Daredevil star Charlie Cox was on Matthew Vaughn’s mind back in 2008 when he found himself on the list that Warner Bros and DC had drawn up for possible directors to pair with their new Superman movie. Though the powers that be eventually chose Zack Snyder to helm what would end up being Man of Steel, and Henry Cavill to star in it, Vaughn was understandably excited about what he could bring to the project, and one of those things could have very well been his Stardust leading man.
In a new interview, Vaughn’s frequent collaborator Mark Millar has been chatting about what could have been.
“Matthew Vaughn and I had talked about doing a Superman film years ago,” Millar explained to The Aspiring Kryptonian. “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.”
The pair did start to discuss who they would fill the iconic superhero’s boots, however, and a pre-Daredevil Cox seemed a strangely good fit.
“[Matthew] and I had a lot of chats about who could play Superman. We never really talked about story,” explained Millar. “Weirdly, his idea was really interesting, which was Charlie Cox, the guy who played Daredevil. And Matthew had just worked with Charlie on Stardust a year or two before. And there’s something just really likable about him. He said, ‘I know he’s not big and Superman’s always big’ — like Charlie’s maybe 5’8 or 5’9 or something. He says, ‘He looks a lot like the Golden Age version of Superman, you know when he was a bit more like a regular person.'”
He added “If he had done it, I think it would have been interesting.”
Vaughn told Collider in 2017 that his Superman take would have been “a modern version of the Donner” movies. “For me, Superman is color, feel-good, heroic. He’s a beacon of light in darkness. And that’s what I think Superman should be.”
The Kick-Ass and Kingsman helmer has described the plot of his nixed film as taking place mostly on Krypton, featuring a young Kal-El growing up to witness his father Jor-El’s fight to save the planet. Superman’s loyalty would then be somehow torn between Krypton and his new home, Earth.
“It was actually a massive, uplifting, hopeful thing,” Millar noted previously. “There’s no point doing Superman unless you feel good. You should walk out of Superman just feeling like a million dollars. You should feel great after a Superman film. The movie itself was going to be a big, vast fun epic. But Superman’s got to be a laugh, as well.”