"Something like that could still be weaponized against you" - Matt Bomer reveals he might have lost his Superman role due to being outed as gay

12th SCAD TVfest - "Fellow Travelers" And Award Presentation To Matt Bomer (The Hollywood Reporter
Matt Bomer at the 12th SCAD TVfest (image via Vivien Killilea/Getty Images)

Matt Bomer revealed he might have missed out on the chance to play Superman after being outed as gay. The White Collar star, who recently appeared on The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast, explained he was set to play the DC superhero during the early 2000s in an axed Warner Bros. film. He explained:

"I went in on a cattle call for Superman, and then it turned into a one-month audition experience where I was auditioning again and again and again. It looked like I was the director’s choice for the role."

Explaining that he even signed a three-picture deal with the studio, he continued:

"This is a very early iteration of Superman written by J.J. Abrams, called Superman: Flyby, I think is what it was called, and it never came to light."

When questioned whether his sexual orientation played a hand in him losing the Superman role, the 46-year-old actor replied:

"Yeah, that’s my understanding. That was a time in the industry when something like that could still really be weaponized against you. How, and why, and who (outed me), I don’t know."

Bomer did not publicly come out until 2012 while receiving a humanitarian award, where he thanked his husband and children.


Matt Bomer exited the CBS soap Guiding Light while auditioning for the Superman role

Per a March 2003 issue of Entertainment Weekly, Superman: Flyby, also called Superman: Man of Steel, was one of several scrapped films surrounding the DC superhero. Brett Ratner was hired to direct the film in 2002, and he indeed chose Matt Bomer as his titular hero.

However, due to the studio wanting a bigger star as their lead, Ratner exited the project. It was eventually scrapped in favor of Bryan Sinher's Superman Returns (2006), starring another soap actor, Brandon Routh.

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In his podcast interview, Matt Bomer also admitted to exiting the CBS soap opera Guiding Light as he auditioned for the role. He explained that the executive producer of the show wanted to "free" the actor in case the Superman job came through. The actor remarked:

"On Guiding Light, there was a killer in town... so the executive producer, very kindly, wanted to free me up just in case the (Superman) job came through. So [he) said, 'Hey, you're going to be the killer. We're writing you off the show; go with my blessing.' So, I basically got fired, but in a generous way."

In an October 2012 interview, author Jackie Collins told Gaydar Radio, while discussing prejudice against gay actors, that the reason he "didn’t get cast was because he was gay." However, a source told E!News that the 46-year-old was Brett's choice as Superman and lost the part because the latter exited the project.

Matt Bomer eventually voiced Superman in the animated movie Superman: Unbound (2013) which is available to stream on HBO Max.

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Edited by Prem Deshpande
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