I sure do, I was writing for a gossip magazine at the time who considered it – rather amusingly – headline news.
Those of us who’d been following the long-gestating search for a new Superman at the time though, knew that Brendan Fraser would likely be one of hundreds of young, fit Hollywood-types meeting with the studio about the part. And, after everyone from Paul Walker to Josh Hartnett and even Heath Ledger revealed later that they too had to met about starring in the film that would ultimately become “Superman Returns”, that assumption was solidified.
Courtney Cox, on the other hand, was one of a few rumoured Lois Lane’s at the time – but her association with the part likely stemmed from her link to WB at the time, being that she was a studio darling because she was in the number one show on TV (“Friends”). How far down the river they actually got with Cox, I do not know.
All these years later, Fraser – who at the time was headlining the money-spinning “The Mummy” franchise – spoke this week about his audition, way back when, for Superman. His audition, he says, wasn’t so successful.
“I auditioned for Superman [in what would become Superman Returns],” Fraser told SyFy Wire. “I even wore the suit.”
Fraser, reading for a JJ Abrams-penned script titled ‘Superman : Flyby’, met with the film’s director Brett Ratner – who he describes as a bit ‘woo hoo’.
“It was cool, it was pretty cool. I mean, I didn’t get the job. It went away,” Fraser said. “Brett Ratner was a bit “woo hoo” in those days, and that’s well documented. And that was a script J.J. Abrams wrote but it never got made. And it was freaking Shakespeare in space. It was so cool. It was worlds colliding and, it was really, really cool. But you know, I hear he’s done well since then.”
During development of the film, Ratner told Moviehole that he had his eye on Anthony Hopkins to play Jor-El. He also wasn’t against casting an unknown for the main roles.
“I’m going to do a search for Superman – maybe an unknown – and surround him with a great Lex Luthor and a great Jimmy Olsen. I might just find Superman on the New York Stage or something.”
Ultimately, Rather exited the project and passed the baton to McG.
Fraser now plays another superhero, Robot Man on DC Universal’s brilliant “Doom Patrol”.