There's a famous story about Warren Beatty turning down the role of Superman (which ultimately went to newcomer Christopher Reeve) after taking the suit home for the weekend and deciding he looked ridiculous. That's a solid reason! Now you can add Jude Law to the list of actors who were unwilling to sacrifice their so-called dignity to play the Man of Steel; in a new interview with Stephen Colbert, the actor says he turned down the role in the project that eventually became Bryan Singer's Superman Returns partly because he's English (“I don't know, it just didn't seem to fit”) but also, mostly, because he couldn't stomach the idea of wearing the red-and-blue spandex over the course of an entire movie.
“This director was very keen to meet, and impressed it upon me and I was actually out in California, and he said, 'look, you gotta try the suit on, the suit's amazing, we've revamped the suit,'” said Law. “And I was like, 'okay, send the suit over…so there's a knock on my hotel room…there's a guard, a big guard, right, and this lady from the wardrobe, and they bring the suit in, and I'm, 'I'm not gonna try it on in front of you, I'm gonna go in the bathroom.' So I take the suit into the bathroom, and I'm putting it on, and then I look round, and I'm in the mirror, and suddenly I'm Superman. And the music suddenly comes…I stood there, and then I had this picture of me in that costume on posters all around the world, and I was like 'no way,' and I unzipped it. …I was Superman for two minutes, that's enough.”
One interesting thing about the Superman franchise is that, despite such established names as Beatty, Robert Redford, Burt Reynolds, Paul Newman, Brendan Fraser and Josh Hartnett being offered the role, no A-list actor has ever signed on to play him in a film that was actually produced (RIP Tim Burton's Superman Lives starring Nicolas Cage). Could the inherently dopey suit have something to do with that? Let's not kid ourselves.