Jude Law Says He Turned Down Playing Superman After Trying on Costume

Jude Law is the latest actor to share that he was almost Superman for Warner Bros.

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's -- definitely not Jude Law! During an appearance on The Playlist's The Discourse podcast, the 51-year-old Firebrand star revealed that he was one of the many actors to audition for a chance at playing the iconic cape-wearing superhero in the 2000s.

As Law recalled, he auditioned for Warner Bros. Pictures during preproduction with filmmaker Brett Ratner for a project known as Superman: Flyby.

"There was a process of flirtation going on," he said. "And I always resisted because it just felt like [off]. And I know you can say, 'Well, but you played Yon-Rogg and Dumbledore!' It just felt like a step too far."

Law told the podcast hosts that he doesn't remember "reading" a script, so production probably hadn't written one yet. "This is a long time ago. They brought me the suit. They thought, 'This might change your mind.'"

Jude Law - John Nacion/WireImage

Establishing that the suit wasn't the iconic blue and red that Christopher Reeve made famous, Law continued, "Anyway, I tried it on and I looked in the mirror and part of me initially was like, 'Wow, this would be a [good thing],' and then I just thought, 'No, you can't - you can't do this. You can't.'"

"And I didn't sell myself to myself. And I stepped away and the film never happened anyway," he added. "So maybe it probably wouldn't have done anything."

Law is the latest actor to open up about his brief brush with superhero tights; Matt Bomer recently discussed his audition for Ratner during an appearance on The Hollywood Reporter's Awards Chatter podcast on Monday. According to Bomer, it was his "understanding" that he lost the role after he was outed as gay.

"It looked like I was the director's choice for the role," Bomer claimed. "I signed a three-picture deal at Warner Bros."

"That was a time in the industry when something like that could still really be weaponized against you," Bomer, 46, said, after he was asked if his sexual orientation ultimately affected his casting. "How, and why, and who, I don't know, but yeah, that's my understanding."

Matt Bomer quietly wed his longtime love, power publicist Simon Halls, back in 2011. The couple share three sons, Henry, Walker and Kit. - Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Coincidentally, Ratner's Superman project never got off the ground. Bryan Singer would later revive the production and release 2006's Superman Returns with Brandon Routh in the title role. 

Meanwhile, a new iteration of Superman is gearing up to hit the big screen. Writer-director James Gunn is taking on the classic comic book hero for his first feature film as the co-head of DC Studios.

When Gunn and co-head Peter Safran announced their plan for the new DC Universe, beginning with their Chapter One: Gods and Monsters slate, Safran described their updated take on Clark Kent/Superman. While it's not an origin story, the film -- originally announced as Superman: Legacy but now simply titled Superman -- will focus on the character "balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing."

Writer-director James Gunn is taking on the classic comic book hero for his first feature film as the co-head of DC Studios. - Getty

The Politician's David Corenswet takes on the cape in Superman as the Man of Steel, aka Clark Kent, with The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel star Rachel Brosnahan as his Lois Lane.

When announcing the project, Safran described Corenswet's version of Superman as "the embodiment of truth, justice and the American way; he's kindness in a world that thinks of kindness as old fashioned."

Corenswet's take on Clark Kent is approximately 25 years old in the film -- making him older than Tom Welling's high school version of the character in Smallville, but younger than Henry Cavill's version from the DCEU.

When ET spoke with Brosnahan at the Critics Choice Awards in January 2024, she offered three words to describe her version of the iconic character.

"Feisty, dare I say, marvelous, and fiercely intelligent," the actress said.

The star-studded cast also features Milly AlcockIsabela MercedNicholas HoultNathan FillionAnthony CarriganSkyler GisondoWendell PierceBeck Bennett, Nathan Fillion and more.

Gunn has also shared that the film is "very inspired" by the 2005-08 All-Star Superman comic run by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. The 12-issue series sees Superman dying of radiation exposure from the sun and pushing himself to accomplish the "Twelve Labors of Superman" -- heroic feats that aid both humans and Kryptonians.

Fillion told ET in February 2024 that the cast was holding its first table read later that month. Filming began on Feb. 29, 2024, with one week on location in Svalbard, Norway, which Gunn chose as the location for Superman's Fortress of Solitude. 

The film is set to be released in theaters on July 11, 2025.