With all the Superman movies we’ve gotten, it won’t surprise you to hear some big names have been in contention for the man of steel. Will Smith, Fast and Furious star Paul Walker, and Arnold Schwarzenegger are just three that have purportedly been close to playing the last son of Krypton in a DC movie.
While none of them worked out, their auditions probably went better than Nick Nolte, who states that he tanked the opportunity. “Oh, they were interested in me but I turned them off by saying that I would only do it if I could play him as a schizophrenic,” he tells Insider. “That’s sabotage. It would have been very strange to play that.”
Stranger is one word for how that action movie would’ve turned out. When Superman was being developed in the ’70s, Nolte was a rising star who’d transitioned from TV to films, bolstered by the success of adventure movie The Deep in 1977. He fit from a publicity point of view, but less so from a performance perspective, and he seems to share that sentiment.
Of course, Christopher Reeve got the part, and the rest is history on that front. Nolte went to make some great ’80s movies like 48 Hrs and Extreme Prejudice. Even now, it doesn’t seem like he has any regrets about his choice.
A few have taken on the red cape since then, with Henry Cavill being the latest on the big screen. After a spell away from DC superhero movies, he returned to the franchise in Black Adam, and has since been teasing more down the line.
Who knows, Nolte might make an appearance, to come full circle in a strange sort of way. We won’t hold our breath. Have a look at our list of the best thriller movies for something less superpowered.