Men of Tomorrow: 15 Actors Who Could Play a New Superman

oscar isaac resistance

Oscar Isaac

Armed with a dangerously alluring hair swoop and eyes that can stare into the depths of your soul, Oscar Isaac may just be too sexy to play Superman. Isaac looks and acts like a bad boy with a heart of gold — and maybe that’s just what we need for the Man of Steel. But let’s not forget that this Guatemalan-American actor has a truly impressive range — he can jump from playing the rakish flyboy Poe Dameron in Star Wars, to the demure folk singer in Inside Llewyn Davis, to a sociopathic genius (with killer dance movies) in Ex Machina. He can be whatever Superman needs him to be, whether it’s the charismatic capital “G” good hero or his mild-mannered alter ego. He’s got the range to perfectly embody both those roles, and embody them with zeal. And with Warner Bros. adamant on giving Superman some fresh twist, why not make him a charming bad boy instead of a brooding loner? Plus, again, have you seen that hair? (Hoai-Tran Bui)

Blindspotting Trailer

Daveed Diggs

After hearing him perform multiple roles in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton and then seeing his jaw-dropping work in this year’s Blindspotting, I’m convinced Daveed Diggs can do anything. Blindspotting is admittedly a strange comparison point for a Superman movie, but hear me out: in that movie, Diggs plays a man who is vulnerable and traumatized but also able to turn on the charm when he wants to. Warner Bros. needs someone with that type of range to embody Superman, a character who is often troubled by what he sees in the world but possessing the resolve to leave it a better place than it was when he landed here. Casting a black actor would be an opportunity not only to provide inspiration to those who never thought they’d see a black Superman, but it could also open up some fertile storytelling ground for the character that we haven’t seen explored before in half a dozen other movies. WB could lean into that (what is Superman’s relationship like with the black community?), or just as easily ignore it and let the character’s actions drive the story instead of his heritage: both could make for a fascinating take on the hero unlike any big-screen interpretation we’ve seen thus far. (Ben Pearson)

better call saul nacho

Michael Mando

Like it or not, Superman is an inherently political character, especially in 2018. Here’s an illegal immigrant who falls to Earth, is raised in America, and dedicates his life to bettering the world even as many call him a threat and a monster. Sound familiar? It should. So casting an actor like Michael Mando in the role would help transform that subtext into something all the more powerful and beautiful. Mando is best known for his work as Nacho on Better Call Saul, but he’s a thrilling actor, one with enormous range and movie star good looks. And quite frankly, we already have enough white superheroes. (Jacob Hall)

Mission: Impossible - Fallout Featurette - Henry Cavill

Henry Cavill

What a twist! The impetus of this entire dang list was Henry Cavill’s reported exit from the role of Superman. But here’s the thing – Cavill could make for a great Supes…in someone else’s hands. The actor certainly looks the part – have you seen him? He’s handsome as hell, and ripped. But more than that, his work in films outside of the DCEU – The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Mission: Impossible – Fallout – proves that he has the goods. The problem: the DCEU never served him well. To add insult to injury – Cavill was finally coming into his own as Superman. While Justice League as a whole is a disaster, Cavill’s Superman in that film is great. Well, not at first. At first he comes back from the dead as a murderous rage monster. But once he gets over that, Cavill’s Superman turns into the corny, aw-shucks type of Superman that the part calls for. Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman made the mistake of making Superman a brooding, angry loner. That’s not Superman – that’s Batman. In the right hands, Cavill could’ve made for the best Superman since Christopher Reeve. He deserves another chance. With another, better filmmaker. (Chris Evangelista)

A CGI Re-creation of Christopher Reeve

Lets face it, Christopher Reeve is the best Superman and I don’t think anyone is going to surpass his iconic performance in Richard Donner’s Superman and the subsequent sequels. But Christopher Reeve died in 2004 you say? Why let that stop Hollywood?! We’ve already seen the advancements in digital de-aging in the Marvel films, and there have been dozens of actors who have already been brought back to life using visual effects (Peter Cushing in Rogue One, for example). In fact, Hollywood already gave Reeve a CG body in this 2000 super bowl advertisement. We’re already halfway there.

We live in Trump’s post-apocalyptic future, where Henry Cavill should not be allowed to turn down an appearance as the Man of Steel in Shazam. How dare he have the right to say no?! Recreating Reeves in CG would allow Warner Bros the ability to completely control not only the actor, but also the performance – zinging left or right depending on whatever direction they want to head on that week. “Fire Zack Snyder, hire the director of those Avengers movies, that will fix everything!” Make some phone calls, sign some contracts. “We need Superman to be dark and brooding!” Push some buttons. “We need him to be hopeful and optimistic!” Push some buttons. And best of all, a CG Reeves Superman doesn’t have contractual obligations over his facial hair. Who cares about art and storytelling – this franchise is just another product of a mega corporation. So the real question is: why not CGI Christopher Reeves? (Peter Sciretta)

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