Paul Newman Allegedly Inspired The Appearance Of A DC Supervillain

It's the time and age of superheroes. Between Spiderman, Batman, and god knows how many more Avengers movies that are currently on the docket, there seems to be no escape from caped crusaders of the big screen. For better or worse, superheroes are here to stay, and given the massive reception by audiences worldwide, nobody seems to have a problem with that. However, not all heroes get a happy ending. In June of 2021, the highly anticipated Netflix series "Jupiter's Legacy" was unexpectedly cancelled after only one season. 

According to Slash Film, the project was intended to be the starting point for a whole DC "Millaworld" universe that was designed to mirror the likes of Marvel's emerging "multiverse" phenomenon. Sadly, poor critical reception and significant budget complications brought the series to a premature end. The production team, as The Hollywood Reporter explained, essentially overstretched their already insufficient budget, resulting in financial shortcomings that show runner Justin DeKnight was unable to rectify. All the same, the show's short lifespan gave the world with some stellar personalities that many fans enjoyed, one of whom we can actually thank the late Paul Newman for (via Boston Herald).

Paul newman inspired George Hutchence

The character George Hutchence, aka Skyfox, had some notable layers that enticed viewers. "George is just a cool superhero. He appears to be one way but internally, he's covering a lot of things up. That shows me there's a lot of complexity, a lot of depth to the character." said Matt Lanter, who played Hutchence in "Jupiter's Legacy." George Hutchence is a man whose prowess and mystique is unrivaled by anyone else in the show. In order to create someone with that kind of stoic appeal, Lanter looked to one of Hollywood's most confident and charismatic icons: Mr. Paul Newman himself (per The Boston Herald).

"I also wanted a bit of Paul Newman, who's one of my favorites," Matt Lanter told Den of Geek in 2021. "Paul Newman to me always looks like he has a secret just in every movie. If you go back and watch, you'll see what I'm talking about. He just always feels like he has a secret and I really love that about him. I think it makes him interesting." 

If you've watched "Jupiter's Legacy," you probably recognize some of these attributes embedded in Hutchence's demeanor. Though the "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" star never lived to see his influence take flight in the form of a supervillain, one would probably be right to assume that he'd be flattered by the homage. 

Paul Newman turned down superhero roles

When he was adorning the big screen, Paul Newman generally kept his characters within the realm of human capabilities. Butch Cassidy never shot laser beams out of the barrel of his six-shooter. Luke Jackson's "failure to communicate" wasn't because of some schism in the telepathic cosmos. When he took to "The Towering Inferno," Doug Roberts didn't use supercharged water summoning skills to put out the flames. Perhaps it was something of a personal creed that the actor held dear, because when the casting team of Richard Donner's "Superman" (1978) reached out to Newman to offer him the lead role, he turned it down promptly (via CBR). 

In fact, he was so adamant about not appearing in the film, he even rejected a $4 million dollar offer to choose between the characters of Superman, Lex Luthor, or Jor-El. For as badly as they wanted him, it would seem that Newman wanted them even less. In like fashion, Clint Eastwood, Al Pacino, Burt Reynolds and Robert Redford also turned down the opportunity — if you're familiar with any of their films, you already know that none of them ever strapped on a cape either. However, Their collective reluctance turned out to be a good thing, as (then newcomer) Christopher Reeve would take on the role of Superman and turn it into the most defining one of his career (per CBR).