Brendan Fraser Superman
Brendan Fraser in The Mummy. Photo credit: Universal Pictures

Brendan Fraser almost got a chance to play Superman in the early 2000s. Now, he feels like it was for the best that it didn’t come to fruition.

The Whale star told Howard Stern the story of how he auditioned and got pretty far in the casting process for JJ Abrams’ Superman: Flyby move around 2002.

“Everyone in town was reading for Superman. Like, again, we’re testing I think six or seven guys in 2002, 2003,” Fraser told Stern. “I remember Paul Walker was before me. They were like the usual suspects.”

Brendan Fraser’s Superman Philosophy

But as amazing as it would be to play Superman, Fraser was also wary of being branded as that role forever.

“Of course, it’s a life-changing amazing opportunity. But I had to reconcile with, ‘OK, say you do get the job to be the Man of Steel, it’s gonna be chipped on your gravestone. Are you OK with that? I mean, forever more known as the Man of Steel,’” Fraser said.

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“There was a sort of Faustian bargain that went into feeling — and I think inherently, I didn’t want to be known for only one thing, because I prided myself on diversity my whole professional life and I’m not a one-trick pony.”

When the movie ultimately ended up being canned, Fraser said he was “disappointed,” but not totally surprised.

“I felt disappointed that there was an amazing opportunity and it didn’t come to fruition,” Fraser said. “It had to do a lot with some shenanigans and studio politics. And probably, probably, inherently, in my screen test. I think that’s why you test. They could kind of see I was only there like 98 percent.”

Watch Fraser’s full Superman talk with Howard Stern in the video below.

Main Image: Brendan Fraser in The Mummy. Photo credit: Universal Pictures