Matt Bomer Lost ‘Superman’ Role Due to Being Outed

Read on to learn why Matt Bomer of Fellow Travelers was booted from a starring role in a Superman franchise.

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In a June 10th episode of the Awards Chatter podcast, actor Matt Bomer revealed that he missed out on a promising Superman role due to his sexuality. The Fellow Travelers star was up for a role in Superman: Flyby, a movie that was eventually dropped completely.

The Rise of Matt Bomer

Matt Bomer came out as gay in 2012, thanking his husband and kids while accepting the Steve Chase Humanitarian Award. He has been happily married for over a decade, raising three boys in the process. Following the success of his regular role on the soap Guiding Light, he’s become a series’ regular in shows like White Collar and Fellow Travelers, as well as starring in several Magic Mike movies.

Producers’ Prejudice

Superman: Flyby was considering Bomer for the lead role way back in 2003, nine years before he came out. Director Brett Ratner headed the project but departed his role after receiving major pushback on his choice of lead actor. Bomer explains in Awards Chatter that the reason for the producers’ hesitation to cast him lies solely on his sexuality, which was later confirmed by author Jackie Collins. This was, however, disputed by another source that says the director was fully aware of Bomer being gay and was willing to still work with him. This may have been alleged to be true, though it wasn’t due to the director’s but to the producer’s pushback that Bomer was dropped.

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Either way, 2003 was a year in which heterosexuality was the norm, and it wasn’t as widely accepted to be anything other than that. Even if Bomer wasn’t booted from Superman: Flyby solely because of his sexuality, it likely had something to do with it, even if the producers didn’t think so. Unconscious biases were and still are strong in this industry, and queerness often led to less desirable, strong male leads.

That was a time in the industry when something like that could still really be weaponized against you.

Matt Bomer, Awards Chatter Podcast
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Luckily within in the last decade, this opinion has declined massively. Bomer went on to voice Superman/Clark Kent in a 2013 animated Superman film. Director Brett Ratner was also somewhat unharmed by the failure of his film, going on to produce blockbusters like The Revenant as well as directing the third and final Rush Hour movie, the series that led to his notoriety. He also directed a ton of Mariah Carey music videos, which is VERY cool in my opinion.


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