It's a little known fact in the comic book movie world, but there was a time when Jude Law was offered the opportunity to star as the titular superhero in Brett Ratner’s planned Superman film. The English actor turned down the role, despite the fact that he is a life-long comic-book fan, but now he's revealed both why he turned it down and why he doesn't have any regrets.
Jude Law made his remarks to MTV while promoting his upcoming turn in Black Sea, Discussing his lost opportunity to play the Man of Steel, the Oscar nominee admitted that at the time he just really wasn’t in the mood to play Superman, and was also very much aware of how it could impact the rest of his career. Here's what he had to say:
"I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life being that guy who played Superman."
In the years before Bryan Singer’s 2006 reboot Superman Returns. Brett Ratner was in line to direct his own Superman movie from a script that was written by J.J. Abrams. Jude Law was picked out as their number one choice to portray the iconic superhero, but despite the huge interest in him, the actor admitted that the role never appealed to him. However, this didn’t stop Brett Ratner from pursuing.
The Rush Hour/X-Men: The Last Stand/Tower Heist director formulated a rather devious plan to try and coerce Jude Law into accepting the part: He actually convinced the actor to put on the Superman costume. His hope was that Jude Law would instantly be seduced into starring in the film once he caught a glimpse of himself inside the attire. Of course, as a super-fan, Jude Law leaped at the opportunity to try on the costume. After he saw himself in the outfit, he couldn’t help but be overjoyed with just how superb it felt to be the superhero... but rather than immediately agreeing to be Brett Ratner’s Superman, Law decided that this would be his only moment as the character. He told MTV,
"It is an amazing costume. My chest pops up and the music comes on … That was it. I got it out of my system. I took it off, put it in the bag, and was like, ‘I’m not going to do it.’ I saw myself. No need for the rest of the world to see me."
In hindsight, it was probably a good move by Jude Law to turn down Brett Ratner’s proposed Superman film. As a director, Ratner has only flattered to deceive. In fact, his one superhero film, X-Men: The Last Stand, is regarded by many to be the worst of Wolverine, Professor X and Magneto’s cinematic adventures. It lacks the depth, warmth and characterization of Bryan Singer’s X-Men and X2, and instead was a loud and convoluted mess.
But would Jude Law have made a good Superman? I am struggling to picture the impossibly English actor portraying the most popular American superhero of all time. That being said, it’s easy to forget just how talented Jude Law is, and I have faith that he would have knocked it out of the park if he had been cast. It’s still likely that Brett Ratner would have been his cinematic kryptonite though.