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Can you picture Clint Eastwood wearing Superman’s cape and tights? How about enjoying a martini, shaken-not-stirred, while wearing a tux and sporting a Walther PPK?

The sight of those outfits on Eastwood might not have been too far removed from reality. According to a recent interview, Eastwood was once offered the roles of Superman AND James Bond. Read on for the details.

While out promoting his latest film, Hereafter, Eastwood shared with the LATimes that he once entertained the idea of playing Superman:

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.

However, Eastwood decided that such roles were not his style:

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.

Moreover, Eastwood was afraid of getting typecast. Back then, superhero roles did not enjoy the prestige and mainstream acceptance that they currently do:

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…

As for James Bond, Eastwood reports that he was offered the role after Sean Connery left the franchise. “My lawyer represented the Broccolis…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.” Eastwood would have been the first American to take on the Bond mantle.

Overall, I think Eastwood has a point. If the roles felt wrong for him, he might not have done a good job embodying the characters. I’ve always found his on-screen presence to be a reassuring one. Often playing a grizzled, seen-it-all-before badass, Eastwood’s characters and films have had interesting things to say about masculinity and heroism (not to mention anti-heroism).  Undoubtedly, our perception of Eastwood has been influenced by the roles he has taken over the years, but these two roles are a couple of “What ifs” that I’m happy to leave only to my idle imagination.

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