The Superman story “Red Son” is one of the most innovative and adventurous in comics history: It imagines what would happen if the future Superman had crash-landed not in Kansas, but behind the Iron Curtain.
Though it couldn’t be more timely, given the tension between the U.S. and Russia, it’s probably too wild an idea for a movie studio to attempt. Especially now, with Warner Bros. still trying to nail the right direction for the DC Expanded Universe and continue the recent success of “Wonder Woman” with the upcoming “Justice League.”
But tweets from Mark Millar, the comics mastermind who wrote “Red Son” in 2003, at least gave fanboys cause for hope Tuesday.
It started when “Kong: Skull Island” filmmaker Jordan Vogt-Roberts tweeted that he pitched Warner Bros. his take on “Red Son” — but that the studio turned it down.
Millar then responded, “Did you hear WB pitching directors Red Son? Two diff pals in last 2 months.”
Did you hear WB pitching directors Red Son? Two diff pals in last 2 months. This truly is Putin's America.
— Mark Millar (@mrmarkmillar) June 27, 2017
Millar, who also created “Kick-Ass,” clarified that Warner Bros may just be feeling out options.
“Is this something they’re genuinely planning? I have no idea”, he told Den of Geek. “I’ve got pals at Warner Bros but never discussed it with them. I think they’re just going through their back catalogue of big books and hoping to lure in good directors as opposed to any particular interest in developing Red Son. There’s always 50 conversations for every comic book movie that gets made and as far as I know this is something that is very much just at conversation stage.”
Warner Bros declined to comment on whether “Red Son” is a possibility.
Vogt Roberts later added a further clarification: “I have no idea if this is being developed. I pitched it to DC as something *i want to do* not something they pitched me.”
Some of the stories out there make it seem like I was one of many pitching a take on something they want to make. That's not true.
— Jordan Vogt-Roberts (@VogtRoberts) June 27, 2017
In the classic Superman origin story, Kal-El’s parents send him from the planet Krypton to Earth, where he lands in Kansas and adopts the human identity of Clark Kent. In “Red Son,” an allusion to the red sun of Krypton, Kal-El lands on a Ukrainian collective farm. He is raised to be a state-controlled super-soldier, fighting not for truth, justice and the American way, but for Stalin, socialism, and the international expansion of the Warsaw Pact.
In the 1950s, as the U.S. and Soviets are locked in an arms race, Stalin and his compatriots unleash their secret weapon.
It is not canonical, but is rather part of DC Comics’ “Elseworlds” series that imagines alternate realities — including one in which Batman battled Jack the Ripper.
We wouldn’t mind living in the Elseworld where a project like “Red Son” could make it to the big screen.