team fails, there’s a good chance you can say goodbye to Superman as you know him starting in 2013 – just after The Man of Steel hits movie theaters. Tick, tock.

What are your thoughts on the Warner Bros. decision to cast a relative unknown? Good move? Bad move? And how about the news of the Superman lawsuit going forward? Would you be bummed or ecstatic (or utterly indifferent) if the creators’ families took Superman to Marvel Comics circa 2013? Let us know in the comments!

Sources: DeadlineThe Hollywood Reporter

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  1. The most thought of approach to the SUPERMAN reboot is who can play this role of a super man. What human actor can even begin to equal the look and physical appearance of this truly larger than life super man? The answer is … no one.

    Chris Reeve got close, but although his facial features were acceptable, he still lacked the physique that is SUPERMAN’S. No human actor we know of that would be considered for that role is a superhuman actor, nor can any come close to filling that role completely. The wonderful graphic depictions of the man of steel by various artists demonstrate that fact most emphatically.

    Today, the art of computer generated imagery has developed to the point of perfection. Naomi Watts was computer generated in certain scenes of King Kong that were deemed too dangerous for her to perform. I defy anyone not connected with the film to tell me which scenes they were.

    The reboot of SUPERMAN could contain a computer generated SUPERMAN that could be indistinguishable from a human actor, but at the same time retain the true physical representation of SUPERMAN.

    Why this observation has apparently escaped everyone but me is a mystery.

    Let’s finally give SUPERMAN his due. He is, after all, NOT human. So why do we insist on forcing him into a human mold?

    • Fair point, Chris, but you’d still be left with the problem of squaring that with his impersonation of the not-outlandishly-proportioned human being calling itself Clark Kent.

      • They could just ignore that and portray him looking a little toned down as Clark Kent.

        The tooth is, Big Dentist, if wearing glasses is supposed to so drastically change his appearance so that no one recognizes Clark as Superman, and everyone has always accepted that, then accepting a small change in his physicality should be even easier.

        If you give my concept some serious thought, what I just said makes perfect sense.

    • No worst idea ever. Thats something i couldnt stand when i first saw Superman Returns. When flying they should of taken the extra time and shot it with an actual person instead of CGI. Only thing i hated about that movie. And i cant figure since Superman Returns make money why not just use him so they wouldnt have to waste time looking for a new one.

  2. LOL That picture he looks alot like brandon routh to me.

  3. I really hope DC and the Siegel and Shuster families work something out. The day when Superman is no longer property of DC where they wouldn’t be able to use him anymore would be a living nightmare.

    As for casting Superman there is only one not-well-known actor that can actually fit this role and that is HENRY CAVILL.

    I have been watching the show The Tudors and he is a fantastic actor and the more I look at him the more i hear the name “Superman” screamed in my head. He has the height, the age and definitely the look. He is absolutely perfect. I highly doubt they will be able to find someone better. Let him bulk up and he would look like he came right out of a comic book page.

    I am also sick and tired of hearing that Armie Hammer will be the perfect Superman. I honestly can’t see that. He doesn’t have the look at all. He might have blue eyes and a strong jawline, but he would not look right with black hair. He doesn’t fit the role at all. He might be able to act but physically he wouldn’t fit. I’d prefer him as Batman, he is a perfect replacement for Christian Bale (I can’t wait until he leaves!).

    Henry Cavill is the only man that is right for this role. He has charm and charisma. He also has something about him that Superman also has – the desire for truth and justice, and he looks like he will never beg. Like Superman, he is a man! These are all the qualities I see in his acting that make me believe that he is Superman every time I see this man act!

    Matthew Bomer is a terrible choice btw, he looks even weaker than Brandon Routh and that is just sad.


    • To each his/her own, but I see Henry Cavill and think, at best, Super-boy.

  4. Michael AvMEn, From the Green Lantern is in Talks

  5. Scottgia not all of us have low standards like your self. Good acting and writing are very important to me I pay attention to the acting and writing of every episode of every show I watch. I mindlessly stare at the screen like you do. I do not watch shows with bad acting I refuse.

    Welling is an awful actor always has been and not only have I seen his pure lack of talent on TV but I’ve seen him in movies as well every film he’s been in not only sucked but he was the worst actor in it. It’s sad when Hilary Duff is better at acting than he is.

    • @ Daniel f

      Ok Daniel, I respect your opinion & all, but i doubt Scottgia or myself have low standards when it comes to films or television shows or actor/actresses in them unless you understand theres people like that would be considered far too difficult to please or impress. Afterall you think Tom Welling is awful but yet i read on the net before & after Superman Returns that people thought Tom Welling would of been better than Routh. People i talked with talked about how Routh didn’t seem to much dialogue in the film. I liked both Routh & Welling the same. I think Hamm would be better at playin Lex than Superman. Anyways, Smallville fans or not, people think highly of Welling.

  6. Am I crazy to really want to see Ben Affleck as Superman???
    I’ve said it before. But every time I think it, a better idea it becomes.

    • Oh please, no… not Affleck.


      • he did play George Reeves pretty good I loved when he shot himself GEAT ACTING lol

    • @ DrSamBeckett

      I watched “Hollywoodland” last week. What a great film. Don’t know how I missed this film when it first came out. But anyway, there you go Ben Affleck has already played Superman. :-)

      • Love that film, I’ve always been an Affleck fan since Mallrats and Chasing Amy, and I’ve enjoyed him in blockbusters, but it was Hollywoodland that made me take him utterly seriously as one of the great actors of his generation, and we now know he could be one of the best directors.
        Don’t care what people say, he is a hugely talented guy.
        And if only he’d taken directors role on Superman, we might be getting a decent film, but he turned it down because he wanted to make changes to the script and most likely wanted more control than they were willing to offer.
        That’s why they went with Snyder.

        • Sam I’ve always been a fan of Affleck as well I think he’s a great actor and he’s made a couple of bad choices, but many great ones as well.

    • I don’t think he is a great option, but I could tolerate him as Superman. I’ve seen far worse suggestions.

      • Well yeah, he might not be the best choice, but I would be interested in seeing him as Superman because he’s a great actor and it could be a different take on the character.

  7. If it doesn’t have Routh in it I will not be seeing it

  8. Love Matthew Bomer as Superman. I think casting a relatively unknown is so much better than a well-known star. Someone too famous will detract from the character. As much as I love Jon Hamm, I feel like I’d be watching to see how Jon Hamm plays Superman and not Superman as his own character/person/superhero.

    • @ Ethan

      I agree with ya, i been aboard about Tom Welling takin the role as Superman, Routh behind as a 2nd choice. But i usually stick with my word when i say i won’t see a movie, one example was Kick Ass despite my friends goin. Reason why didn’t was because i figured it would be something like Mystery Men which i thought was terrible imo. But like the Spidey reboot, i have more of a bad feeling about this Superman reboot and feel like it will be rushed, etc. To me i figured it be better and easier to have the reboot follow years from Smallville’s finale’s events since theres already a great cast to work with. Mainly people who can portray Superman, Lois Lane.

  9. I don’t understand why WB is gonna start looking for an unknown actor to play Superman. Now I have to wait and go through this all over again. I mean come on you got a guy right in front of you it’s just that there to blind to even notice Brandon Routh should come back, even though I highly consider Matt Boomer to take over the role, but seriously give Routh a chance. Who agrees? I have nothing against Tom Welling what so ever but to me he doesn’t fit the part in my opinion, but anyways I’m not gonna sit here and wait forever for them to cast an unknown, just sign Brandon on and have it settled with.

    • @ Tom

      Warner Brothers owns DC comics.

      MARVEL is owned by Disney.

      In this case hopefully and most probably DC will win with the families of Siegel and Shuster getting royalty rights.

      The Siegel and Shuster heirs should just acknowledge the fact that Jerry and Joe sold the Superman copyright to National Comics Publications (DC) before the first Superman story was published. Albeit a bad business deal but that’s the reality of it.

      BTW, I would go as far as saying that the Batman comics are just as responsible for making DC what it is.

  10. Superman, the new herald of Galactus… :P

    • LOL :-)

    • @ Scottgia3

      I agree with ya. Welling would be my first choice. He’s grown into the role over the years & im sure he’s picked up on some tips from Christopher Reeve off-screen about the character. Im not thrilled about the plot of the reboot as of now, but if Welling & Durance were in the film and if the reboot was to be set a year or so after Smallville’s finale then it would then IMO it would be a better idea to have the reboot be connected to Smallville’s continuenity. If WB/DC plan to make a Aquaman film which they do, they same guy from Smallville would be perfectly cast already for the role. Sam Worthington would be my 2nd choice. I hope WB/DC are reading this cause i may be one person but if a unknown or not is cast in the role for the reboot other than Welling than consider me out. Because so far, im not impressed with the reboot’s plot, even if it has a physical villain in it or not.

      • Yeah, you make a good point. If the reboot was not coming out so close to the end of smallville I dont think there would be such a problem with casting WElling. However, once he is cast, if he is cast…you won’t here a thing about the movie until about 6 months or so before it is released. Right now there is a lot of hype because Snyder was announced, and other rumors are flying…but i think it will die down.

    • It’s risky.. for Welling’s career! After playing one character on TV for so long it will be hard for him to land roles in TV where he’s not playing Superman. If he would commit to doing films he might be able to break out of the Superman role, but if he goes on to be the big screen man of steel his typecasting will be complete and little or no other roles will come his way. If “Man Of Steel” tanks at the box office then Welling’s career will be over. But let’s say he was willing to role the dice on the part. Don’t you think he’s going to want a hefty payday? I wouldn’t see his representation being embarrassed at all asking for 10-20M for a role that could very well end his career. That my friend will be a sticking point. For that kind of money you now have any of a number of better more popular actors that would jump at the role. In fact I would dare say would be bugging WB to play the role! But lets go beyond that and say WB is willing to cut an unusual deal with Welling that if the movie tanks and they don’t want to use him they pay him or promise him roles in the future. That might placate him for a time, but I think both parties will run afoul of such a deal in the long run. Welling will eventually complain about the roles offered and WB will always be trying to finish off their commitment to him. Welling might even realize this at the outset.

      Let’s just say the movie is successful though. Then Welling would have to commit to doing perhaps another 10 years of Superman. Do you think he would want to do that? 10 years is a long time to do one job or play one character but 20 years, that’s an entire career! I’m almost positive that Welling as an actor would have to be very special to be willing to do that. Almost crazy special. That might not seem like much of an argument but think about it. Everywhere he goes and anything he does will be colored or effected by this one decision…

        • The key word there is open. All parties know the risks and the possible benefits. The agreement tripod is cornered by three things desire, data, and doubt. Desire brings the parties together, the data sets the parameters and doubt forms the questions. All the elements of each of these corners must be satisfied. What the fans or the detractors want isn’t relevant. He’ll play or not play based on the three corners and the devil of it all is in the details. As a fan it’s fun to talk about it and in principle I have no personal aversion for Welling to play the part. I think if Warner wants him they’ll have to make a significant bid to get him, and he’ll have to think long and hard on what he really wants…

            • A very good point I have to admit. A lot of people hit the gym after the holidays though too. A young friend of mine, early 30′s received a membership as a Christmas gift. Now this guy is only a couple % over his ideal athletic body fat percentage. Yet he’s going for the ideal. Hitting the gym regular watching what he eats.. At his age I’d been plenty satisfied. Some people though, they hold themselves to a higher standard. I guess when you have allot going for you, you try to keep the momentum going. They’re out there for sure. They only need to find one and it’s hard to say, they may already have found all the candidates they need to pick from…

  11. Completely and utterly indifferent. I’m curious about Snyder’s take on Supes, I love nearly every movie he’s made, but Superman as a character has always seemed shallow and lazy to me.

  12. You guys are crazy to think that Smallville star Tom Welling has a chance.

    It shows you guys have no idea how the movie industry works, they would never cast him with 10 years of TV Series based Superman under his belt. It would be too hard of a sell for the audience because people would always be comparing it to Smallville.

    They will cast a relatively unknown star, Matthew Bomer looks the part but it is stated in numerous articles that they are going young, obviously because they plan to do 2-3 more sequels which could span 10 or more years of filming/production time. This means they NEED someone young enough who’s features and looks will last, if they pick someone in their mid 30′s, that means in ten years they will be 45. If they pick someone 30 or younger, then they would only be 40 tops at the end.

    • Your welcome nice talking with you. Keep ranting Welling might do it yet…

  13. Big deal that Welling is 30, how old was Bale when they filmed Batman Begins? I agree with Scottgia, doesnt hurt some people have wishful thinkin on who they’d like to see play Superman. IMO Welling & Routh are my top two choices. And if Welling got the role and if the film followed from within the Smallville series i wouldn’t see it as a Smallville film, More like Superman cause it what the film will be about while Smaville is about Clark Kent before he don the cape & tights, not sure why thats hard for people to understand. The film is a reboot so i wouldn’t see what the big deal would be if it was to take place a year or so after whatever events of Smallville’s finale but that’s just me.

  14. Fast rising star MATTHEW FLORIDA has just been thrown in the mix. So happy to hear this after seeing his guest lead episode of CSI: MIAMI where he played Zach “Guns” Rittner! It was so obvious he should be the new Superman after seeing that and thank god he is relatively “new” to the general public – except for his early following on “DAYS OF OUR LIVES” recurring as Ford Decker. Go Matthew!

    • I don’t know Matthew Florida, but he looks right and is the right age.

  15. I agree with the ‘Welling – as – Clark’ school, but I also think, as far as tv actors go, that Zacahry Levi (Chuck) is also contender.

    • sorry, Zachary Levi

  16. i luv matt florida!