Why I like the rumours of Jon Hamm being the next Superman

Mad Men star Jon Hamm has recently been rumoured to be taking on the role of Superman in the upcoming Man of Steel, to be produced by Christopher Nolan and written by David Goyer. I would never have thought of Hamm myself but now the idea is there, it seems perfect to me.

Hamm has an undeniable presence as Don Draper. Looking like he’s been chiselled out of a rock made from Italian suits, he has a strong voice, strong chin and doesn’t take any shit from anybody. Nobody fucks with Don Draper already, so if he could fly, burn things with his eyes and catch meteorites as well as making everyone weak at the knees with his voice alone, he’d be pretty much unstoppable.

I can believe in Hamm as Superman. If you’re going to have a character who’s basically invincible and could rule the world if only the mood took him, at least give him an authoritive tone of voice. The Man of Steel is an unstoppable force, so he ought to have some actual steel behind him, not just look like a college boy on his way to a fancy dress party. Take some inspiration from the comics, where he looks like he’s just eaten Desperate Dan.

But the biggest selling point is that Jon Hamm is 39, and I’m 31. Yes, I’m that shallow, but come on — if I’m to take a super hero seriously as a strong role model, a hero to look up to, someone who can hold me in his arms, wrap me in his cape and protect me from stray bullets, I’m going to struggle to do that if they were born after me. Brandon Routh is younger than me so, like every bitter thirtysomething who hasn’t been quite as successful in life as he’d hoped he would be, if I were being rescued by Routh’s Superman the whole experience would just be tainted. It’s hard enough talking to people in their twenties who own their own house, you know? Imagine if they could fly as well. You’d never hear the end of it.

So, like Frank Miller making The Dark Knight Returns with a 55 year old Bruce Wayne because he didn’t want Bruce Wayne to be younger than him, I’m very much in favour of an older, paternalistic Superman. The character should make you feel safe, and I don’t really get that if the man doesn’t look like he was old enough to appreciate The Breakfast Club.

By Paul Haine, in