Brendan Fraser is one of the most talented stars in Hollywood and is currently enjoying praise in his Oscar 2023 nomination for his performance in The Whale. However, long before his recent acclaim for drama movies, it turns out that the star was up for a part in a 2000s DC movie, playing none other than Superman.
Over the years, there have been plenty of Superman movies to never hit the big screen. In the ‘90s a Tim Burton movie starring Nicolas Cage as Clark Kent fell through. Then in the early 2000s, JJ Abrams was signed up to take another crack at the Kryptonian. This Abrams-led superhero movie saw the likes of Fraser and even Fast and Furious cast member Paul Walker audition for the role of the titular tights-wearing hero.
“Everyone in town was reading for Superman. They were testing six or seven guys in 2002 or 2003,” Fraser recalled during an interview on the Howard Stern Show. However, despite all the buzz around the possibility of playing the famous DC character, Fraser didn’t get the part. But, the actor ultimately didn’t mind missing out on the opportunity, as he didn’t want to be pigeonholed or directly tied down to one specific role.
“Of course, it’s a life-changing, amazing opportunity, but I had to reconcile with, ‘OK, say you do get the job to be the Man of Steel. It’s going to be chipped on your gravestone. Are you okay with that? You will forevermore be known as the Man of Steel,’” he explained.
“There was a sort of Faustian bargain that went into [the] feeling, and I think inherently I didn’t want to be known for only one thing because I prided myself on diversity my whole professional life. I’m not a one-trick pony.”
Abrams’ Superman film ended up being shelved, and the next Man of Steel movie to be made since the ‘80s was the 2006 action movie Superman Returns starring Brandon Roth as the caped alien. Currently, there is a new movie for Superman in the works over at DC, Superman Legacy, as part of the studio’s Chapter 1: God and Monsters release plan.
So, while it is unlikely that Fraser will play Superman, he may still be cast in an upcoming DC movie yet (fingers crossed!). Fans can see Fraser’s new movie The Whale out in cinemas now. For more information on the film, you can read our The Whale review and check out our list of Oscars 2023 predictions.