Brendan Fraser was asked to don the super-spandex in the J.J. Abrams' Superman: Flyby film (which was being developed way back in '02- '04). But the incredibly complicated story of Abrams' Superman never panned out, but I still want to see the sweeping Kryptonian civil war trilogy, featuring Lex Luthor as an X-Filesagent. Fraser sheds some light on Adrams' script, and we talk about yet another Supes movie that became Hollywood road kill.
So what happened — why didn't the Mummy star get the role? Well the whole movie simply imploded around itself. It got as far as Fraser doing some test footage as Superman, which is still out there somewhere. Fraser was so excited, his teeth were sweating, but he still had to think about taking on such an iconic role. He was mulling it over for all of 28 minutes, but then it fell through, he explains to the Voices From Krypton:
It seems as if then the big monster studio machine and all the machinations behind it, all the cogs and wheels rolling, suddenly it went from an 'offer' to 'subject to a screen test' blah, blah, blah, 'subject to approval'...
Unless Abrams was looking to do a giant parody of Supes, I really can't even comprehend why he would want Fraser to star in this role. Fraser is at his best when he's playing a comedy role — you know, the wacky, zany hero that turns on the sexy charm to kill some mummies. He has entirely too much personality to play Superman.
Even when he's "you-killed-my-wife" angry, you can see a glimmer of a smirk in his big doe-eyes. Sorry, Fraser would have been to Superman what George Clooney was to Batman.
Fraser did, however, get a chance to see the Abrams' Superman script which he called deemed far superior to the Superman movie that actually got made:
"In my view, and I say this with respect, it's far superior than Bryan Singer's [Superman Returns film]. J.J. had a vision that was larger. It spanned galaxies. It was Lord of the Rings. I mean, it was that huge. It was like a Third World War on Earth involving different planets and universes, and brotherhoods - sibling rivalry and the collision of enormous powers. I mean, come on, it wasn't smacking you over the head with a symbolic hammer till you weren't paying attention. That's how good J.J. is."
Abrams' Superman: Flyby was another look at the Supes origin story which took place on the home planet of Kyrpton. Strangely enough in some of Abrams' drafts, Krypton was heavy with vegetation, quite different from the crystal palace look from comics and previous movies. Krypton was in a civil war and Supes' daddy (Jor-El) was leading one side against his evil bro Kata-Zor. Of course, Supes is sent to Earth for protection, but in Abrams' script it's from the war not from the impending planetary doom. In the end Kata-Zor tracks down Superman, who was raised by the Earthly Kents, for revenge.
On Earth, Lex Luthor is a CIA Agent who specializes in X-Files-type cases, Clark meets Lois Lane before she's a reporter, and the super suit is actually a living liquid contraption that sucks Clark Kent into it. Of course Kata-Zor finds Clark and sends his own son Ty-Zor to Earth to murder the son of his brother. In a surprising twist, Supes dies but his father (also dead) brings him back to life to defeat his cousin and his gang of Kryptonians. But wait, that's not it — it turns out Lex Luthor is also a Kryptonian and now they have to fight, ending in a massive cliff hanger.
Sounds crazy, no? It also sounds very different than the script version that Latino Review got hold of at the time. This movie went through so many generations it's hard to say where it all ended.
So what happened? After a battle over casting, the original director, Brett Ratner, left. Stepping up to fill his place was T4 director McG. At one point, Anthony Hopkins and Johnny Deep were being tossed around as Lex Luthor. After Fraser was in the running for Superman, other possiblities were Josh Hartnett, Jude Law (seriously?), Ashton Kutcher, Matthew Bomer and Paul Walker. (No wonder they had trouble, what a terrible round up.) As for the role of Lois Lane, there were mutterings of Scarlett Johansson and Selma Blair. But apparently, no one no one could come to terms with any of these ideas or budget concerns, because eventually McG walked.
Still what amazes me the most is that somewhere out there in Hollywood is a tape where Fraser is Superman, this I need to see. Again I applaud his humor: Tarzan, yes. Superman, no. Fraser, go make another Bedazzled, now that was some of your better parodying.
[Voices From Krypton via Coventry Telegraph]