Matt Bomer Wasn’t Denied Superman’s Cape Because He’s Gay, Says Source

In a recent interview, vampy romance novelist Jackie Collins suggested that out White Collar star Matt Bomer was passed over for the lead role in Superman Returns because he was gay.

[Matt] had not come out of the closet but people in the know knew he was gay,” she said in a chat with Gaydar Radio. “His auditiontape went in and he called up the agent. Someone didn’t like him and told them he was gay. They said, “No, no, we can’t cast you.’”

But a Hollywood insider tells E! that’s just not so, saying Bomer was the choice of director Brett Ratner and when Ratner left the project a new actor was pitched.

“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.”

Oddly, the director who did take over the film was Bryan Singer, who is both openly queer and one of Hollywood’s most bankable filmmakers. So if Bomer was ditched by Singer because he was gay, that’d be some really fucked-up internalized-homophobia jujitsu.

We’re not saying that kind of thing doesn’t happen—some claim it’s gay publicists, directors and execs keeping the Hollywood closet closed—but it would be a reach.

And let’s not forget Ratner got into hot water with the gays not long ago for saying rehearsals were for “faggots.” So who did care about Bomer’s sexuality and who didn’t? And would a Superman movie do big box office if its star was openly (or even rumored to be) gay?

Faster than a speeding bullet, share your thoughts in the comments field below!


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    i just don’t think he’s right for the part. but for me sexuality is not a factor in that. nor talent. just physicality. i.e monty clift wouldn’t work in the role, nor would james dean; young brando would. and so too would rock hudson. where is our modern day (out) rock hudson?

  • niles

    If the film was well done, it would have been a success. Actors act, that’s what they do. They shouldn’t and usually don’t drag their personal lives onto the screen.

  • StevieG

    I’m pretty sure it was for the latest film with Henry Cavil. Ratner was the director before he left and Zac Snyder took over. The Singer film was three or four years back.

  • MikeE

    @StevieG: I thought so as well, but looking up that Superman film’s original title (I think “Superman Flyby”) on Wikipedia, it does state that Ratner was slated to direct the film that eventually became “Superman Returns”, and that one of the choices for actor was Matt Bomer.

  • jim2008

    Matt deserves better material.

  • ChiChi Man

    At one time, I was critical of Matt Bomer when he was in the closet. But with the weekly articles about his orientation, I COMPLETELY understand his reluctance.

    He is a handsome, talented man and all anyone can talk about is gay this, gay that. Give me an article on his stylist (I’m BEGGING you) or his next project. Enough about whether or not he’s too gay to play straight.

  • Derek Williams

    Since Superman actually IS gay, Hollywood would have him played by a straight man, à la Brokeback Mountain.

  • StevieG

    Thanks, MikeE! Wow, I didn’t think Ratner was on board that far back! This must have been close to Matt’s show starting when he was still relatively unknown. I guess he ducked a bullet not getting cast in that film! : )

  • Wilberforce

    It’s difficult to talk sense with the identity politics crowd. But here goes.
    It’s about merit, not about cheering someone just because he’s part of your group.
    Bomer is wrong for the part. That’s obvious. He doesn’t have the bod, for one thing. He’s way too slight. He’s more cute than handsome. His features are not strong enough. And he’s openly queer, which would crush the box office (news flash: box office is what Hollywood is all about).
    The identity politics crowd is an endless waste of time and has totally weakened the left. They promote by group membership, not by merit. Which means we get second rate leaders, weak arguments, and failed strategy. It’s totally frustrating, since arguments that would flatten the right in three seconds are never made by our half-a—d leadership.

  • KirkR

    @Wilberforce: I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Matt and he’s about 5.11 with an athletic build as advertised , looked almost eye to eye to me at 6.1 and just an inch or so shy of Henry who ironically has his own past that might not play well with the Superman fan girls and boys. I agree with the above comment, Matt deserves better since he is a better actor and Superman films get no one anywhere career wise with the exception of Christopher Reeves.

  • MikeE

    @KirkR: Other than us now being able to say that Christopher Reeves really created an iconic performance of the Superman role, can we really say that it advanced his career much? None of his subsequent roles were really all that important. It’s not like his career took off.

  • hephaestion

    I love Matt Bomer to pieces… he is insanely talented and a very good man.
    But he is too short to play Superman. Superman is at least 6’2″, preferably taller.

  • lagunaflipsta

    Probably, he was denied because he’s too handsome!

  • LadyL

    Matt has a beautiful movie-star face, but I have to agree that he seems too slight for a superhero role. It’s doubtful to me that he’d have been dumped simply for being “known” to be gay before he came out because, please, the whole friggin’ history of Hollywood is closeted actors that everyone in the industry knows about nevertheless getting cast in hetero romantic and action leads. So long as they played the game and kept their mouths shut, nobody seemed to have a problem with the casting if they fit the role physically. Anyway I’d much prefer to see Matt doing the kinds of roles coming to Ryan Gosling these days (“Blue Valentine,” “Drive,” “The Ides of March”), and he might still.

    …And what was it I was reading recently about Christopher “Superman” Reeve and Casey Donovan/Cal Culver having had an affair in the anything-goes seventies…? Are we supposed to believe nobody “knew” about that?

  • MikeE

    @Derek Williams: I’m aware of pretty much all of Chris Reeves’ roles after Superman, some are among my favourite films. But you really can’t say that his career “took off” after Superman. None of the films he starred in were blockbusters, hits, Oscar contenders, anything.

    It’s not that I dislike Reeves, quite the contrary. I just don’t agree that he as the only Superman to continue on to greatness… I think he suffered the exact same fate as all other actors who’ve played the role: small careers, quiet, nothing major, and if it wasn’t for Superman, no real recognition.

  • Dumdum

    What’s wrong with Brandon Routh? He looks the part. He’s 6’3 with a great body. Hollywood is rife with hunky drop dead good looking out of work actors. I am sure they will have no trouble casting the part. Pound for pound I like Brandon, he makes my nasty parts tingle.

  • tazz602

    @Niles – you are correct – actors act – that is what they do – gay or straight – America hasn’t crumbled and the film industry hasn’t imploded because of gay actors playing macho, hypersexual or playboy straight roles, OR straight actors playing gay, OR – even worse, female actors playing male.

    Bomer wasn’t out to the public when he was in consideration, he was still relatively unknown, so that isn’t the issue. Hell, even NPH has played a straight version of himself and the Harold and Kumar franchise hasn’t suffered from that head scratching dichotomy. OK – that isn’t a great argument, I know – but still – NPH as himself as a womanizer?

    But honestly – if you put two unknowns, at the time, Matt Bomer and Brandon Routh together and say – “Which one LOOKS like Clark Kent and has the bulk to be Superman?” Well – no contest there. Sometimes you just don’t look the part.

  • phakedraparks

    That girl just wasn’t good for that role…

  • Cam

    It is hard to tell WHO would have been good in that movie. The director had all of the actors play such vacant emotionless parts that it was a struggle to watch.

  • Niall

    Maybe it’s a good thing for him because if he’d probably blown up and became a big star after the movie did well, he might have been pressured to stay in the closet a little or at least not be seen with his partner as much

  • Dumdum

    @Cam: Are you referring to the last Superman movie? If so then I must agree. Not because I like you. Or that I want to be your SPECIAL friend. And certainly not because I dream about you riding along the beach almost nude on any horse of your choosing. Though my personal favorite is the golden palomino with the white mane. Being an actor working long hours with a harness and green screen cannot be simple. I have a great deal of respect for actors in movies where CGI rules demand that one must create something from nothing. Any Gay man worth his salt at least tried his or her hand at theatre either in college or on the street. Who better knows how to pretend or to become something that you are not? However I digress. And digress even more. Does anyone recall Kids in The Hall? Scott Thompson’s Buddy Cole had me in stitches, as did Damon,and Alan on In living Color. Buddy Cole in prison for killing the lipsynching queen doing Peggy Lee? Priceless! My point is and I do have one somewhere. It is the old adage. Walk a mile in my shoes. Directors do control and we hope inspire, one to be more than the sum of their parts.

  • marco berger

    Sorry to kind of spam, BUT, pls check my Kickstarter project for a new independent movie. Nothing to do with Superman ;)


  • Brad007

    Matt Bomer wasn’t cast because he looks NOTHING like a superhero, especially one in the frame of Superman, the most iconic superhero of all time. And I doubt most of the lame-brain midwesterners who go to see these types of movies are aware of anything outside of their little suburban bubble, let alone that Bomer is gay.

  • SoapStud

    The above comments fail to mention the soap opera connection!

    Christopher Reeve = Ben Harper on “Love of Life” (CBS)

    Brandon Routh = Seth Anderson on “One Life to Live” (ABC)

    Matt Bomer = Ben Reade on “Guiding Light” (CBS)

  • dbmyers

    @hephaestion A purely awesome and delightful cinematic experience for GLBTQ members of the audience: The movie crowd reacts in stunned surprise and a desperate voice cries out: “Superman! Tell me it isn’t so!!!”

  • dbmyers

    @Derek Williams: Sorry this comment was actually in response to Derek Williams’ comment (not to hephaestion’s comment).

    A purely awesome and delightful cinematic experience for GLBTQ members of the audience (referring to the movie “Deathtrap” staring Michael Caine and Christopher Reeves):

    The movie crowd reacts in stunned surprise and a desperate voice cries out: “Superman! Tell us it isn’t true!!!” – the audience breaks into hearty laughter.

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