Will Smith, undoubtedly one of the most recognizable and successful actors in the illustrious realm of Hollywood, has left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry. With an impressive filmography filled with blockbuster hits, Smith’s career has been nothing short of stellar. However, what makes his journey even more intriguing is a pivotal moment when he was on the verge of donning the cape of an iconic superhero, aside from his memorable role as Hancock.

Will Smith
Will Smith

Surprisingly, he made the decision to turn down this opportunity, a decision that he openly discussed in an interview. In that revealing interview, the Oscar-winning actor disclosed that he had once been offered the role of Superman in the movie Superman Returns. However, fate had other plans, and Smith ultimately declined the role of Superman. The precise motivations for his choice remained enigmatic until he finally shed light on them, leaving fans to ponder the possibilities.

Will Smith’s Close Encounters with the Role of Superman

Superman Returns
Superman Returns

Will Smith, a beloved entertainer, has garnered a massive global fan base through iconic roles spanning The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Bad Boys, Men in Black, and more. At one pivotal juncture in his career, Smith found himself on the cusp of potentially redefining the superhero genre. The opportunity presented itself when he came close to clinching the role of Superman in the movie Superman Returns. This film marked the sixth installment in the original Superman series and carried the weight of a beloved legacy.

However, in a surprising turn of events, Smith made the decision to reject the role. The role of Superman, a character known for his unwavering commitment to justice and heroism, could have been an intriguing departure from Smith’s previous roles. Yet, he opted for a different path, one that led him to portray Hancock, a superpowered and somewhat nihilistic anti-hero, in an action comedy of the same name.

Ultimately, the role of Superman went to Brandon Routh. While Routh delivered a commendable performance, the role of Superman has remained a subject of passionate debate among fans. In the debate over who personifies Superman best, David Corenswet is hailed by some as the definitive Man of Steel, while others still hold a fondness for Henry Cavill’s portrayal. In this ongoing discourse, Will Smith’s rejection of the role in Superman Returns remains a noteworthy and intriguing aspect.

Also Read: Jada Pinkett Smith Likes a “Rugged” Will Smith More Than His Funny and Welcoming Side on the Big Screen

Why didn’t Will Smith don The Iconic Superman Suit?

Will Smith
Will Smith

Will Smith’s brief encounter with the Superman role marked a captivating chapter in Hollywood’s casting history. He once led the race to become the Man of Steel ahead of Henry Cavill, coinciding with a period of industry exploration into a cultural shift with a black actor as Superman. Smith’s path to this moment was influenced by past experiences, including his role as Jim West in Wild Wild West, a film that posed a significant career risk.

Also Read: Steven Spielberg Went Above and Beyond to Convince Will Smith After Rejecting $587M Movie Starring Tommy Lee Jones

In interviews, Smith expressed concerns, albeit seemingly in a lighthearted manner, about the possibility of facing backlash from some quarters if he were to portray Superman. He touched upon the idea that a negative response, especially from those who might object to a black actor in the role, could affect his future prospects in Hollywood. Smith told MTV,

“The last Superman I got offered. The script came, and I was like, ‘There is no way I’m playing Superman!’ Because I had already done Jim West [of ‘Wild Wild West’], and you can’t be messing up white people’s heroes in Hollywood! You mess up white people’s heroes in Hollywood, you’ll never work in this town again!”

Nonetheless, the hypothetical scenario of Will Smith as Superman remains an intriguing what-if in the world of superhero cinema. Ultimately, Fans may not have seen him as the Man of Steel, but they were treated to his own brand of superhero entertainment in Hancock, showcasing his enduring appeal in the world of cinema.

Also Read: Before Will Smith, Clint Eastwood Almost Starred in Steven Spielberg’s $589M Iconic Alien Movie

Source: MTV

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