Matt Bomer says he lost his Superman deal after being outed as gay

Matt Bomer says he lost his Superman deal after being outed as gay

“That was a time in the industry when something like that could still really be weaponized against you,” the "Fellow Travelers" star said.

Matt Bomer says that he missed out on playing the Man of Steel due to his sexual orientation.

The Fellow Travelers star was set to play Superman on the big screen in the early 2000s — until he was outed as gay, which he thinks ultimately cost him the part, Bomer said in an interview with THR’s Awards Chatter podcast.

“I went in on a cattle call for Superman, and then it turned into a one-month audition experience where I was auditioning again and again and again,” he said. “It looked like I was the director’s choice for the role. This is a very early iteration of Superman written by J.J. Abrams, called Superman: Flyby, I think is what it was called, and it never came to light.”

<p>Emma McIntyre/Getty</p> Matt Bomer

Emma McIntyre/Getty

Matt Bomer

Superman: Flyby, which was also sometimes called Superman: Man of Steel, was one of several aborted Superman projects developed between 1987’s Superman IV: The Quest for Peace and 2006’s Superman Returns. Brett Ratner was hired to direct the project in 2002. Bomer was, indeed, Ratner’s choice for the role, but the studio reportedly wanted a bigger star like Brendan Fraser, which ultimately led the director to leave the project. (Josh Hartnett and Paul Walker both passed on the role, too.)

Related: White Collar reboot in the works with Matt Bomer

THR asked Bomer, who did not publicly come out until 2012, if his sexuality was a factor in the studio’s reluctance to hire him.

“Yeah, that’s my understanding,” he responded. “That was a time in the industry when something like that could still really be weaponized against you. How, and why, and who, I don’t know, but yeah, that’s my understanding.”

Bomer also said that he had signed a three-picture contract with the studio at one point.

A representative for Warner Bros. did not immediately respond to Entertainment Weekly’s request for comment.

<p>Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty</p> Matt Bomer

Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty

Matt Bomer

Related: Fellow Travelers review: Matt Bomer and Jonathan Bailey are sizzling, star-crossed lovers

In 2012, author Jackie Collins told Gaydar Radio that prejudice against Bomer’s sexuality stopped him from playing Clark Kent.

"Matt Bomer, who is the most gorgeous looking guy and the star of White Collar, he had not come out of the closet, but people in the know knew he was gay,” Collins said. "His audition tape went in and he called up the agent and somebody didn’t like him and told [the producers] he was gay. They said, ‘No, no, we can’t cast you.’ The reason he didn’t get cast was because he was gay.”

However, a source later told E! that Collins’ report wasn’t accurate, and that Bomer lost the part because Ratner left the project.

"Matt was Brett's Superman," the source said. "He would never have not cast Matt because he's gay. Brett knew Matt was gay. They're good friends. Matt not being Superman had nothing to do with his sexuality. It was because the director changed."

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<p>Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett</p> Brandon Routh in 'Superman Returns'

Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett

Brandon Routh in 'Superman Returns'

Earlier reports do indicate that filmmaker McG, who joined the project after Ratner’s departure, went back to the drawing board when casting Superman, suggesting that Bomer was out of the running once Ratner left. McG shot test footage with Jared Padalecki, Jason Behr, and Henry Cavill, who ultimately played the hero in the DCEU beginning in 2013’s Man of Steel. McG later left the project as well, which led Warner Bros. to hire Bryan Singer, who drastically retooled the film into Superman Returns — a film that saw newcomer Brandon Routh play the Man of Steel, and bears almost no resemblance to Abrams’ and Ratner’s prior versions.

Bomer ultimately did play Superman in the direct-to-DVD animated movie Superman: Unbound in 2013. The film also starred Stana Katic, John Noble, and Stephen Root.

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.