Now that it appears as though Henry Cavill has vacated the role, everyone’s speculating on which actor may next inherit the mantle of Superman. Personally, I’m not sure of whom I’d choose myself, but it’s guaranteed this icon will be recast every so often.
So, while we wait to see whatever the future may bring, let’s take a moment to look back on the Man of Steel’s cinematic history and some of the interesting trivia that comes along with it. Much like the void of false starts that occupied the space between Batman & Robin and Batman Begins, so, too, did Big Blue have trouble finding his way back to the silver screen.
Aside from Tim Burton’s Superman Lives, one could say the most notable script that never made it to screen was J.J. Abrams’ Superman: Flyby. Believe it or not, Brendan Fraser nearly landed the titular role in that one. Here’s what he had to say while being given a moment to reflect during an interview with SyFy Wire:
“It was cool, it was pretty cool. I mean, I didn’t get the job. It went away. Brett Ratner was a bit “woo hoo” in those days, and that’s well documented. And that was a script J.J. Abrams wrote but it never got made. And it was freaking Shakespeare in space. It was so cool. It was worlds colliding and, it was really, really cool. But you know, I hear he’s done well since then. (Laughs)”
Of course, Superman: Flyby never came to be and Superman Returns sprung up in its place not long after. And though Bryan Singer’s effort wasn’t perfect, it was probably for the better. I’m just not sure if Abrams’ deviation from the source material would’ve gone over with diehard fans and the moviegoing public at large.
In short, I’m saying that because not only was Krypton never destroyed in said screenplay, but other major changes were made as well. For one, Lex Luthor was a government agent obsessed with UFOs, and it’s just plain weird hearing Jor-El’s brother’s name changed from Zor-El to Kata-Zor. Suffice it to say, there’s much more regarding this script online if you’re willing to do the research.
Even though Fraser ultimately never got to play Superman, he’s since been inducted into the DC pantheon via the incredible live action Doom Patrol series, where he inhabits the role of Robot Man. For more on that show, be sure to check out our five-star review.