The next live-action Superman movie is expected not to feature Clark Kent. This begs the question: who else is going to take on the role of Man of Steel? The answer is Calvin Ellis, Earth-23’s Superman as well as President of the United States.
This version of the hero has grown in prominence and popularity over the last decade. Created and introduced by Grant Morrison in the pages of Final Crisis he has appeared in Action Comics and Multiversity. In 2021, Calvin became a prominent character in Infinite Frontier. So, who can play this up-and-coming superhero in the DCEU?
10 Michael B. Jordan Is An Obvious Choice
There’s no doubt that Michael B. Jordan is a top candidate for the role of Calvin Ellis. First, he’s around the same age as most comic-based Supermen —mid-30s. Second, he has the acting creds to back him up.
Jordan has starred in the TV shows Friday Night Lights, The Wire, and All My Children. He’s voiced the pilot Julian Chase in Gen: Lock and Cyborg in The Flashpoint Paradox. Of course, the main reason for him to don the red and blue is his roles as Adonis Johnson in Creed and Erik Killmonger in the MCU’s Black Panther.
9 Will Smith Has An Ageless Look
Yes, Will Smith is getting up there in age. Still, while he’s in his early 50s, the actor has an ageless look. Plus, Smith seems like someone who could portray a President of the U.S. —be it Barak Obama or Calvin Ellis.
It’s not like he doesn’t have the action movie chops. Independence Day, the Men in Black series, and Gemini Man are examples where he’s showed off his prowess. Furthermore, he’s portrayed reluctant superheroes in Hancock and Suicide Squad.
8 Idris Elba Can Be A Rugged Calvin Ellis
Again, there’s a possible age issue with Idris Elba as he is entering his 50s. However, it shouldn’t matter in the end since he has the acting requirements to handle some action. Furthermore, his rugged looks provide him with the honesty of how the presidency ages officeholders. Even someone seemingly invulnerable like Calvin Ellis.
Elba can also be suave when required. He mingled this with a hardness in series like The Wire and Luther. In the Suicide Squad sequel and Concrete Cowboy, his good looks and humor are combined with toughness and sensitivity. All of these characteristics make for a well-rounded Calvin Ellis.
7 Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Could Pull It Off
Yes, Dwayne Johnson plays Black Adam in the film of the same name. However, why couldn’t he play both heroes? Former Superman Brandon Routh did it. He was the Man of Steel in Superman Returns and the Atom in Legends of Tomorrow.
Truthfully, the one thing that could stop Johnson from being the Man of Steel is his physique. The man is enormous. Meanwhile, Calvin has been drawn as lean and powerful. CGI could alter this and leave viewers with a suave and funny superhero president with the power of a smoldering look.
6 Dule Hill Could Be An Interesting Selection
Known for his dramatic and comedy chops in The West Wing, Psych, and the Wonder Years reboot, Dule Hill is versatile. His portrayal of Charlie Hill on the classic West Wing is far different than the straight-laced Gus on Psych. That’s why it’s not a big stretch for him to play Calvin Ellis.
Granted, Hill isn’t known for his action shows or movies. However, neither was Michael Keaton when he took on Batman or Robert Downey Jr. when he became Iron Man. It takes just one success to turn Hill into a superhero mainstay as Calvin Ellis.
5 Mahershala Ali Has Oscar Credentials That Back Him Up
Versatility is what Mahershala Ali has to become the newest live-action Superman. That, plus two Oscars to back him up. He received the award for Best Supporting Actor in 2016 for Moonlight and in 2018 for Green Book.
That’s not all. Ali has appeared in several superhero-related shows and movies. He voices Titan in Amazon Prime’s Invincible and plays Cottonmouth in the former Netflix show Luke Cage. With other credits including Crossing Jordan, House of Cards, and The 4400, Ali is ready to don a cape and boots and become faster than a speeding bullet.
4 John Boyega Can Expand His Acting Credentials
Playing a prominent character in a Star Wars trilogy doesn’t block someone from going on to play other roles. If that was the case, then Ewan McGregor’s career would’ve ended with his portrayal of Obi-Wan in the franchise’s first three chapters. Hence, the reason John Boyega can trade-in Finn’s blaster for a cape.
Boyega has youth going for him, being born in 1992. So, he could play Calvin Ellis for several years. With roles in TV and movies beyond Finn, he’s ready to stretch his acting skills further. On top of this, he has his American accent down. All he needs to do is put on a suit for his role as President Calvin Ellis.
3 Sterling K. Brown Can Move From A Tearjerker To Action-Adventure
Throughout his career, Sterling K. Brown has stuck to mostly dramas. In addition to NBC’s mega-hit This Is Us, the actor has been in Army Wives, American Crime Story, and Peron of Interest. Brown might be ready to enter the world of superheroics.
He had a taste of it in Black Panther as N’Jobu. However, that was on the other side of the law. With his dramatic acting abilities, Brown can certainly portray a Superman that has the weights of U.S. government policy and world-conquering villains on his shoulders.
2 Winston Duke Can Move From Marvel To The DCEU
Winston Duke is an MCU guy. He stars as M’Baku in Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. Though it might be hard to get him, the right portrayal of Calvin Ellis could draw Duke into the DCEU.
What also helps the actor is he’s fairly new to the world of mass media. His credits only go back to 2014 on IMDb, so he’s probably hungry to go beyond the MCU, regardless of how successful it has been for him. Playing someone who is the leader of the free world and the Justice League can stretch his abilities.
1 Anthony Mackie Already Has The Superhero Chops
What a bonus it would be if Anthony Mackie was chosen to become Earth-23’s Man of Steel. He’s already set up to become the MCU’s new Captain America, thanks to events in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. To be able to wear the blue union suit with the S symbol would be icing on the cake.
The good thing is Mackie isn’t only a superhero actor. He’s only been doing that since Captain America: The Winter Soldier. He’s also been in The Hurt Locker, We Are Marshall, and The Hate U Give. Thus, he has the experience to jump between two iconic, next-generation heroes that wear costumes with a similar color scheme.
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