Jude Law Turned Down Superman Because It Just Felt Off and ‘a Step Too Far,’ but He Did Try on a ‘More Metallic’ Suit for His Audition

Jude Law turned down Superman in the early 2000s because “it just felt off,” which he knows sounds ridiculous considering he would later agree to star in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and to play Dumbledore in the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise. The actor confirmed he was courted to play the Man of Steel in Brett Ratner’s failed Superman project, which was announced in 2002 and based on an iteration of J.J. Abrams’ “Superman: Flyby” script.

“So this is true. Yeah. And there was a process of flirtation going on,” Law said on The Playlist’s “Discourse” podcast. “And I always resisted because it just felt like [off]. And I know you can say, ‘Well, but you played Yonn-Rogg and Dumbledore!’ It just felt like a step too far.”

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“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.’”

Even trying on the suit was not enough to convince Law that he should play Superman. Despite reports to the contrary, Law did not try on Christopher Reeves’ original Superman suit and instead wore something that was “more metallic.”

“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,’” Law said. “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.”

Ratner’s Superman project collapsed, just as Tim Burton’s Superman project failed before it. Warner Bros. would ultimately succeed in getting a Man of Steel project off the ground with Bryan Singer’s 2006 tentpole “Superman Returns,” which starred Brandon Routh as the superhero.

Law wasn’t the only actor in contention to be Ratner’s Superman. Matt Bomer recently told The Hollywood Reporter that he was quite possibly the director’s final choice for the role, but it got taken away from him when he came out as gay.

“That was a time in the industry when something like that could still really be weaponized against you,” Bomer said. “How, and why, and who, I don’t know, but yeah, that’s my understanding.”

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