Armie Hammer — yes, that’s his real name — recently spoke to Vulture about rumors that he might put on the red-and-blue and leap tall buildings in a single bound for Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot. And though word is that Snyder will be focusing on the earlier part of Superman’s career, Armie Hammer confessed that, though he was interested in the part, what he was hearing was that they were going older. In the 35, 40 year old range.
The obvious first thought for every one on the planet, of course, was “Mad Men’s” Jon Hamm, who would make a fine choice as Superman … in someone else’s version. I don’t really see Jon Hamm shacking up with Zack Snyder for a film, do you? Strange bedfellows. Hamm is an actor. Snyder is a maestro with the computer imagery who has a tin ear when it comes to choosing songs for his soundtrack. It could certainly happen, but I’d personally prefer that Hamm stay out of the superhero universe. He’s got a long dramatic career ahead of him, and I’d hate being the guy who played Superman to pigeonhole him out of a lot of parts.
But, 35 to 40? Kyle Chandler? Nah, too fatherly. Woody Harrelson is closer to 50, but he could be fun. Affleck? No. RDJ. Taken. Gosling, not old enough, doesn’t have the presence. Gerard Butler? Please no. Renner? Maybe.
But then I had a flash of brilliance. My dream choice would never happen, of course, because he’s not marketable to the Twilight audience. Or even the 300 audience. But he’s around the right age. And this movie is produced by Christopher Nolan, who does like to go dark and gritty. I’d like to see a tortured guy, who could also turn Superman into a real bad ass, a menacing guy who actually has to grapple with his own dark side, with what his massive superpowers give him. He’s got the physique, though he’s nothing like any other Superman you’ve ever known. But maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe after 75 years of the stereotypical Superman model, it’s time to go in a different direction — something less Americana, less Eisenhower, less Kansas farm boy, more Baltimore gangster.
I’m thinking a Superman that can fuck you up. A Superman that can destroy you. I’m thinking: Michael Kenneth Williams.