Matt Bomer Attributes Losing Superman Role to Being Gay: “Something like that could still really be weaponized against you”

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Superman is one of the most widely portrayed superheroes, appearing in numerous TV shows, movies, and animated media. Many actors have taken on the mantle or voiced the iconic character. However, countless others vied for the role and never secured it, for reasons ranging from legitimate concerns to outright discrimination.

In a recent interview on The Hollywood Reporter’s Award Chatter podcast, Matt Bomer shared a surprising revelation about losing the role of ‘Superman’ in J.J. Abrams’ project that never came to fruition.

According to Bomer, he was dismissed from consideration for the role after his homosexuality became public knowledge. He highlights that this occurred during a period when one’s sexual orientation could still be used against them, particularly when auditioning for the role of a revered cultural icon like 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 set against the backdrop of a civil war on Krypton between Jor-El and his corrupt brother, Kata-Zor. Kal-El is sent to Earth as a fulfillment of prophecy and is adopted by Jonathan and Martha Kent. During his time on Earth, he forms a romantic relationship with Lois Lane, who is investigating Lex Luthor, portrayed as a government agent obsessed with UFOs.

After revealing himself as Superman, Kal-El confronts Kata-Zor’s son and three other Kryptonians, leading to his defeat and apparent death. The movie, developed in 2002, faced numerous issues and disagreements from the outset. Production was scheduled to begin in 2003, with several actors considered for the role including Jared Padalecki, Tom Welling, Ashton Kutcher, and Brendan Fraser. Ultimately, the project was shelved and later evolved into ‘Superman Returns.’

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