The film history of Superman has been topsy-turvy to say the least. Laying dormant for nearly two decades after the debacle of Cannon Films’ Superman IV: The Quest For Peace, there were many attempts to ressuciate the Man of Steel before Bryan Singer’s 2006 Superman Returns, and the consequent reboot Man of Steel in 2013.
One director who had hopes of bringing his vision to the screen in the 2000s was director Brett Ratner (Red Dragon, Hercules). He looked set to take the reigns thanks to a script from J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and he was very close to casting his Superman, in the form of Jude Law, who was the director’s first choice.
Law has been very quiet on the project ever since he toyed with the film around 2000-2002, and even tried on the costume, but has broken his silence in a chat with MTV whilst publicising his new film Black Sea: “At the time I didn’t really want to [do it]. I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life being the guy who played Superman.”
But like many of the Superman projects around the time, it never took off and Warner Bros when back to square one, though not before Law got his hands on the famous costume.
“I go in the bathroom, put it on and look in the mirror and suddenly, I am Superman. That was it. I got it out of my system, I took it off, put it in the bag… No need for the rest of the world to see me.”
In the circumstances, you certainly won’t find any pre-production pictures of Law in the suit a la Nicolas Cage in the aborted Superman Lives, but it does put an image in every Superman fan’s head of what could have been.
Superman returns next year in Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, portrayed again by Man of Steel’s Henry Cavil alongside Ben Affleck’s Dark Knight.