One of the most difficult tasks in filming Superman: The Movie was the casting of the Man of Steel, himself. The list of possible candidates was a veritable who’s who of 1970s top box office draws. Everyone from Burt Reynolds to Paul Newman to Dustin Hoffman… even Muhammad Ali? That one is even stranger than the candidate I was going to blog about. Can you possibly imagine “The Greatest” in the role.
Another contender for the dual role of Superman/Clark Kent was an actor who had (and still has) close ties to Warner Brothers Pictures. Clint Eastwood had already established himself as a different kind of action-hero. Can you imagine Dirty Harry rescuing a fluffy white kitten from a tree. He would be more likely to growl at the little girl and send her running in tears to her mother. Instead, we got an excited little tyke exclaiming to her mother that a man swooped out of the sky and rescued Frisky. Her reward… a slap for telling more lies.
As for Mr. Eastwood’s take on the offer made nearly 35 years ago: “it’s not for me. It’s meant for someone, just not me.” Thank goodness for that. He did agree that Christopher Reeve nailed the role. Incidentally, Clint was also offered the role of another iconic character back in the day. Read this to find out which one.