Young Clint Eastwood was Offered Superman & James Bond
The Hollywood icon could have donned the Man of Steel's tights or wielded Bond's Walther PPK, but the character he would have jumped at was Namor, Prince of Atlantis.
During a recent interview, promoting his next directorial project, Hereafter, Clint Eastwood reminisced with the LA Times Hero Complex about his changes to appear in Richard Donner's 1978 film Superman and as a replacement for the original 007, Sean Connery:
“I can remember – and this was many years ago – when [Warner Bros. President] Frank Wells came to me about doing Superman. So it could have happened. This was when they first started to think about making it. 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.
"[Typecasting] was part of the consideration, a big part. Look at Reeve, he was excellent. That was a big factor. You get a role like that, and it locks you in a bit. True, I had the western genre and the ‘Dirty Harry’ role, but everybody made westerns and did cop movies; they didn’t seem as bad.”
Eastwood grew to fame portraying gritty characters such as Josey Wales, Blondie (the Good, the Bad and the Ugly) and, of course, "Dirty" Harry Callahan. He has worked almost exclusively with Warner Bros over his 50 year career; also directing many films including Heartbreak Ridge, Million Dollar Baby and Grad Torino. How did this American icon come so close to playing a British super spy?
“I was also offered pretty good money to do James Bond if I would take on the role. This was after Sean Connery left. My lawyer represented the Broccolis [who produce the Bond franchise], and he came and said, ‘They would love to have you.’ 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. I always liked characters that were more grounded in reality. Maybe they do super things or more-than-human things — like Dirty Harry, he has a knack for doing crazy things, or the western guys — but, still, they’re not caped crusaders.”
There was one pop culture character Eastwood seemed very enthused about and, more than likely, would have loved to portray while in his prime:
"The Sub-Mariner, that’s the one I always liked. I had all of those comics when I was a kid.”
Images courtesy of the LA Times