Warner Bros. has considered filming a live-action Superman: Red Son adaptation

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Superman Red Son (1)

Here’s an idea: Scrap the DC Cinematic Universe. If Warner Bros. wants to create a franchise of bankable characters that differs from Disney and Marvel’s output, they’ve already got the perfect source material from which to draw inspiration from: Elseworlds. Imagine worlds where Batman was an agent of darkness in an age where Catholicism had become too powerful. A reality where World War Two almost saw the Axis forces triumph thanks to their discovery of a super-powered Uber-soldier or the Justice League policed a harsh and wilder west.

Maybe one of the finest stories of that imprint was Red Son, a Superman tale where Kal-El landed not in Kansas but rather the Soviet Union. The Menshevik of Steel was still alien, but his morals were now guided by Marxism and communism, resulting in a fascinatingly different direction at the time. Red Son has long since been regarded as one of the finest Elseworlds stories ever told, a saga that would be perfect for an animated adaptation.

DC might be thinking better, as a “very, very, very reliable source” over at Den of Geek says that Mark Millar, Dave Johnson, and Kilian Punkett’s take on the last son of Krypton has been pitched to Warner Bros. in the past and resulted in some interest being shown by the studio. A Twitter exchange between Kong: Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts and Millar added further fuel to the fire, as the two traded inside knowledge regarding a big budget Red Son adaptation:

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Superman Red Son (1) (2)

Millar later clarified his tweets further to Den of Geek, saying that the project was very much just an idea that was being entertained. Nothing more than that really:

Is this something they’re genuinely planning? I have no idea. I’ve got pals at Warner Bros but never discussed it with them. I think they’re just going through their back catalogue of big books and hoping to lure in good directors as opposed to any particular interest in developing Red Son. There’s always 50 conversations for every comic book movie that gets made and as far as I know this is something that is very much just at conversation stage.

I’d take it all with a pinch of salt. The idea of a communist Superman adventure is something that sounds far, far too risky for the budget that it would require to do it proper justice. It’s a bizarre story, but a superb one at that. Ideally, I’d rather have Warner Bros. animation make it one of their projects, an animated adventure that isn’t limited by studio demands and demographics.

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That’s what I’d pay to see any day of the week. Until that dream comes true, grab yourself the collected trade paperback if you ever get the chance. It’s got heart, action and the best version of Lex Luthor ever. Also, there’s Batman rocking an ushanka hat.

Last Updated: June 28, 2017

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia’s M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

  • Original Heretic

    It would be nice if they could first make a really brilliant Superman movie before tackling the alternate versions of him.

    • Hammersteyn

      They used Kevin Spacey too early.

      • Original Heretic

        In that movie, even Brandon Routh wasn’t bad. Just my opinion, though. He was very Christopher Reeve, who, of course, I grew up thinking of as Superman. I was always weird for me seeing him in other roles.

        • I always loved Routh’s performance in Superman Returns. You’re right, he’s very Christopher Reeve, but I liked that. That’s how I always picture Superman.

          Just a pity that instead using Kevin Spacey to his potentially menacing max, they instead had him do a Gene Hackman impersonation completely utterly underwhelming real estate scheme.

        • Hammersteyn

          Agreed, seeing Superman level a city and snapping necks took some getting used to.

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