After some minor roles, actor Brendan Fraser came back into the spotlight as Robotman in Doom Patrol. While this is his first time playing a DC Comics character, things could’ve been different. Fans could’ve seen him saving the world as Superman.
The Fraser Of Steel
In an interview with SyFy, Fraser discussed his time working on Doom Patrol. In the show, Fraser portrays race car driver Cliff Steele, who gets involved in a life-changing accident. With the help of Chief, Steele becomes Robotman, who has superhuman strength and enhanced senses. Things changed quickly when a rumor of Fraser being suggested as Reed Richards in Fantastic Four was brought up. The actor denied this happened, but he did discuss almost being Superman. “It was cool, it was pretty cool. I mean, I didn’t get the job. It went away. Brett Ratner was a bit “woo hoo” in those days, and that’s well documented.” Fraser told SyFy. “And that was a script J.J. Abrams wrote, but it never got made. And it was freaking Shakespeare in space. It was so cool. It was worlds colliding and, it was really, really cool. But you know, I hear he’s done well since then.”
The Canceled Superman Movie
In 2002, Abrams submitted his script for the canceled film Superman: Flyby. His story was a bit deeper than Superman’s typical origin. “The thing that I tried to emphasize in the story was that if the Kents found this boy, Kal-El, who had the power that he did, he would have most likely killed them both in short order. And the idea that these parents would see –- if they were lucky to survive long enough –- that they had to immediately begin teaching this kid to limit himself and to not be so fast, not be so strong, not be so powerful,” Abrams told Empire.
After finding out about their abilities, Superman would’ve had a horrendous upbringing. “The result of that, psychologically, would be fear of oneself, self-doubt, and being ashamed of what you were capable of. Extrapolating that to adulthood became a fascinating psychological profile of someone who was not pretending to be Clark Kent, but who was Clark Kent,” Abrams also told Empire.
Josh Schwartz rewrote Abrams’ script, and the end result was 2006’s Superman Returns. Superman: Flyby also featured Henry Cavill screen testing for Superman, a role he would take a decade later.
More Doom To Come
While Fraser didn’t get to be the Man of Steel, he’s enjoying his time on DC Universe’s hot series. One of the most important things was keeping it accurate to its source material. “Those who are familiar will be pleased that almost all of the pillars of [Morrison’s] story points are recreated in Doom Patrol,” Fraser told SyFy. “You will meet a lot of those really obscure, and bizarre characters too. Crazy Jane’s [personality] Black Annis makes a really scary appearance. And Cliff does go into the Underground at one point, as it was in the comic books. It’s faithful.”
Fortunately for Fraser, Doom Patrol is coming back for more next year. Over the summer, it was revealed the second season would head to both DC Universe and HBO Max. Upon HBO Max’s debut in 2020, the first season of Doom Patrol will be available for streaming. “We went full steam into season 1 with a ‘smoke ‘em if you got ‘em’ attitude, and we intend to fully continue that in any potential season 2 to come,” showrunner Jeremy Carver told Entertainment Weekly back in May. The first season gained nominations at the Saturn Awards and Imagen Awards.
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