The history of superhero comics is filled with tons of alternate histories and fun “what-if” scenarios. One of the best ever came in a 2003 DC Comics miniseries from writer Mark Millar and artists Dave Johnson and Killian Plunkett. Superman: Red Son asked a fascinating question about the Man of Steel’s origin: What if, instead of a Kansas farm, the Kryptonian rocket carrying baby Kal-El had crashed into a collective farm in Soviet Ukraine? We think of Superman as embodying “truth, justice, and the American way,” so how would he change if he was raised in the Soviet Union instead? Now, years after that question was originally posed, Warner Bros. is adapting Superman: Red Son into an animated movie. TV Insider was first to report this news.
There’s a delightful bit of casting at the top. Jason Isaacs, who played Soviet General Georgy Zhukov in The Death of Stalin (itself adapted from a comic), will be voicing the Soviet Superman in the film. In this incarnation, the Man of Steel’s iconic S chest symbol is replaced by the hammer and sickle of classic communist iconography.
But just because this Superman went red doesn’t mean his traditional supporting cast went anywhere. Lex Luthor, who in the Red Son comic becomes the main architect of America’s Cold War offensive against Superman and the Soviets, will be voiced by Diedrich Bader of American Housewife. Amy Acker (The Gifted) will voice Lois Lane, with Vanessa Marshall (Star Wars: Rebels) as Wonder Woman and Roger Craig Smith (Batman: Ninja) as Batman. If you don’t yet know what Batman looks like in the world of Red Son, do yourself a favor and check it out.
Some fans may recognize the Red Son concept from the “Red Daughter” arc on the most recent season of Supergirl, where Kara had to contend with a clone of herself trained by Russian soldiers.
Superman: Red Son will be released on DVD, Blu-ray, and digital download during the first quarter of 2020.