Superboy Cleared for Big Screen — but Which Krypton Kid Could It Be?

Movie Talk

Superboy may be flying into a theater near you.

The same day the world celebrated Superman's 75th birthday on Thursday, Warner Bros. won a longstanding legal battle to gain full license to make a film about the DC Comics character.

But if you think that means we'll be seeing a version of "Smallville" on the silver screen – think again. Up until 1993, Superboy had always been an origin story, depicting Superman in his youth. But DC Comics reinvented Superboy as a Kryptonian clone.

And if we're guessing correctly, Warner Bros. will likely choose the modern version of the DC character, perhaps opting to break the story out into its own franchise. (Especially since the upcoming "Man of Steel" is delving deeply into Superman's origins. It would be somewhat redundant to pursue the original Superboy storyline.)

Superboy in 1949
Superboy in 1949

Initially thought to be a failed experiment by the organization N.O.W.H.E.R.E., DC's current Superboy is put in line for post mortem examination – until he bursts out of his cryogenic tube. (Cue heroic, rocking film score.) In a shockingly un-Superman-like move, Superclone, ahem, Superboy, kills everyone in the lab – except for the one doctor who cared for him: Caitlin Fairchild.

In the comic book series, which re-launched the character in the fall of 2011, Superboy lives "somewhere in the heart of Kansas" and is high-school age. And since this film could be years off, actors who are now as young as nine, perhaps as old 16, may be the ones who are ultimately considered. Names like Owen Best ("Tron Legacy," "Diary of a Wimpy Kid"), Dylan Minnette ("Let Me In," "Saving Grace"), and Jimmy Pinchak ("Let Me In," "The Polar Express") come to mind – but yes, it's entirely too early to fairly predict.

"The Adventures of Superboy," starring John Newton as Clark Kent/Superman, aired on television from 1988 to 1992. And no, he was pretty much your normal run of the mill Superman character – dressed almost exactly like the Christopher Reeve version.

"Smallville," which told the story of Superboy without naming the character outright, has also been embroiled over its own legal battle over rights. An undisclosed settlement between Warner Bros. and the show's producers was reached in January.

Now that Warner Bros. is in the clear on Superboy, what would you be the most excited to see?

Watch the latest trailer for 'Man of Steel':

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