The Pros and Cons of Jon Hamm as Superman

With all that Comic Book Convention 2010 stuff slowly dying out, someone out there in the superhero world had to pipe up and keep the train rolling down the track. After all the Marvel talk, it might as well be a DC property.

The rumor of the day is that Jon Hamm – the actor known as Mad Men’s Don Draper and Liz Lemon’s impossible boyfriend – might be up for the role of Clark Kent (a man who, if you look at him without the glasses, resembles Superman an awful lot).

This isn’t a done deal, but if it’s headed that way, it’s enough prompting to take a look at the pros and cons of what casting him might mean.

The Pros

  • Jon Hamm has an all-American look to him. This look is so ingrained in his acting personality, it’s mocked on “30 Rock.”
  • In addition to that look, he’s got a smoldering, brooding sensibility about him. In other words, the man has range.
  • That range could be of great value whether the story is one of classic Supes or of the later-era Supers who wasn’t exactly the nicest guy on the block. Consultant Christopher Nolan has already spoken about wanting to stick with what makes Superman great, so there probably  won’t be a “dark Superman” here.
  • Jon Hamm can already shoot laser beams out of his eyes.
  • He’s the kind of actor that could take a role like this and be honest about it. No cheese. No camp. That’s right. In a statement about taking things seriously, I’ve alluded that there shouldn’t be any cheese with Hamm.
  • His acting range also comes in handy for playing Kent and Superman. Since the character’s inception, this has always been a dual role of weakness and incredible strength, and it would probably be a joy to watch him slip eyeglasses on and become meek.
  • The guy looks pretty much exactly like Superman.

The Cons

  • Hamm would need to bulk up a bit before putting on the suit. That lean and hungry look works, but Superman is ripped. There’s no need for steroids, but Hamm has to find himself moving toward being bulky before stopping a train with his fist.
  • This would do something to the Mad Men shooting schedule wouldn’t it?

If the report over at Pajiba is correct, then Hamm might be in close consideration for the job already. The odd question, or the one that I haven’t seen yet, is who else would play him? Brandon Routh? Another unknown? Frankly, there are few that actually look or feel the part in any way.

Plus, Hamm has a leg up because he’s cemented himself in the cultural mind with a role that is at least close to the time period in which Superman was created. Yes, it’s decades past it, but Don Draper is a figure of the earlier part of the 20th century. A character who fought in WWII The Korean War. A character who probably spent his late adolescence reading the Superman comic book or listening to the radio show. Of course, Hamm is as modern as it gets, but we’ve mostly seen him living in that world of new antiquity so it’s not a stretch to think of him talking the talk, walking the walk, and beating a giant robot into submission.

What do you think?

A veteran of writing about movies for nearly a decade, Scott Beggs has been the Managing Editor of Film School Rejects since 2009. Despite speculation, he is not actually Walter Mathau's grandson. See? He can't even spell his name right.

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