Movie Reviews

Jude Law Is Right, He Wouldn't Have Worked As Superman

Summary

  • Jude Law was almost cast as Superman but turned it down.
  • Jude Law’s perception that he wasn’t right for the role appears to be supported by his acting history.
  • Law’s acting career shows him at his best when playing morally complex roles, which clashes with the fundamental idea of Superman.



Jude Law has stated that he wouldn’t have worked as Superman in a DC movie, and he’s right. Superman is one of the most prolific superheroes in cinema, starring in four cinematic franchises across the last century. After Christopher Reeve’s rendition of the Man of Steel kicked off the superhero genre as audiences know it today, the pressure has been on casting directors to ensure actors can measure up to his seminal example. Similarly, the actors who portray the iconic DC character often feel under immense pressure to ensure they do it justice.

So far, this has been a relatively successful venture. Across all of Superman’s live-action appearances, the actors who have portrayed the Man of Steel have been largely met with approval from the fandom that has only grown since the early days of Superman’s movie history. Henry Cavill’s tenure as the most recent rendition of Superman on the big screen was a prime example, with even some who didn’t care for the DCEU timeline expressing sadness that the actor would no longer be in the role going forward into the DCU.


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Jude Law Was Almost Cast As Superman

Superman: Flyby was a canceled attempt to tell a very different Superman story. The ill-fated movie began production in the early 2000s, headed up by J.J. Abrams at a time before he would make waves in Hollywood with 2009’s Cloverfield and before Brandon Routh would continue the story of Christopher Reeve’s Superman in 2006. It was poised to retell Superman’s origin story, except this time Superman would die, visit his father Jor-El in heaven, and be resurrected to defeat four villainous Kryptonians on Earth. The plot was decidedly off-piste and might have been even weirder if initial plans went ahead.


Jude Law was reportedly approached for the titular role (via The Playlist), only for him to turn it down, stating “I just thought, ‘No, you can’t – you can’t do this. You can’t.’ And I didn’t sell myself to myself.” Law even got as far as donning the suit for the movie, which he described as “metallic,” suggesting that it may have looked similar to the Nicolas Cage’s Superman suit in the also-canceled Superman Lives. Though images would never emerge of Jude Law in the iconic outfit, it isn’t hard to see where the actor was coming from.

Jude Law’s Best Roles Prove Why He Was Wrong For Superman


Jude Law would go on to star in a superhero movie regardless, as the villainous Yon-Rogg in Captain Marvel. Yet the differences between Superman and Yon-Rogg are stark, and exemplify why Law would never have worked as Superman. More of his famous roles include Albus Dumbledore in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, Dickie Greenleaf in The Talented Mr. Ripley, and Inman in Cold Mountain. Evidently, Jude Law excels at playing morally complex characters, which does not marry up to Superman’s unassailable righteousness.

Nonetheless, Jude Law would make a valuable addition to the DCU in another role. Casting decisions for DC’s new cinematic franchise are being steadily revealed as the debut movie Superman approaches, in which the comparatively obscure David Corenswet stars in the eponymous role. These casting decisions have been met with positivity thus far, and casting Jude Law in a complex role – either villainous or heroic – would play to his strengths far more than Superman ever could.


Source: The Playlist

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