Will Smith almost played the lead role in Superman Returns, and here’s what could have happened to DC and Hollywood had he taken on the role.
Will Smith almost played the lead in Superman Returns, and here’s what could have happened to DC and Hollywood had he taken on the role. While some still try to argue that Smith has limited acting reach, some of his performances strongly argue otherwise. It’s not impossible to imagine him playing the Man of Steel, although he would likely need to tamp down some of his more exaggerated mannerisms present in roles like Men in blackAgent Jay or Bad Boys“Mike Lowrey.
That’s only because Superman and his alter ego Clark Kent tend to be much more soft-spoken, sometimes reserved characters outside of when Superman blasts villains. With roles like Dr. Robert Neville in I’m a legend However, Smith has proven that he can indeed hold back on some of the signature phrases and physicality that have become associated with much of his work. Smith is indeed an A-lister, but that doesn’t mean he’s not really talented.
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In interviews done years ago, Smith revealed that he was offered the role of Superman in Superman Returns, but refused it. If he had decided to become Superman, it could well have had a substantial butterfly effect on DC films and on Hollywood in general.
Why Will Smith refused Superman’s return
In that aforementioned interview, Will Smith set out his reasoning for denying the chance to star in Superman Returns, although it is not clear how serious he was. Smith said he turned down the role of Superman over concerns over white people ‘s reaction to a black man reprising a famous character who had always been played by white actors before. He cited that he had done something similar before playing the previously white character Jim West in Wild Wild West, to which he presumably suffered some type of reaction.
Smith went on to express, again apparently not quite serious, a fear that such a white backlash against him playing Superman could affect his ability to secure future work in Hollywood. While it’s sadly likely that there was indeed some sort of backlash against his casting, as happened when Michael B. Jordan played Human Torch, it’s unlikely that it affected Smith’s career. because it was a huge box office draw at the time. .
Will Smith’s Superman would have been very different
There is no doubt that a Superman played by Will Smith would indeed have been different from any version before or since, and not just for the obvious reason the character is black. Every other movie, Superman – Christopher Reeve, Brandon Routh, and Henry Cavill – have done their best to live up to the standard portrayal of the Man of Steel, both in appearance and in appearance.
Smith is a very expressive actor, both on the face and through body language, and also brings with him an established A-list personality that none of the others had. As mentioned above, he could definitely try to tamp down some of his hallmarks – it’s hard to imagine Superman busting the infamous “OH HELL NO!” Smith has said in several movies – but at the end of the day it might be a little hard not to see Smith playing Superman instead of just Superman.
Superman’s comeback would have been a bigger hit with Will Smith
While Smith isn’t quite the guaranteed box office record holder today that he was – though he still starred in big hits every now and then – in the mid-2000s, he was still firmly in the Hollywood mountain top. Superman Returns, while getting mostly positive reviews from critics, was a small flop at the box office, failing even to double its massive $ 200 million budget in theaters, and probably not seeing much of a comeback. on investment before home video.
Smith playing in the movie instead of newcomer Brandon Routh would have instantly done Superman Returns in a bigger deal, and probably secured a bigger box office circulation. However, as suggested above, with a star as large as Smith in mind, Superman Returns could have been very different. It’s possible that the script was tailored to suit him, and that he didn’t end up telling the same story ultimately told on screen.
What would Smith’s Superman mean for the DC movies
It was the failure of Superman Returns which led DC to return to the drawing board and try to reinvent the Superman movies, ultimately leading to Zack Snyder Steel man, and the subsequent creation of the DCEU. Only seven years have separated the release of Superman Returns and Steel man, what if Smith Superman Returns would have done the bank, the logical choice would be to make a sequel with him too. If that had happened, DC’s current cinematic landscape could be entirely different.
Had Superman Returns been a hit, and Smith starred in a sequel, it’s possible the DCEU wouldn’t exist at all, at least not in its current form. Maybe Batman and Superman could still have shared the screen, but in a crossover with Smith and Christian Bale. Superman may never have been subjected to Snyder’s characteristic obscurity and has stayed in tune with Reeve’s more optimistic films. Smith obviously wouldn’t have continued playing Deadshot either, assuming the Suicide Squad is still making their way to the big screen. The potential implications of Smith’s timeline being Superman are mind-boggling.
How Hollywood would be different with Will Smith’s Superman
Starting in 2008, Will Smith took a multi-year hiatus from gambling. If Smith had been a successful Superman and DC had been willing to save the money truck to his house for other movies, he is highly unlikely that Smith would have taken that break, or at least he would have taken a much shorter one. That alone would have implications for the hit scene. A strong Superman franchise, or even an earlier variation of a shared DC movie universe, could also have potentially competed with Marvel Studios’ MCU much earlier and not have to rush things that much.
Making Superman black would also have broken down barriers to representation in superhero movies long before those barriers began to be crossed in reality. A black Superman in Superman Returns could have meant as much to the black community as the late black panther Chadwick Boseman, but twelve years earlier. Until the ability to travel the multiverse is invented, we will never know for sure.
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