Jude Law and Matt Bomer reveal why they didn't play Superman

The two actors were in the running to play the superhero in the cinema in the early 2000s, but…

Podcast guest The Discourse of The Playlist, Jude Law confirmed that he was indeed chosen by Brett Ratner (X-Men 3) to play Clark Kent in the early 2000s. Currently in full promotion of The Firebrandhe explains why he decided to refuse this offer, which would have represented the first big blockbuster of his career.

25 years ago, Jude Law was already famous for Welcome to Gattaca Or eXistenZ and The Talented Mister Ripleybut he had not yet filmed in AI Artificial Intelligenceby Steven Spielberg, nor Stalingradby Jean-Jacques Annaud, two very big budget films.

In parallel, Matt Bomer (Magic Mike, The Nice Guys…) tells the Hollywood Reporter having also been courted to play the same superhero in the cinema, but he says he felt that his homosexuality had cooled the casting directors. Revealed in the American soap opera Hate and passion during this same period, he had to wait until 2009 to experience success thanks to FBI Very Special Duo. Here are the details.


Jude Law in The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999).

Jude Law: “Yes, that's true…but I didn't feel it.”

After the failure of project of Superman Livesby Tim Burtonwhich should have seen Nicolas Cage don the costume of the Kryptonian, there was talk of Brett Ratner directing an adaptation of Superman, which also fell into the water. It would have been written by JJ Abrams.

“Yes, it's true, confirms Jude Law about his casting in the title role. I flirted with this idea for some time. But hey, I also resisted it, I didn't really feel it. Afterwards, you can tell me: 'But anyway, you played Yon-Rogg (In The Marvelseditor’s note) and Dumbledore (In Fantastic Beasts 2 and 3).' But at the time, I thought it was too big for me.”

“If I remember correctly, Brett Ratner was supposed to direct it, but they didn't have a script yet, he also said. Was there one? I don't remember seeing any read in any case. It was a long time ago, you know! One thing is certain: they asked me to try on the costume. They must have said to themselves: 'It will change his mind'. It wasn't Christopher Reeve's, it was a more metallic outfit. Finally, I put it on and looked in the mirror, and I must admit I said to myself: 'Wow! It might be a good thing to sign.' But in the end, I thought: 'No, no you can't do that.' So, I didn't sell well, I walked out of the project myself, and the film ultimately didn't get made, so maybe it was doomed to fail?”

FBI Very Special Duo
USA Network

Matt Bomer in FBI: Very Special Duo (2009-2014).

Matt Bomer: “At the time, the industry could turn your homosexuality against you…”

Matt Bomer confirms that he was also courted to play Superman. It was also for Brett Ratner's version, before Bryan Singer's 2006 film, ultimately played by Brandon Routh. And so long before Man of Steel (2013) in which Clark Kent is played by his double, Henry Cavill.

“I took part in the auditions to play Superman, I did several for a month, he says. I was testing again and again, and it seemed to me that I was the director's number one choice for this version written by JJ Abrams. I believe the project was called Superman: Flyby ? It never saw the light of day, in the end.”

“At the time, the industry could turn your homosexuality against you, adds the actor, who married Simon Hall in 2011. I don't know how or why exactly, but that's how I felt.”

The next performer Superman will be David Corenswet, at James Gunn. Release planned for summer 2025 in cinemas.

Superman: Henry Cavill in Christopher Reeve's original costume


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