Clint Eastwood is a unique individual in that he successfully transitioned from being an A-list actor to a prolific filmmaker and winner of multiple Oscars. He is exactly the sort of talent that attracts a lot of attention when he discusses roles he turned down or projects he selected to not become involved with in the past.
Eastwood spoke recently with Hero Complex and revealed that – in his heyday as a leading man – he had been offered the titular role in two tentpole franchises: Superman and James Bond. Strange it may seem, Dirty Harry himself was at one time approached to play both the Man of Steel and 007.
Here is how Eastwood himself put it:
“I can remember – and this was many years ago – when [Warner Bros. President] Frank Wells came to me about doing Superman… I was like, ‘Superman? Nah, nah, that’s not for me. Not that there’s anything wrong with it. It’s for somebody, but not me.”
“I was also offered pretty good money to do James Bond… This was after Sean Connery left… But to me, well, that was somebody else’s gig. That’s Sean’s deal. It didn’t feel right for me to be doing it.”
The idea of gruff-voiced tough guy Eastwood (instead of Christopher Reeeves) playing the Kryptonian Kal-El in Richard Donner’s 1978 Superman movie is strange enough – Eastwood in the role of silver-tongued Bond is even more difficult to comprehend.
“What could have happened” scenarios – whether it’s Eastwood as Superman or Sylvester Stallone as Han Solo – are always interesting to consider. Devout Screen Rant readers will recall that our 14 Actors Who Were Almost Superheroes feature from last May touched on that very subject.
Would Superman have been a grittier and less melodramatic film if Eastwood had taken up the offer? What about Bond movies from the 1970s, like Moonraker and Octopussy – how would they have played out with Eastwood in the lead? It may be trivial to speculate, but when has that stopped lovers of the cinema before?
For more of the interview with Eastwood – which includes information about the actor’s favorite comic book hero – read the full interview with the L.A. Times Hero Complex.
Images of Eastwood as Superman and James Bond were done by Kevin Lingenfelser.