With Henry Cavill's time as the Man of Steel possibly at an end, fans are looking to the horizon, wondering which actor will rise up as the next live-action Superman. Comic book writer Mark Millar has now revealed an unexpected choice for the part, stating that director Matthew Vaughn once envisioned Daredevil star Charlie Cox as his top choice to play the superhero icon in a Superman trilogy that unfortunately failed to take flight around the time Millar and Vaughn teamed for Kick-Ass back in 2010.
Mark Millar clarified that though the pair had discussed the idea of a Superman trilogy, he never wrote a pitch detailing his idea for a three-movie story. Previously he described the mooted project as a "vast, fun epic" and a "massive, uplifting, hopeful thing". So, very unlike the more somber, darker take on the character from Zack Snyder. The Superman: Red Son writer recalled how Vaughn considered Cox, with the filmmaker looking to bring a more regular-looking Superman inspired by Golden Age comic books to the big screen.
"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."
According to Millar, Vaughn was very interested in rebooting Superman with the duo having conversations regarding a "three-picture idea". However, when Vaughn asked DC about involving Millar, whose works include several big event stories for Marvel including Civil War, he was met with rejection.
"They said, 'No way, he's Marvel exclusive. It would be so disrespectful to all the DC guys if we went with a Marvel exclusive guy.' And I get it."
Millar and Vaughn had several discussions about their Superman idea, with most of them focused on who could play the Man of Steel rather than what he would actually be getting up to.
"But he and I had a lot of chats about who could play Superman. We never really talked about story. I've always had this story in my head, which was a big three-picture idea, but we did talk about specifics, like actors. And weirdly, his idea was really interesting, which was Charlie Cox, the guy who played Daredevil."
Though the casting choice may seem a tad jarring, Vaughn's thinking behind it was very reasoned and tied into the depiction of the Golden Age Superman.
"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.'"
On the potential movie that could have starred a version of the character "not as big and as bombastic as the Christopher Reeve Superman," Millar added, "That's interesting, Matthew's an interesting guy. I think if he had done it, it would have been interesting and probably unlike anything else."
It is a great shame that the two Superman fans could not get things in line in order to bring their trilogy to life, as it sounds like it could have been something quite special. Though he didn't get to play Superman, Cox would, of course, go on to play the role of Daredevil for Marvel, a role for which the actor is arguably much better-suited. Cox's performance as Hell's Kitchen's protector and Man Without Fear was universally praised, with many fans hoping that he will get to suit up again either on the big screen or as part of a Disney+ series. This comes to us from The Aspiring Kryptonian.