The FilmSchoolRejects guys break down the pros and cons of Mad Men’s Jon Hamm as Superman on the big screen. Should be an easy decision: Cole points out, Jon Hamm already is Superman, what with the whole shooting laser beams out of his eyes thing.
I’m not a Superman fan — I grew up on Batman, Wolverine, and Hellboy — but I think it’s important to have good movies about him, lest the icon slip into dry Captain America territory where he’s only used by the B-grade writers to make clumsy political points. After the disaster of Superman Returns (my little sister was excited to see it, but as we walked out, said “that was a really long movie and nothing happened”, which is really the only review you need) I’m strongly in favor of Superman being an adult again, taking a more serious tone. Hamm certainly fits that bill; if you’re making the Dark Knight equivalent for this character, the dark, brooding approach fits.
The challenge with filming Superman in a cynical age is that we’re no longer impressed by what was once amazing. A man who lifts things and flies around for two hours? Everybody does that. While Hamm is a serious actor who might find it difficult to transition to the realm of fitted bodysuits and red undies (for the ladies), he could prove to be a much better Kent than Kal El, adding a depth to the experience of a man living out of his own world, lonely and unknowable.
The best image I’ve ever seen of Superman is the one at the top of this post, by Alex Ross — slumped in the chair, half impossibly powerful otherworldly being, half tired, lonely, bespectacled journalist. Hamm was made to make this scene.
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