Brendan Fraser, the actor who found immense success in the 1990s with films like The Mummy and George of the Jungle, was recently profiled in an extensive and emotional piece for GQ Magazine. It’s highly recommended reading for a number of reasons, but one of the interesting stories Fraser tells is that he was once considered for a Superman film.
That film would go on to become Superman Returns but this revelation got me so excited at the potential of Brendan Fraser as the Last Son of Krypton. Of course, many people might be asking, “How could he possibly play Superman? He’s too old for the part and they already have Henry Cavill as Superman!”
Here’s how Brendan Fraser could get to play Superman and why it’s a perfect role for him.
The DC Standalone Universe
With the news about a Joker standalone movie causing all kinds of waves, now is the perfect time to start exploring other potential DC standalone stories. It’s a fantastic way for DC to differentiate themselves from what Marvel is doing. And a Superman standalone could really work when it comes to winning over certain fans who haven’t been as crazy about the DC Extended Universe version of the character.
And there is a perfect story to take inspiration from: All-Star Superman. The landmark comic was already adapted into a very faithful animated feature, but a standalone film shouldn’t be a direct adaptation of the comic. Instead, the movie could use the central idea of the graphic novel — an older Superman is given a death sentence and decides to go about putting his affairs in order — as a jumping off point to explore the character of Superman and what he means to the world.
It’s an inspiring, colorful, hope-filled, and poignant tale that’s perfect for giving audiences a cinematic reevaluation of the character of Superman. And since it wouldn’t have to be faithful to the tone or aesthetic of the DC Extended Universe films, it could present a Superman that feels more in tune with a classic interpretation of the character.
Heck, it wouldn’t even have to be set in a totally realistic world! It could be like Superman: The Animated Series in that way. Considering how fans love that kind of approach to these characters, it seems like a no-brainer.
Why Brendan Fraser?
So, that’s the “how?” out of the way. Now, we get to the “why?” of the matter. It’s hard to fight for this against someone who has never seen Brendan Fraser act. There is so much about his style of acting that is naturally charming. He embodies warmth and sweetness in every role that he played. That’s a quality that is crucial to Superman; he must exude the kind of charisma that would make him a beloved figure for all of humanity.
While Fraser is remembered for primarily comedic roles, it’s also worth noting that he does have serious dramatic chops. He’s recently been cast as the lead in Trust, the new series from Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, 28 Days Later) about the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III. This is the same topic that was recently covered in Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World. And simply seeing Fraser on the screen has got many people giddy for his return.
Plus, if Ben Affleck can play an older Batman, why couldn’t Fraser be an older Superman? He still looks great and his face and eyes haven’t lost any of their softness. If you can’t see him as Superman, you need to watch this scene from The Quiet American and try to convince yourself that Fraser isn’t already a perfect-looking Clark Kent:
The idea of Brendan Fraser being so close to a role that seems tailormade for his talents and then having that ripped away for awful reasons is heartbreaking. If DC and Warner Bros. want to win fans over in a big way, giving Fraser another shot at the red cape would be a slam dunk. If he has any interest in such a project — it’s understandable if he wouldn’t — then DC should fast-track that flick as soon as possible.