The Mummy star Brendan Fraser has previously spoken about auditioning for the lead role in J.J. Abrams' long-cancelled Superman: Flyby, but the Academy Award-nominated The Whale star has now elaborated on his experience.
Fraser tells Howard Stern (via EW) that he had some reservations about potentially landing such a huge part and being forever known as the Man of Steel.
"Everyone in town was reading for Superman. They were testing six or seven guys in 2002 or 2003. Of course it's a life-changing, amazing opportunity, but I had to reconcile with, 'Okay, say you do get the job to be the Man of Steel. It's going to be chipped on your gravestone. Are you okay with that? You will forevermore be known as the Man of Steel.' There was a sort of Faustian bargain that went into [the] feeling, and I think inherently I didn't want to be known for only one thing, because I prided myself on diversity my whole professional life. I'm not a one-trick pony."
Fraser went on to explain that he was ultimately disappointed about losing out on the role, and believes that him failing to land the job "had to do with shenanigans and studio politics, and, probably, inherently, in my screen test. I think that's why you test — they could kind of see I was only there like 98 percent instead."
Of course, it didn't really matter in the end, because nobody ended up playing this particular incarnation of the iconic DC Comics hero. Superman: Flyby wasn't to be, and Bryan Singer would go on to helm Superman Returns a few years later.
As for Abrams, he is currently developing a Black Superman film with writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, which is still said to be moving forward as an "Elseworlds" project despite James Gunn and Peter Safran's recent DCU slate announcement.
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