So, now for the fun part. Here are my choices for the cast of my theoretical Superman movie, Superman Unleashed.
I’m envisioning a version of Superman that is more farm boy who wants to help his adopted planet and less the “space-jesus” we’ve gotten in recent outings. If you have read the series Superman: For All Seasons by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, this is close to what I have in mind. Not a lumbering bumpkin, but a kind, heart-of-gold, standup guy who will never give up. Therefore, for the titular role of Superman/Clark Kent, and easily the hardest role to cast here, my choice is Chris Pratt.
Picture less of a Star-Lord/Han Solo-esque character and more of Andy from Parks and Recreation with intelligence and super powers. Someone who is proactively trying to help everyone and doesn’t think twice about it. Add in a Clark Kent who is still kindhearted, but more confident and together in his personal life and you have a performance that would stand apart from Christopher Reeve and other portrayals.
For the part of the ultimate Superman villain, Lex Luthor, I pick Mads Mikkelsen. A diabolical, manipulative character that will be working behind the scenes to undermine Superman’s efforts. Staying in the shadows for the first two movies, until emerging as the main antagonist for the third chapter. It’s easy to see Mikkelsen playing the Machiavellian thorn in Superman’s side, but it would be interesting to see his take on the public face of the Lexcorp machine when dealing with the press and the public.
My choice for the world conquering alien computer, Brainiac, is Benedict Cumberbatch. We’ve seen him play the distant genius on Sherlock. Now strip all likability and empathy from that performance and you have the eighth-level intelligence that can rip a planet apart and move onto the next. Also, I would give him a diminutive robot henchman voiced by Martin Freeman, because I can.
Rounding out the cast, for Lois Lane I would select Olivia Munn. Who better to play the dynamic journalist who keeps Superman on his toes? If there is justice in this universe, someday there will be an IMDB listing for Jimmy Olsen that reads: Michael Cera. How this hasn’t already happened is mind-boggling and disappointing. Perry White should be portrayed by Powers Boothe. A boss that could realistically order a superman around. Ron Troupe of the Daily Planet would be Chris Rock. For me this pick goes back to rumors of him playing Jimmy Olsen years ago. There are more than 4 people working at the Planet. That being said, I will finish out the Planet staff with Steve Lombard, acted the hell out of, by ol’ Tanning Chatum himself, Channing Tatum. The Daily Planet’s resident sports writer/douchebag would be perfectly represented by Magic Mike. Whether or not he would take what is presumably a small part is irrelevant. See previous entries: I don’t care. This is my make-believe movie. Kal-El’s biological parents, Jor-El and Lara, should be Jude Law and Olivia Wilde. Clark’s adoptive parents, Jonathan and Martha Kent, should be Jonathan Frakes and Jane Seymour. Metropolis’ resident mad scientist, Emil Hamilton, would be Zach Galifianakis. I picture this character starting out as more of a one-note comedic support, but developing into a more substantial role over the course of the movies. Finishing out the cast with General Wade Eiling, played by Clancy Brown. He was perfectly cast on the current Flash TV show. Plus, if the current DC films aren’t going to tie into the awesome DC TV shows, then screw them, I will. At least tangentially.
That’s it for my first hypothetical Superman movie, Superman Unleashed. Ideally, I will start posting on the imaginary sequel to this soon.