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Would Superman: The Animated Series' Tim Daly Play The Man Of Steel In Live-Action? Here's What The Actor Told Us

Tim Daly's DCAU Superman
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Animation)

The CW’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover packed a lot of special appearances during its run in December 2019 and January 2020, including Batman: The Animated Series’ Kevin Conroy. After voicing DC Comics’ Caped Crusader for nearly 30 years, Conroy finally got to play his most famous role in live-action, with Ruby Rose’s Batwoman and Melissa Benoist’s Supergirl meeting him on Earth-99. This begs the question: would Tim Daly, who played Superman: The Animated Series’ title character, be up for a live-action outing as the Man of Steel?

I asked Tim Daly this while interviewing him for Superman: The Animated Series’ Blu-ray release, and while he initially wasn’t into such a performing prospect, he soon came around the idea of playing an older Superman. As the actor put it:

I could play Clark Kent’s dad. I’m a little too old to play Superman now. They’d have to really gussy me up and dye my hair. I could play Jor-El. I mean, that would actually be a really interesting thing to do, play Superman as an older man and see how he operates. I like that idea.

Tim Daly understandably thought at first that at his age, he’d either need to be made up to look like a younger Superman, or he would simply have to play Jor-El, Kal-El/Clark Kent’s Kryptonian father. But with “Crisis on Infinite Earths” having given viewers a unique take on an older Bruce Wayne, Daly became interested in exploring how Superman would be protecting the world later in life. It’s certainly an fascinating concept, though it’s also worth noting that while Conroy’s Bruce Wayne from “Crisis” had hung up the cape and cowl, as well as required an exoskeleton to move around, thanks to his Kryptonian DNA, Superman is still physically sound at an older age, as seen in stories like Kingdom Come and the Batman Beyond animated series two-parter “The Call.”

Of course, the Bruce Wayne Kevin Conroy played in “Crisis on Infinite Earths” had strayed greatly from the heroic path following the death of Earth-99’s Kate Kane, his cousin. Not only did he kill numerous members of his rogues gallery, he also murdered Superman after believing he posed too much of a threat to Earth, and it was from that battle that Bruce’s body became injured enough that he required the exoskeleton. In the hypothetical scenario Tim Daly were to play a live-action Superman, be it in the Arrowverse or elsewhere, I suspect things wouldn’t get as dark with that version of the character, especially considering we’re not lacking in “evil” versions of Superman/Superman-like figures in media nowadays, from the Injustice animated movie to TV shows like The Boys and Invincible.

For now, if you’re eager to hear Tim Daly bring Superman to life vocally, Superman: The Animated Series’ Blu-ray set from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is now available for purchase, and the show can also be streamed on HBO Max. Daly also voiced non-DC Animated Universe versions of the character in the direct-to-video movies Superman: Brainiac Attacks, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse and Justice League Doom.

Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.