Currently, the star of the DC Universe Doom Patrol series, fan-favorite actor Brendan Fraser lets it be known he nearly played Superman.
Fraser says he auditioned for the role of the Man of Steel in the defunct Brett Ratner and J.J. Abrams Superman: Flyby that eventually became Bryan Singer's Superman Returns.
"I auditioned for Superman. I even wore the suit," Fraser tells SYFY. "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]."
Fraser now plays Robotman in Doom Patrol which airs on the DC Universe streaming service.
Regarding what happened with Superman: Flyby (DC recently released a look at the costume - pictured above), J.J. Abrams first wrote a script back in 2002 that would have required a huge budget. The movie dealt with a different origin and story for Superman, including that he wasn't sent to Earth to escape the destruction of Krypton, but to escape his evil uncle. The story also saw Jor-El visit Earth previous to sending Kal-El to the planet; Pa Kent having a heart attack and dying upon first hearing the news of his son doing an act as Superman; Lex Luthor as a CIA agent investigating UFO's who turns out to be a sleeper Kryptonian agent (with all the powers of Superman); Krypton surviving; the death and return of Superman, and lots more.
Brett Ratner was going to direct with Christopher Reeve onboard as a consultant; Reeve wanted Smallville's Tom Welling for the role. Ratner eventually left with McG taking over, but McG also departed the flick, which saw Abrams want to direct, but WB ended up going with Bryan Singer's version, and Superman Returns was released in 2006.
Additional roles for Superman: Flyby saw actors for the Man of Steel including Jason Behr, Michael Cassidy, Supernatural's Jared Padalecki, Ashton Kutcher, Justin Timberlake, Josh Hartnett, Jude Law, Paul Walker, David Boreanaz, Victor Webster, James Marsden, Matt Bomer and Henry Cavill (pictured above). Kerri Russell and Scarlet Johansson were possibilities to play Lois Lane; Robert Downey Jr., Johnny Depp and Ralph Fiennes were up for Lex Luthor; Shia LaBeouf would have played Jimmy Olsen; Christopher Walken was going to play Perry White, and Anthony Hopkins was wanted for the role of Jor-El.