Matt Bomer Says He Lost Out On Playing Superman After Being Outed

Matt Bomer Says He Lost Out On Playing Superman After Being Outed

There have been as many failed attempts to get Superman onto the silver screen as there are Superman movies that actually made it—but Superman: Flyby is perhaps one of the most infamous, just for the sheer capacity of what-could-have-beens with the amount of people up for the titular heroic role. Matt Bomer was the man who flew closest to Krypton—but believes that he ultimately lost out for being in the closet.

“I went in on a cattle call for Superman, and then it turned into a one-month audition experience where I was auditioning again and again and again. It looked like I was the director’s choice for the role. This was a very early iteration of Superman written by J.J. Abrams, called Superman: Flyby, and it never came to light,” Bomer recently reflected on an episode of The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast. At the time, the project known as Flyby was being helmed by Brett Ratner, who’d been hired by Warner to make the movie in 2002. Ratner saw Bomer as his perfect choice for Clark Kent, with the actor noting that he ultimately had signed a three-picture deal. Things fell apart, and Ratner went on to leave the project himself shortly thereafter—but Bomer believes that his sexuality played a part in why the studio was suddenly disinterested in him being the new Man of Steel.

“That was a time in the industry when something like that could still really be weaponized against you,” Bomer, who publicly came out as gay in 2012, continued. “How, and why, and who, I don’t know, but yeah, that’s my understanding.” Ratner departed Flyby in 2003 and was replaced by McG, who rebuilt Flyby from the ground up, including casting, only to eventually leave as well—setting the stage for Bryan Singer’s eventual reboot of the project as Superman Returns, now starring Brandon Routh, in 2006.

This isn’t the first time it’s been suggested that Bomer missed out on Superman because of his sexuality—after Bomer publicly came out in 2012, author Jackie Collins stated in an interview with Gaydar Radio that being closeted cost Bomer the role years prior. But studio sources pushed back on the allegation at the time, citing that Bomer’s deal for Flyby and potential sequels fell through due to Ratner exiting the project.

Whatever the reason, Bomer himself still at least believes that being outed to studio executives at least played a role even today—but even if he didn’t make it into Flyby, he got to proverbially don the blue-and-red supersuit, playing Superman in the 2013 DCAU animated movie, Superman: Unbound. At the very least, Bomer would go on to play a part in in the DC Universe that actually got to reflect his experience as a gay man, playing the closeted test pilot Larry Trainor, a.k.a. Negative Man, in the excellent Doom Patrol TV series.

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