Matt Bomer claims he lost out on Superman role because he was gay

Matt Bomer in a blue blazer and white shirt with silver chain poses for photos against an reddish background.

Fellow Travelers star Matt Bomer has suggested that he lost out on the opportunity to star as Superman in the early 2000s because he is gay.

The Golden Globe-winning actor has explained that he was due to star in Superman: Flyby, also known as Superman: Man of Steel, but the project fell through.

Superman: Flyby began production in 2004, with Brett Ratner in the director’s chair, and American Horror Story star Matt Bomer being seen as one of the top choices to play the famous superhero.

“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,” Bomer told the THR Awards Chatter podcast.

“It looked like I was the director’s choice for the role. This is a very early iteration of Superman written by JJ Abrams, called Superman: Flyby, I think is what it was called, and it never came to light.”

Matt Bomer in a black turtleneck and black jacket
Matt Bomer shares three children with his husband Simon Halls. (Bruce Glikas/Getty Images)

While Ratner was keen for Bomer to take on the role, the actor believes that there was hesitancy to hire him to play Clark Kent due to his sexuality.

You may like to watch

“Yeah, that’s my understanding,” he told podcast host Scott Feinberg when asked whether he thinks being gay was a factor in him losing the job.

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

Superman: Flyby would have marked the first live-action Superman film since 1987’s Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, but Ratner left the project due to conflict over which star should take the leading role.

Director McG then took on the directing responsibility, before he ultimately left the project too. Brian Singer then took over, and turned the film into what became the 2006 box office hit Superman Returns, with The Rookie actor Brandon Routh taking on the coveted superhero role.

Matt Bomer and Jonathan Bailey in Fellow Travellers.
Matt Bomer and Jonathan Bailey in Fellow Travellers. (Showtime)

Bomer, who recently starred alongside Bridgerton‘s Jonathan Bailey in gay historical drama Fellow Travelers, came out publicly as gay back in 2012 aged 34. However, author Jackie Collins previously said that “people in the know” knew about his sexuality, hence why he wasn’t cast as Superman.

“His audition tape went in and he called up the agent and somebody didn’t like him and told [the producers] he was gay. They said, ‘No, no, we can’t cast you.’ The reason he didn’t get cast was because he was gay,” Collins alleged at the time.

A source later refuted Collins’ claim, saying: “Matt not being Superman had nothing to do with his sexuality. It was because the director changed.”

Bomer would eventually get to play an iteration of the role, voicing the superhero in the 2013 animated film Superman: Unbound.

Please login or register to comment on this story.