Dean Cain has revealed that his Superman would have acted much differently in Man of Steel. Cain starred as Clark Kent and his Kryptonian alter-ego on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. The series first aired on ABC in 1993 for four seasons. There had been plans for a fifth, but the show was ultimately canceled due to increasingly low ratings. Cain has since remained within the DC television fold, with appearances on both Smallville and, more recently, Supergirl.
The Superman character has since been rebooted for the big screen, with Henry Cavill first donning the cape in Man of Steel. The film was met with a mixed reception, yet remains one of the most successful in the franchise. Cavill has since reprised his role in Batman V Superman and Justice League. Although he was previously set to cameo in Shazam, there are apparently no plans for Superman in the near DCEU future. Instead, the character will next be seen played by Tyler Hoechlin in the 2018 Arrowverse crossover event “Elseworlds”. Fans, however, still hold out hope that Cavill will one day get a standalone sequel.
Taking part in a special 25th-anniversary panel for Lois & Clark alongside co-star Terri Hatcher, Cain had some thoughts to share on the DCEU and how his Superman would have handled things differently. As reported by ComicBook, discussion rapidly turned towards the characters of Ma and Pa Kent. Hatcher stated that when she thought of those characters, she could only see them as K Callan and Eddie Jones, who played them on the show. Cain was quick to agree, highlighting a particular frustration he had with the big screen franchise.
“Same. I don’t picture Kevin Costner. No offense. By the way, why didn’t Superman save him right then? Seriously, that made me so mad. I would have saved him, I’m just throwing it out there.”
Played, as mentioned, by Costner, Pa Kent was killed when a tornado struck the town of Smallville in Man of Steel. Whilst numerous residents, including Clark, sought protection and safety under a bridge, Pa Kent ended up trapped in its path. Rather than allow Clark to save him, he prompted Clark to let him die in order to keep his powers hidden.
Whatever side of the fence people sit regarding Zack Snyder’s vision of the Superman character, the death of Pa Kent was a point of contention for many. For the man who would be Superman to let anybody die, much less somebody he loved, arguably felt wildly out of character. It felt even more so for Pa Kent to even guide Clark down a path of self-preservation and to sacrifice others. When you add to that the fact that Clark had already revealed his powers whilst saving children from a bus crash, it just makes little sense. As such, the death wasn’t as poignant a moment as it was intended to be, for many fans. Instead, it felt like a contrived way of imbuing the character and the franchise with a Batman-esque level of angst and darkness.
There remain many who oppose that belief and adore the film vehemently. Therefore, some will no doubt take issue with Cain’s words and any negative thoughts towards the DCEU. Still, Cain does have a point. His version would never have never even contemplated letting that happen. Such is the beauty of a character like Superman, however. As Hatcher herself expressed, there are so many different variations of the characters out there at the moment. If one doesn’t particularly resonate with you, be it Cain’s or Cavill’s or Hoechlin’s, there is always another to embrace.