Brendan Fraser and Fast & Furious star nearly played Superman

Brendan Fraser in Inkheart, the Superman 1979 poster, and Paul Walker and Vin Diesel in Fast and FuriousWarner Bros./Universal Pictures

Brendan Fraser has revealed he was once in line to play Superman, alongside one of the lead stars of the Fast & Furious franchise.

The Man of Steel mantle has been in a state of flux over the past few years. After donning the black suit in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Henry Cavill officially returned in Black Adam… only to get dropped a few weeks later.

James Gunn recently unveiled the beginnings of his rebooted DC Universe, with Superman: Legacy kicking off their first “Gods & Monsters” chapter.

Once upon a time though, before Cavill’s tenure as the hero, Brendan Fraser nearly played him.

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Brendan Fraser nearly played Superman

During a recent appearance on The Howard Stern Show, Fraser spoke about being in the running to play Superman in the early 2000s, likely before Brandon Routh was cast for Superman Returns.

He also revealed Paul Walker, the late star of the Fast and Furious movies, was up for the role.

“Everyone in town was reading for Superman… they were testing six or seven guys in 2002, 2003. I remember Paul Walker was before me. They were the usual suspects,” he said.

Fraser never got the role, of course – but he’s happy about it, because he didn’t want to be defined by one character.

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“Of course, it’s an amazing life-changing opportunity. But I had to reconcile with… okay, say you do get the job to be the Man of Steel. It’s gonna be chipped on your gravestone, are you okay with that? You will forevermore be known as the Man of Steel,” he continued.

“There was sort of a Faustian bargain that went into feeling… and I think inherently I didn’t want to be known for one thing, because I prided myself on diversity my whole professional life. I’m not a one-trick poney.”

The Whale Oscar-nominee was disappointed when it “didn’t come to fruition”, citing “shenanigans, studio politics” and only giving “98%” in his audition. In hindsight, he feels that was indicative of how he actually felt.

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