There may be no better example of the dichotomy between 1978’s Superman: The Movie and this year’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice than the treatment of “Superman’s Pal,” Jimmy Olsen. Once featured in the comics as a youthful sidekick and everyman surrogate, the Daily Planet photographer, played by Michael Cassidy (Argo), had a brief cameo in BvS as an undercover CIA operative who gets executed in the opening moments of the film. Director Zack Snyder explained, “We don’t have room for Jimmy Olsen in our big pantheon of characters, but we can have fun with him, right?” Naturally, this left many fans of Jimmy Olsen (and fun) a bit steamed.
Actor Marc McClure (Back to the Future) had a much more extensive run in the role, having played Jimmy Olsen in all four Christopher Reeve films, and the subsequent Supergirl spinoff. (Fun fact: his character survived all five films.) As a fun throwback, he also appeared as Dax-Ur in season 7 of the young Superman show, Smallville.
Recently, McClure was present in Sydney, Australia for a special screening of Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut. When asked by the Superman Homepage‘s Steve Younis whether or not he would be appearing in any more upcoming DC properties, McClure responded that he was involved in the DC-set NBC TV series Powerless. He then cryptically added that he would also be appearing in a film at the end of 2017. Considering Justice League is the DC film hitting late 2017, the most likely conclusion is that McClure will have a guest appearance in what may be the most important building block of the DCEU.
While there are a number of explanations for the statement — McClure may have been discussing a smaller television or direct-to-video DC release or may have drifted into discussing a non-DC project — allowing the actor even a small cameo in Justice League makes a lot of sense. In the wake of three divisive entries so far in the DCEU, Warner Bros. could use a bona fide crowd-pleasing hit with Justice League. The adjustments are already visible with a Comic-Con trailer sprinkled with humorous moments. Reforging ties to the fondly remembered era of Christopher Reeve could be a great way show fans that the WB hasn’t forgotten its roots. Even in a cameo or minor supporting role, featuring McClure would also act as a bit of an apology for brutally offing Jimmy Olsen in an act of “fun.”
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for updates on Justice League and the DCEU lineup as they hit.
Suicide Squad is now playing in theaters. Wonder Woman opens in theaters on June 2, 2017, followed by Justice League on November 17, 2017; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020. The Flash, The Batman, Dark Universe and Man of Steel 2 are currently without a release dates.