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14th Jun 2024

Magic Mike actor claims he didn’t get Superman role because he’s gay

Ryan Price

He says his sexuality was weaponised against him.

Actor Matt Bomer has claimed that he failed to get the role of Superman in the early 2000’s because of his sexuality.

The Magic Mike and Fellow Travellers star opened up about his experience in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, where he discussed some of the struggles he has faced over the course of his career.

Bomer made his name on the US drama series White Collar in 2009, and has won both Golden Globe and Critics Choice awards over the years.

During a conversation with host Scott Feinberg on the Awards Chatter podcast, the 46-year-old revealed that he was up for the role of Clark Kent in the early 2000’s but lost the opportunity after someone revealed he was gay.

Bomer said: “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.”

He continued: “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.”

However, things seemingly took a turn after his sexual orientation became known.

“Yeah, that’s my understanding,” Bomer said when asked by Feinberg if his sexuality was a factor.

He added: “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 a proposed title of a Superman film that was never made. It was intended to be made in the early 2000s until it was scrapped, along with several other Superman movie ideas that later became 2006’s Superman Returns.

According to DC Movies Wiki, Brett Ratner was reportedly hired to direct in September 2002, originally expressing an interest in casting an unknown for the lead role, while filming was to start sometime in late 2003.

Ratner apparently also approached Josh Hartnett and Jude Law to play the lead role, but conceded that finding a famous actor for the title role had proven difficult because of contractual obligations to appear in sequels. 

Law revealed in a recent interview with The Playlist’s Discourse podcast that he actually turned down the role, explaining: “There was a process of flirtation going on.”

He added: “I always resisted because it just felt like [off]. And I know you can say, ‘Well, but you played Yon-Rogg and Dumbledore!’ It just felt like a step too far.

“It was when Brett Ratner was going to direct, I think. And they didn’t have a script, if I remember rightly,” Law continued. “Did they have a script? I don’t remember reading one. This is a long time ago. They brought me the suit. They thought, ‘This might change your mind’.

“Anyway, I tried it on and I looked in the mirror and part of me initially was like, ‘Wow, this would be a [good thing],’ and then I just thought, ‘No, you can’t – you can’t do this. You can’t,’ and I didn’t sell myself to myself. And I stepped away and the film never happened anyway. So maybe it probably wouldn’t have done anything.”

Bomer, on the other hand, eventually did play Superman in the 2013 direct-to-DVD animated movie Superman: Unbound.

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