Wait, Daredevil’s Charlie Cox Could Have Played Superman?

Charlie Cox in Netflix's Daredevil TV series
(Image credit: (Netflix))

Over the years there have been a lot of Superman movies in the works that just didn’t happen. Nicolas Cage could have played Kal-El in Kevin Smith and Tim Burton’s unmade Superman Lives and D.J. Cotrona almost played the Kryptonian alongside Armie Hammer’s Batman in George Miller’s Justice League: Mortal. It looks like star of Netflix’s Daredevil series Charlie Cox was being eyed for Superman at one point too.

Back in 2008 Warner Bros was looking at a number of directors for another Superman movie before Zack Synder’s Man of Steel placed Henry Cavill in the suit. Kingsman’s Matthew Vaughn was reportedly one of them. He had teamed up with his frequent collaborator Mark Millar, who is also a comic book writer well-known for Superman: Red Son. When discussing the scraped Superman movie the pair almost made, Millar talked about the actor they were thinking for Clark Kent. In his words:

Matthew Vaughn and I had talked about doing a Superman film years ago. It was around the time Kick-Ass was coming out, and it's funny, I've seen so many people say, 'Millar's pitch.' I never wrote a pitch. I had an idea of what it could be, but I never really told Matthew what it was, and Matthew never told DC what it was because he didn't know. [He] and I had a lot of chats about who could play Superman. We never really talked about story. Weirdly, his idea was really interesting, which was Charlie Cox, the guy who played Daredevil.

In an alternate universe, the Daredevil actor could have been Superman. It’s not uncommon for actors to be sought out to play more than one comic book role. After all, Ryan Reynolds was Green Lantern before Deadpool and Henry Cavill almost played Sups in Superman Returns instead of Brandon Routh before he was cast for Man of Steel. Mark Millar explained the reasoning behind the pick to the The Aspiring Kryptonian:

Matthew had just worked with Charlie on Stardust a year or two before. He's like, 'There's just something really likable about him.' And he said, 'I know he's not big, and Superman's always big' — Charlie's only about 5'8", 5'9" or something — He says, 'But he looks a bit like the Golden Age Superman, when he's a bit more like a regular person.'

Charlie Cox’s Superman would have been very different from the bulky hero we’ve grown accustomed to thanks to Cavill. He would have been the shortest big-screen Superman to date – no actor who has taken on the role has stood less than six feet tall. But as Millar explained, Cox had just impressed Matthew Vaughn in Stardust (funny enough Henry Cavill was in that movie too).

Superman in the Golden Age, comic books

(Image credit: (DC Comics))

The writer/director of Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class and the Kingsman movies was looking for a less intimidating approach to the character that was inspired by the hero’s Golden Age. Matthew Vaughn has previously described his Superman as a “massive, uplifting, hopeful thing.” He was also attached to the sequel to Man of Steel 2 back in 2017 until plans later fell through.

The future of Superman at Warner Bros is currently unknown but last we heard Henry Cavill isn’t ready to give up on the role just yet. Daredevil star Charlie Cox also faced a startling halt for his comic book character when the Netflix series was cancelled after three seasons back in 2018. Rumors have recently swirled that he will return in Spider-Man 3 with Tom Holland which he recently addressed.

Stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more news about the future of Warner Bros’ DCEU.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.