- Clint Eastwood turned down the role of Superman in the 1978 adaptation because he preferred another hero, Namor the Sub-Mariner, who he collected comics of as a kid.
- Namor the Sub-Mariner is a character introduced in the MCU and has been part of different superhero groups, including the Avengers and the X-Men.
- While Eastwood’s career has mainly focused on Westerns and dramas, it would have been interesting to see his directing vision bring freshness to the world of superheroes, although he has expressed a preference for adult-oriented content.
It may be hard to imagine Clint Eastwood playing a hero from the Marvel Cinematic Universe today, but the actor would have loved to don the suit of one of the MCU’s most recently introduced characters.
Throughout his long career, both as an actor and as a director, Eastwood has mainly excelled in Westerns and dramas, so there was not much room for comic book adaptations. But, like many young people during the golden age of comics books, Eastwood collected several series, especially one of a particular character he would have loved to play on the big screen.
In an interview with Hero Complex (via Far Out Magazine), Eastwood recalled turning down the role of Superman in the 1978 adaptation because there was actually another hero he was interested in, one who didn’t fly through the skies, but rather swam at full speed:
“I was like, ‘Superman? Nah, nah, that’s not for me.’ Not that there’s anything wrong with it. It’s for somebody, but not me. The Sub-Mariner, that’s the one I always liked. I had all of those comics when I was a kid.”
Namor the Sub-Mariner, who was introduced in the MCU in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever played by Tenoch Huerta, is a character created by Bill Everett. He first appeared publicly in Marvel Comics #1 1939, and is the son of a sea Captain and the princess of Atlantis.
Namor has been part of different groups throughout the company’s publications, including the Avengers and the X-Men. In fact, in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever his mutant origin is confirmed, teasing the existence of this type of people within the reality of the MCU, something that will be extremely important now that the X-Men will officially be part of the franchise.
Would Clint Eastwood Direct a Superhero Movie?
It may be too late for the actor to put on a spandex suit and stand in front of a green screen to face terrible fictional threats, but his vision as a director would be interesting to bring some freshness to the world of superheroes.
Back in 2015, during a Q&A at CinemaCon, he was asked if he would be interested in getting behind the camera to direct a comic book adaptation. However, his response was not very encouraging (via ComicBook.com):
“I read comic books when I was a kid, I don’t read them now. I prefer adult oriented stuff. I mean that in the PG-13 or R sense, but that’s as far as it goes.”
Of course, it’s been a long time since the director gave that answer. Having recently suggested that he could be ready to retire from the industry again, it probably still remains unlikely that we will see an Eastwood directed comic book movie. While the landscape of cinema and TV has changed a lot over the last decade when it comes to the prominence of graphic novel adaptations, and Eastwood could have been a good fit for many of them, there are many other directors getting to show off their talents bringing superheros and villains to life.