Many actors would jump at the chance to join the DC Universe, but years ago, Jude Law rebuffed director Bryan Singer’s attempts to get him to star in 2006’s Superman Returns. While sitting down with Stephen Colbert on The Late Show, he revealed his reasons for opting out, the biggest of which seems to have been the iconic costume.
Law reminded viewers that this was the reboot before the most recent reboot, so the role he passed on ultimately went to actor Brandon Routh. (Our current Superman, Henry Cavill, later took over as the superhero in 2013’s Man of Steel.) From the start, it sounds like Law was not overly interested. He gave Colbert a number of reasons, including, “It didn’t float my boat,” “I’m an Englishman,” and “I just didn’t fancy it.”
Another big concern, he revealed, was the Superman costume. In spite of his many reservations, he let Singer send the new version over so he could try it on. When it arrived — with a guard in tow — he suited up in the bathroom and looked in the mirror.
“Suddenly, I’m Superman,” he recalled of the experience. “And then I have this picture … of me in that costume, you know, on posters all around the world, and I was like, ‘No way.'”
Colbert wanted to know if he had taken a selfie to commemorate the moment, but Law shared that he only has the memories in his head. “I was Superman for two minutes,” he said. “That’s enough.”
While it is fun to speculate on how the franchise’s path may have differed had he wanted to play the Man of Steel, Law has done just fine without taking the role. The actor stars in the upcoming biopic Genius alongside the likes of Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, and Guy Peace.
Genius hits theaters on June 10.