Matt Bomer Says He Lost Superman Role Due to Being Gay: “Something like that could still really be weaponized against you”


Superman is one of the most adapted superheroes of all time. He appeared in numerous TV shows, movies & animated media so it’s not surprising that quite a few actors have donned the mantle or lent the voice to the iconic character. But even more actors competed for the role and never got it. Some due to clear reasons and some due to pure discrimination.

Matt Bomer recently sat down with The Hollywood Reporter’s Award Chatter podcast and revealed the shocking truth behind him losing the role of ‘Superman’ in J.J. Abrams’ project that never saw the light of day.

According to Bomer, he was ruled out for the role after being outed as gay , and he points out that this was during a time when your sexuality could still be weaponized against you. Especially if you are contending for the role of an iconic cultural icon such as Superman:

I went in on a cattle call for Superman, and then it turned into a one-month audition experience where I was auditioning again and again and again. It looked like I was the director’s choice for the role. This is a very early iteration of Superman written by J.J. Abrams, called Superman: Flyby, I think is what it was called, and it never came to light. I had signed a three-picture deal at Warner Bros. Yeah, that’s my understanding. [When asked if his sexuality played a factor in Warner Bros. not going forward with him as Superman.] That was a time in the industry when something like that could still really be weaponized against you. How, and why, and who, I don’t know, but yeah, that’s my understanding.

‘Superman: Flyby’ was an origin story featuring Krypton in turmoil due to a civil war between Jor-El and his corrupt brother, Kata-Zor. Sent to Earth as a prophecy fulfillment amidst the conflict, Kal-El is adopted by Jonathan and Martha Kent. He develops a romance with Lois Lane while she investigates Lex Luthor, depicted as a government agent fixated on UFOs.

After revealing his identity as Superman, Kal-El faces Kata-Zor’s son and three other Kryptonians, resulting in his defeat and apparent death. The movie was developed back in 2002 and it was plagued with issues and disagreements from the start. The shoot was supposed to start in 2003 and there were several candidates for the role including Jared Padalecki, Tom Welling, Ashton Kutcher, and Brendan Fraser. The movie was eventually dropped and it was “transformed” into ‘Superman Returns.’

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