Matt Bomer Says He Once Lost Out on Superman Role After He Was Outed as Gay: 'That's My Understanding'

Matt Bomer said he at one point signed a three-picture deal to portray Superman for Warner Bros. Pictures before his casting fell through in the mid-2000s

<p> Kayla Oaddams/FilmMagic; Warner Bros/Dc Comics/Kobal/Shutterstock</p> Matt Bomer and Brandon Routh in 2006

Kayla Oaddams/FilmMagic; Warner Bros/Dc Comics/Kobal/Shutterstock

Matt Bomer and Brandon Routh in 2006's Superman Returns

Matt Bomer says he was passed over to play Superman in the 2000s due to his sexuality.

When Bomer, 46, appeared on the Monday, June 10 episode of The Hollywood Reporter's Awards Chatter podcast, the actor recalled that he was at one time under heavy consideration to portray Clark Kent/Superman in a film that was ultimately never made.

"This is a very early iteration of Superman written by J.J. Abrams, called Superman: Flyby, I think is what it was called, and it never came to light," Bomer remembered, adding that his producers on the soap opera Guiding Light even wrote off his character because they felt he had a chance to portray the major superhero character.

“It looked like I was the director’s choice for the role,” Bomer said. “I signed a three-picture deal at Warner Bros.”

When Bomer,who did not publicly come out until 2012, was asked whether his sexual orientation ultimately affected his casting, he said, “Yeah, that’s my understanding."

"That was a time in the industry when something like that could still really be weaponized against you," he added. "How, and why, and who, I don’t know, but yeah, that’s my understanding.”

A representative for Warner Bros. did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

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<p>Moviestore/Shutterstock</p> Brandon Routh in 2006's Superman Returns


Brandon Routh in 2006's Superman Returns

Bomer came out as gay publicly in 2012 when he thanked his husband Simon Halls and their three children while accepting an honor at the Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards. As he said on the podcast, no Superman: Flyby film was ever made. In 2006, filmmaker Bryan Singer ultimately released the next film in the franchise, Superman Returns, with Brandon Routh in the title role.

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Author Jackie Collins once told a similar story to Bomer's in a 2012 interview with Gaydar Radio, according to Advocate.

Related: Matt Bomer Says He and Jonathan Bailey Are 'Bonded for Life' After Toe-Sucking Scene in Fellow Travelers (Exclusive)

<p>Jesse Grant/Variety via Getty</p> Matt Bomer on June 1, 2024

Jesse Grant/Variety via Getty

Matt Bomer on June 1, 2024

"Someone didn't like him and told [the producers] he was gay," she said of Bomer's casting experience at that time, as the outlet reported. "They said, 'No, no, we can't cast you.' The reason he didn't get cast was because he was gay."

James Gunn’s Superman reboot Superman: Legacy is scheduled for release next summer, starring David Corenswet in the title role.

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