Tyler Hoechlin may have cemented his place on CW’s lineup for this fall’s Superman And Lois, but the future of the big-screen Kryptonian is in a much more convoluted place. Henry Cavill’s Superman kicked off the DCEU back in 2013 with Man of Steel, but Warner Bros’ vision for its comic book universe has shifted quite a bit since. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that by the time a new script gets off the ground for the DC character to return, another actor may replace Henry Cavill.
I’ll admit, whilst compiling this list, it does remind one of just how perfect Henry Cavill is as Superman. The man just got the jaw for it, ya know? Justice League left some loose ends that the studio has slowly started to redeem with standalone movies for Wonder Woman, Aquaman and The Flash on the way. Henry Cavill's contract is up for Superman, but he did recently make it clear that he has “not given up on the role.” Even if he is Geralt of Rivia on The Witcher now. And we’ve just seen Robert Pattinson replace Ben Affleck in The Batman.
In other words, Henry Cavill is still my No. 1 Superman pick, but should the role be passed down here are some solid choices for Kal-El:
Given there isn’t some kind of clause in his contract that he can’t play both a Marvel and DC hero, Richard Madden could pretty effortlessly take on the role of Sups. The actor is of course best known for his role as Robb Stark in Game Of Thrones, but he’s since kept busy in his Golden Globe-winning role Bodyguard and played John Reid in Rocketman. Next he’ll dive into the superhero realm in next year’s Eternals as Ikaris. The Scottish actor is a particularly good choice for Superman because well… just look at him. It also doesn't hurt that he has this mixture of charm and depth that the role calls for.
Back in 2008 when George Miller was going to make Justice League: Mortal, Armie Hammer was set to play Batman but the production ended up being scrapped due to the Writer’s Guild Strike. Batman is off the table for the Call Me By Your Name actor with Robert Pattinson stepping into that suit and that's A-OK because Superman might actually be a better choice for Hammer. Aside from the “good guy” vibe he gives off, he is an incredibly underrated talent that would thrive in the DCEU. He's been due a franchise for too long! Give The Man From U.N.C.L.E. another watch – him partnering up with Cavill shows he can rise to the occasion.
Michael B. Jordan
Remember all those “Michael B. Jordan could be the next Superman” rumors a few months back? Well, it stuck and got us thinking about it. Although Jordan could run into that whole aforementioned Marvel vs. DC clause with his Black Panther role (especially as the main villain of one of the MCU’s finest), why not Jordan? There’s the obvious “he doesn’t look like Superman” argument, but if we’re going for colorblind casting approach, he has really proven himself the past few years whether it be his role in Creed or Just Mercy. He’d undoubtedly work hard to match the physicality of Kal-El and knows how to balance humor with drama.
Back in 2014, Miles Teller starred in Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash which is highly-regarded as one of the best movies of the 2000s’ thus far. Since the 33-year-old has been in the Divergent movies, The Spectacular Now and sadly Fantastic Four alongside Michael B. Jordan. He’s also set to play Goose’s son “Rooster” in the upcoming Top Gun: Maverick. The guy’s already got an impressive resume, real acting talent and I think he’d bring something unique and inspired to Superman if given the chance. Is typically cast as a kind of chip-on-his-shoulder character, so I’d be interested to see him take on the small-town Kansas alien.
It’s been pretty amazing to see Henry Golding blow up the past couple years, so suddenly. 2018 became a perfect storm for the actor when he starred as the leading man in the record-breaking romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians and Paul Feig’s A Simple Favor in the same few months. Since he’s also been in Last Christmas, Guy Ritchie’s The Gentleman and he’s gearing up to play Snake Eyes. The reason why Golding is a good choice for Superman because he has that cereal-box pearly white smile and demeanor that oozes the superhero. He’s the kind of guy that can look intimidating but secretly wouldn’t kill a fly.
If we’re looking for a younger Superman… or a Superboy if you will (hey, I don’t know Warner Bros plans, I have to cover my bases), may I recommend Tye Sheridan? You know him from Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, as Cyclops in the X-Men prequels and a few hardcore roles such as in Joe, Dark Places and The Mountain. The 23-year-old is clearly a highly sought-after actor who has a bright future ahead of him. He has an emotional quality and likability to him that Kal-El could use in the often intense stories from the comic books.
For the opposite side of the spectrum onto the oldest actor on this list is Wes Bentley, who is 41 years old. The actor has had an impressive career with roles as Seneca Crane in The Hunger Games, Doyle in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, Pete’s Dragon, Mission: Impossible - Fallout, American Horror Story and Yellowstone (whew)! But, wouldn’t it be interesting to see what he could do with a leading role and perhaps as a more seasoned Superman. We’ve seen the origin story quite a few times now, how does Clark Kent deal with things once he’s been at it for a while?
Of course no Superman would be a good one without a solid vision, script and filmmaker. We’ll have to wait and see how the future of Kal-El shakes out. Until then, vote for your favorite pick in the poll below or comment on your own choice.