Warner Bros. has released the first trailer for Superman: Red Son. This serves as an animated adaptation of Mark Millar’s famous 2003 Elseworlds tale that paints the hero we all know in a very different light. Instead of growing up in Kansas, what if Kal-El had grown up in the Soviet Union? As we can see from this trailer, the answer to that question is one that completely recontextualizes the famed DC hero and puts him at the center of a world war. Instead of being a symbol of hope, he’s a symbol of fear.
The trailer opens up by turning a classic Superman bit on its head. We see the Soviet version of the hero flying from the sky and a woman down below says, “Look! Up in the sky!” Yet, instead of sounding enthused or curious, she sounds terrified. We then see the world discovering who this mysterious figure is and what it could mean. Superman becomes a tool used by the Soviets on their quest for global domination, which is far from the figure that stands for all that is good in the world that we’re more accustomed to. Other major DC characters such as Batman, Wonder Woman and several Green Lanterns appear as well, with lots of action along the way.
The voice cast is led by Jason Isaacs as Kal-El, aka Superman. The rest of the cast includes Amy Acker as Lois Lane, Diedrich Bader as Lex Luthor, Phil Morris as James Olsen, Phil LaMarr as John Stewart, Vanessa Marshall as Wonder Woman, Sasha Roiz as Hal Jordan, Roger Craig Smith as Batman, Paul Williams as Brainiac and William Salyers as Joseph Stalin. Sam Liu (Reign of the Supermen) is in the director’s chair, working from a script by J.M. DeMatteis (Batman: Bad Blood).
Superman: Red Son imagines a world in which the world’s most powerful hero doesn’t grow up in rural America. The story takes place at the height of Cold War paranoia and reveals how the ship carrying the infant who would later be known as Superman lands in the middle of the Soviet Union in the 1950s. Raised on a collective, the child grows up and becomes a symbol for the Soviet people, and the world changes drastically from the one we know, which brings the Man of Steel up against the likes of Batman, Lex Luthor and many others.
The project was originally announced at San Diego Comic-Con over the summer as part of DC’s 2020 animated slate. Also on the way is another Superman movie, Man of Tomorrow, as well as Justice League Dark: Apokolips War. These animated movies could help fill the void until Henry Cavill suits back up as Clark Kent on the big screen, when/if that ever happens. Superman: Red Son does not yet have a release date set, but it’s expected to arrive in early 2020. Be sure to check out the new trailer for yourself, which first debuted over at IGN.