Years after his death in 2004, fans got to see Christopher Reeve take to the sky one more time as Superman when Superman II: The Donner Cut was released, giving closure to nearly thirty years of “what if…?” scenarios.
As fans now petition Warner Bros. to do the same for Zack Snyder’s assembly cut of Justice League, it’s as good a time as any to remember that comic book fans always seem to have a perfect…something…out there that they wish they could have seen come to the screen.
For fans who grew up in the ’90s, one such property is Kingdom Come.
A miniseries from Mark Waid and Alex Ross, Kingdom Come features a retirement-age Justice League deatling with the problems raised by a generation of irresponsible, attention-seeking kids given great power and possessed of no responsibility. Superman’s sulky retirement is cut short by a cataclysm that shakes the world and snaps him out of a years-long funk — and he reassembles his old friends to bring the younger metahumans to heel.
When the comic book was released in 1997, fans immediatley started fantasizing about a world in which the story could be told on the big screen, ideally with veteran Superman Reeve standing proud one last time and TV’s Adam West (who passed away in 2017) as the wily, wiry, aging Dark Knight.
For a number of reasons, that film was never meant to be, but a fan on Reddit used their PhotoShop skills to give fans a look at Reeve in the form of a bulkier, older Superman with the slightly-altered costume of Kingdom Come.
You can see it above, or follow that Reddit link for a full-body version.
In the thread, fans speculate about whether, with digital replacement of actors becoming more common and less taboo, a likeness of Reeve could one day be used to stand in for an Earth-2 or Kingdom Come version of Superman (both of whom are older and neither of whom would be likely to headline a feature film) should something like Crisis on Infinite Earths ever be adapted.
On its face, that might seem difficult to swallow — but remember that years before digitally replacing an actor was a plausible reality, Warner Bros. stirred controversy by resurrecting Marlon Brando’s Jor-El in 2006’s Superman Returns by using footage cut from Richard Donner’s (Reeve-fronted) Superman movies.
Justice League is expected on DVD, Blu-ray and digital in February.
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