Negative Man could have been The Man of Steel.
As he promotes both the new season of Doom Patrol and playing the Flash in Justice Society: World War II, Matt Bomer has spoken about missing the chance to play Superman and if he’d take on the role today.
The almost Superman
While Bomer had gotten attention for a recurring role on Chuck, he came to fame with his starring part in the USA Network series White Collar. Bomer’s charming con artist/thief turned FBI operative helped make the show a hit that ran six seasons.
But Bomer could have gotten further fame had he landed the role of Superman in JJ Abrams’ planned Superman: Flyby film. The early 2000s project would have had a new origin for Superman, and Bomer was the writer/directors’ choice for the role. It ended up never coming true.
However, Bomer did end up voicing Superman in the Superman: Unbound animated movie. Meanwhile, fans have long pressed for Bomer to take Henry Cavill’s place in the DCEU.
Speaking to Comic Book Movie, Bomer addressed the talk and if he’d ever play a major superhero again.
“You know, it’s been a minute. I think the last thing I probably tested for was a Wolverine or something back in the day. It’s been a while, but if the right one were to come around, absolutely. I’d be there in a heartbeat. I love these characters. I think they’re iconic, and they’ve lasted as long as they have for a reason. As long as we have light and dark as a society, we’ll need superheroes to look to for inspiration. I think one of the great and rewarding challenges as an actor is finding ways to ground them and make them, well, human if they are human, but make them relatable and real. If that opportunity were to come my way, and it was a nice role, then absolutely.”
Bomer as Negative Man
As it happens, Abrams is working on a reboot of the Superman mythos for Warner Bros, but no word on whether Bomer could be cast in the lead.
While Superman is currently out of reach, Bomer is busy with super-heroics on both HBO Max’s Doom Patrol and voicing the Flash.
Doom Patrol stars Bomer as Larry Trainor, a test pilot transformed by accident into a figure who can unleash a “negative spirit.” A side effect is his radioactive body has to be covered in bandages.
While Matthew Zuk usually plays Larry on set, Bomer provides the voice and portrays the unbandaged Larry in flashbacks and the show’s quirky fantasy sequences.
Bomer shared with Comic Book Resources how the show’s third season will bring Larry’s trauma to the forefront.
“I love that group and those writers never fail to blow me away with what they come up with because they somehow find ways to outdo themselves, but it’s never ungrounded. It’s never so outlandish that it’s outside of the realm of possibility — I think it would be hard-pressed to find anything out of the realm of possibility for the show at this point. This season, particularly for Larry and what he’s going through, is just so fun to get to play and I feel like the writing is stronger than ever on the show.
I wish I were down there in person more often, but I also love the freedom of getting to find Larry in the booth as well. I love it, and I think fans are really going to love what’s to come this season. Season 2 obviously dealt with trauma and this season kind of closes the loop on that because we had to finish early but also going to these new places with all the characters.”
Bomer as the Flash
Bomer is also adding his name to the list of actors to portray the Flash in animated form. Justice Society World War II has Barry Allen traveling back in time to meet the Justice Society, including the original Flash, Jay Garrick (Armen Taylor).
Bomer related this was simply living out a dream of one of his favorite characters. “The Flash has been an iconic character for me since my childhood, and one of our kids, in particular, has always been really fascinated by the Flash. In fact, my pièce de résistance as a parent was, one Halloween, was the costume that they put together for me was the Flash. It’s a role that’s been near and dear to me in many ways, and I didn’t want to pass it up, and I thought that the version of the character that they were bringing was particularly to me.”
While fans are still hopeful Bomer can one day put on the iconic “S-shield,” at least DC fans can enjoy his other super-heroic roles.
The Doom Patrol season 1&2 streaming on HBO Max. Justice Society: World War II releases digitally on April 27 and Blu-Ray and 4K Ultra HD on May 11.