Christopher Reeve is the definitive big screen Superman for many comic book fans growing up in the late ’70s and into the ’80s. Whatever you might think about the later installments in his series of Superman movies, the charismatic actor’s performance in the 1978 original is still lauded by many as the best adaptation of the Man of Steel ever.
While the actor wore the red and blue tights for the final time in 1987 and passed away in 2004, he’s certainly not been forgotten. His likeness has even been used in later Superman comics, particularly those drawn by Gary Frank.
The torch has been passed on since the Reeve movies, of course – first to Brandon Routh and then to Henry Cavill, who remains the incumbent after three appearances in the DC Extended Universe. His turns in Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Justice League have enjoyed a warm reception for the most part (depending on which installment we’re talking about), and he’s contracted for one more DC movie so we’re likely to see him for one last outing. Beyond that, we’ll just have to see. With Ben Affleck rumored to be leaving in a coming installment, much of the DCEU seems to be in flux, especially from within DC Films, which has recently seen some major changes in leadership.
This seems to be the perfect time to begin fancasting the next actors to play Batman and Superman. One fan in particular, YouTuber and animator Mike Habjan, has imagined what it would be like to see Reeve as the DCEU’s Superman. While experimenting with different models for his excellent “Superman vs. Hulk” videos, which he created using 3D animation software Maya, he played around with an animated version of Reeve in Cavill’s Man of Steel suit.
Here’s a short demo of the experiment:
There’s no doubt that Habjan’s animation is really impressive. It’s surreal to see a Superman approximating Reeve’s iconic look, but it’s also heartwarming. That said, Habjan’s Man of Steel Reeve has a bit more of a scowl than what we remember from the original films, not to mention that he’s also way more JACKED than the actor ever was in the tights. Still, it’s very nice to imagine Reeve back to hang with the entire Justice League. Perhaps Doomsday Clock, a comic about Superman and other DC characters meeting heroes from the Watchmen universe, which is currently being drawn by Gary Frank, will give us just that.