I’m not a big fan of Mark Millar’s comics, but I really like his limited series Superman: Red Son. The book is part of DC’s “Elseworlds” line, a series of “What If?” comics that take place out of continuity, but allow writers to imagine different scenarios for beloved characters. In the case of Red Son, the story envisions what would have happened if Kal-El had crash-landed in the middle of the USSR rather than a small town in Kansas. It’s a good story about the values Superman represents and how those values were molded by his upbringing and surroundings rather than being something innate. The book also has a killer ending.
Jordan Vogt-Roberts, who recently directed Kong: Skull Island, revealed that he pitched Warner Bros. on a live-action adaptation of Red Son, but the studio decided to pass. For Millar’s part (because Millar will implode if all of his comics aren’t turned into movies), said he heard that the studio was pitching directors on Red Son, which was certainly news to Roberts (it’s worth noting that Roberts has helmed Warner’s third-highest grossing film of the year behind Wonder Woman and The LEGO Batman Movie; they probably like the guy).
Whatever the case may be, Roberts points out that he thinks live-action superhero movies are ready to evolve past the point of interconnected universes and into alternate universes where audiences will understand that one-off movies have their place.
I think that’s a bit generous, and we may reach that point eventually, but studios like avoiding risks. Someone will have to jump first, obviously, but I’m not sure if Red Son is the right property, especially since they haven’t even figured out Superman proper yet. Maybe one day Red Son will happen, but in the meantime, Warner Bros. should keep trying to make good superhero movies on a consistent basis before attempting to change the game.