Jude Law reveals he turned down playing Superman: ‘It just felt like a step too far’

<span>Not getting into character … Jude Law at the Tribeca festival in New York this week.</span><span>Photograph: Lev Radin/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock</span>
Not getting into character … Jude Law at the Tribeca festival in New York this week.Photograph: Lev Radin/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock

Jude Law has spoken out about his decision to decline the role of Superman 20 years ago because “it just felt off”.

Speaking on The Playlist’s Discourse podcast, Law conceded that his resistance to joining a franchise seemed unlikely, given his later involvement in the Captain Marvel and the Fantastic Beasts series, but that he had never been especially keen to take the lead in the axed 2002 Superman film Flyby.

“So this is true. Yeah. And there was a process of flirtation going on,” Law 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.

“It was when Brett Ratner was going to direct, I think. And they didn’t have a script, if I remember rightly,” Law continued. “Did they have a script? I don’t remember reading one. This is a long time ago. They brought me the suit. They thought, ‘This might change your mind.’”

Yet even the outfit – a more metallic getup than that worn by Christopher Reeve – failed to convince Law.

“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,’” Law said. “And I didn’t sell myself to myself. And I stepped away and the film never happened anyway. So maybe it probably wouldn’t have done anything.”

The film eventually collapsed, and in 2006 Warner Bros released the Bryan Singer directed Superman Returns starring Brandon Routh.

Related: Matt Bomer claims he missed out on Superman role because of his sexuality

Earlier in the week, the actor Matt Bomer said he was in prime position for the lead in the 2003 Superman film, but that his sexuality kiboshed his chances.

“That was a time in the industry when something like that could still really be weaponised against you,” Bomer said. “How, and why, and who, I don’t know, but yeah, that’s my understanding.”