Jude Law Rejected Superman Role After Trying on Costume

Jude Law Rejected Superman Role After Trying on Costume

British actor Jude Law recently disclosed that he turned down the opportunity to play Superman in Bryan Singer’s 2006 film “Superman Returns.” The reason? He couldn’t get past the costume. During an appearance on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show, Law shared that the role just didn’t appeal to him at the time. “It just didn’t float my boat,” he said. “I’m an Englishman, and it just didn’t seem to fit. I was really worried about the outfit and I just didn’t fancy it.”

Law recounted how Singer was eager to cast him and even sent the revamped Superman suit to his hotel, accompanied by a minder, for him to try on. The actor took the suit into the bathroom and struggled into the spandex. However, the reflection in the mirror did nothing to ease his concerns. “I’m stood there and then I have this picture of me in that costume on posters all around the world and I was like ‘No way!’ and I unzipped it. I was Superman for two minutes. That’s enough!” he recalled.

The role eventually went to Brandon Routh, who did not reprise it after the film received mixed reviews, despite grossing $391 million worldwide. Henry Cavill later took over the role for 2013’s “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”

Law’s decision to turn down the role was not just about the costume. In a separate interview with The Playlist Podcast Network, he explained that playing Superman felt like a step too far, even though he has portrayed other fantasy characters like Yon-Rogg in “Captain Marvel” and Albus Dumbledore in the “Fantastic Beasts” films. “There was a process of flirtation going on and I always resisted, because it just felt like – and I know you can say, ‘Well, but you played Yon-Rogg and Dumbledore!’ – it just felt like a step too far,” he said.

Law also mentioned that the project was initially under the direction of Brett Ratner and lacked a script at the time. “It was when Brett Ratner was going to direct, I think. And they didn’t have a script, if I remember rightly,” he said. “Did they have a script? I don’t remember reading one. It is a long time ago. They brought me the suit.”

The suit itself was not the classic Christopher Reeve version but a more metallic iteration. “Anyway, I tried it on and I looked in the mirror and part of me initially was like, ‘Wow, this would be amazing,’ and then I just thought, ‘No, you can’t – you can’t do this. You can’t.’” Law admitted that he couldn’t sell the idea to himself and ultimately stepped away from the project, which never materialized anyway.

Actors who have taken on the role of Superman include the late Christopher Reeve, who starred in the 1970s and 1980s films, and Henry Cavill, who made his debut as the superhero in 2013’s “Man of Steel.” Law, known for films like “Alfie” and “The Holiday,” appeared on the podcast alongside Alicia Vikander, his co-star in “Firebrand,” a drama about the sixth wife of Henry VIII, Catherine Parr.

Law’s reluctance to don the Superman suit highlights the unique pressures and considerations actors face when taking on iconic roles. While some may see it as a career-defining opportunity, others, like Law, may find the prospect daunting for various reasons, including the fear of being pigeonholed or simply not feeling a connection to the character.

In the end, Law’s brief stint as Superman, even if only for two minutes in a hotel bathroom, serves as a fascinating “what if” in the world of superhero cinema. His decision to step away from the role allowed him to continue exploring a diverse range of characters, from the fantastical to the dramatic, without the weight of the Superman legacy hanging over him.

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