9 Actors Who Almost Landed the Role of Superman

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By Black Widow

The history of casting for the legendary role of Superman is rife with intriguing tales of actors who came close but didn’t quite make it to don the cape.

While Christopher Reeve and Henry Cavill are unforgettable in their portrayals, the journey to find the perfect Man of Steel has seen several well-known actors nearly take on the iconic role.

From heartthrobs to action stars, let’s delve into the world of actors who were on the cusp of becoming Superman, only to see their paths lead elsewhere.

Joe Manganiello:

The actor, known for his role in Spider-Man and later as Deathstroke in Justice League, was once considered Superman but was unable to commit due to contractual obligations.

Brendan Fraser:

Despite his memorable roles in comic book adaptations like Sin City and 30 Days of Night, Fraser narrowly missed his chance to play Superman in the unproduced project Superman: Flyby.

Matt Bomer:

Already a part of the DC Universe as Negative Man in Doom Patrol, Bomer was in the running for Superman: Flyby, later lending his voice to the character in animated films.

Josh Hartnett:

Hartnett turned down the opportunity to lead in Superman Returns to explore projects outside the mainstream, eventually finding his way into superhero films with other roles.

Jude Law:

Law tried on Superman’s suit during the casting process but ultimately passed on the role, opting for Captain Marvel’s Yon-Rogg in the Marvel Cinematic Universe instead.

Sylvester Stallone:

While Stallone played key roles in both the Marvel and DC worlds, he turned down the chance to be Superman due to his preference for lesser-known roles at the time.

Paul Newman:

The acclaimed actor was offered the roles of Clark Kent, Lex Luthor, and Jor-El in the original Superman film but ultimately did not take on any of the parts.

Will Smith:

Smith decided not to pursue Superman Returns to avoid altering the image of an established character, but he later found success in the DC Universe with his portrayal of Deadshot.

Nicolas Cage:

Cage’s journey with Superman is perhaps the most iconic, having been cast for the ill-fated Superman Lives project.

He eventually portrayed Superman in unique ways, including voice acting and a digital cameo.

The quest to find the perfect Superman has involved numerous talented actors, each with their reasons for not ultimately taking on the role.

While these actors may have missed the opportunity to don the red and blue suit, they have left their own indelible marks on the world of entertainment.