'Hancock' Was Almost A Movie About An Incel Superman
A staple of stoner conversations, comic book fans have always wondered about the day-to-day realities of being Superman. How does he cut his indestructible nails? How does he shave? How does he fly without swallowing a three-course meal's worth of insects? Or, of course, the most important question of all: How does the Man of Steel make sweet, sweet, super love?
The obsession with Superman's sex life came as early as '69 (nice) in an essay by famed sci-fi author Larry Niven. In Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex, Niven elegantly lays out how, in reality, the power of Superman's uncontrollable orgasm would demolish Lois Lane's human vagina like a pressure washer filled with Greek yogurt. Aside from a lethal kryptonite condom (also pointed out in Kevin Smith's Mallrats), there is very little Clark Kent could do to practice safe sex. And how would that affect Superman, knowing that every time he got intimate with someone, he'd run the risk of popping their head off like a geyser if he for a second stopped thinking about baseball?
Surprisingly, the answer can be found in the original script of the movie Hancock, the Will Smith vehicle about a grumpy Superman-like superhero who drinks and swears like a PG-13 sailor. Before that movie was blockbuster-ized by Smith, Sony Pictures, and Breaking Bad's Vince Gilligan, it was a much darker story of sex-starvation and intimacy issues -- as exemplified by a deleted scene from Hancock where Smith's superhero turns his roof into jizz-cheese.
This was the only remnant of Hancock's original script, Tonight, He Comes, written by Vincent Ngo. Instead of going with the tired trope of "What if Superman became evil?" Ngo's story asked the question, "What if Superman became an incel?" (Or a volcel, if you count the Hobson's choice of not turning your girlfriend into a human confetti canon as being voluntarily celibate). Heavily inspired by Larry Niven's essay, Tonight, He Comes (but shouldn't) shows a Hancock who, unable to connect with women on an intimate level, becomes a recluse who battles with insecurity, misogyny and resorts to sleeping with prostitutes. This alienation leaves literal alien bitter, depressed, and a danger to society. Not the kind of character you'd expect played by the guy who sang "Wild Wild West."
You can read the script here, but anyone who has been on Reddit can easily guess the ending: Hancock gets rejected by a woman, kidnaps her, tries to rape her, and then goes on a rejection-fueled killing spree. It almost feels like hack social commentary if the script hadn't been written in 1996. And it really is a shame, in retrospect, since the original would've aged much better than the Hancock roughly seventeen people bought on Blu-Ray. Incel Hancock wouldn't have worked as a superhero movie but might have done well as a horror flick in a time when every other movie is a superhero story, and every other news story is about some guy who can't get laid walking into a crowded building with an AR-15.
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Top Image: Sony Pictures