Mark Millar reveals Matthew Vaughn envisioned future Daredevil star Charlie Cox to play the Man of Steel in the Superman trilogy that failed to take flight around the time Millar and Vaughn teamed for Kick-Ass in 2010. Clarifying that he never wrote a pitch detailing his idea for a three-movie Superman story — previously described by Millar as a "vast, fun epic" and a "massive, uplifting, hopeful thing" — the Superman Adventures and Superman: Red Son writer recalls how Vaughn considered Cox, who the filmmaker directed in the 2007 adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Stardust, to play a more regular-looking Superman inspired by Golden Age comic books.
"Matthew Vaughn and I had talked about doing a Superman film years ago … it was around the time Kick-Ass was coming out," Millar told The Aspiring Kryptonian. "And 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."
Vaughn was "very interested" in rebooting Superman and phoned Millar, who told the director he had a "three-picture idea." When Vaughn asked DC about involving Super-fan Millar, whose works included Marvel Comics' Civil War and The Ultimates, Millar recalls, "They said, 'No way, he's Marvel exclusive. It would be so disrespectful to all the DC guys if we went with a Marvel exclusive guy.' And I get it."
And Vaughn, who would go on to direct the Marvel-inspired X-Men: First Class for Fox, was "maybe one of ten directors they were talking to at the time" for a new Superman movie that would eventually become the Zack Snyder-directed Man of Steel in 2013.
"But he and I had a lot of chats about who could play Superman. We never really talked about story," Millar said of Vaughn. "I've always had this story in my head, which was a big three-picture idea, but we did talk about specifics, like actors. And weirdly, his idea was really interesting, which was Charlie Cox, the guy who played Daredevil."
Millar continued, "Matthew had just worked with Charlie on Stardust a year or two before. He's like, 'There's just something really likable about him.' And he said, 'I know he's not big, and Superman's always big' — Charlie's only about 5'8", 5'9" or something — He says, 'But he looks a bit like the Golden Age Superman, when he's a bit more like a regular person.'"
On the potential movie that could have starred a version of the character "not as big and as bombastic as the Christopher Reeve Superman," Millar added, "That's interesting, Matthew's an interesting guy. I think if he had done it, it would have been interesting and probably unlike anything else."