Chris Rock on his 'Superman' role that never happened: 'I was this close'

Every 35mm actor aspires to step onto a gala stage one day and receive an Emmy in front of his colleagues. Yet for some, there is an even bigger dream to aspire to - and that includes wearing tights and a cape.
The Hollywood Reporter's latest panel for the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards, on Sunday, September 19, asked five of today's hottest actors what role they'd most like Hollywood to play. It doesn't take long before Small Ax's John Boyega announces that he has the ideal role for his peers, including Chris Rock (Fargo), Regé-Jean Page (Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, Bridgerton), Josh O'Connor (Outstanding Leading Actor in a Drama Series, The Crown) and Jonathan Majors (Leading Actor in a Drama Series, Lovecraft Country): Superman.
“I want Brother R.J. as Superman, man, ”announced Boyega with an enthusiastic laugh. “Like Jonathan, Superman. I want one of you to just go in there and fly. Just someone with their hair in a knot - just fly! ”This bold casting idea goes down well with everyone on the panel, especially as Boyega goes on to say that he also sees O'Connor and Rock as the“ messed up ”villains for this modern version of the Man of Steel can. (There are currently two projects in the works with Black Supermen, one is a limited series produced by Michael B. Jordan for HBO Max, and the other is a DC production by JJ Abrams written by Ta-Nehisi Coates. )
But the real surprise is that Boyega, who has had his own experience with franchise cinema and co-headlined the latest Star Wars film trilogy, has already come into contact with the famous DC Comics object unbeknownst to Boyega, albeit in a somewhat less than heroic ability.
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To everyone's amazement, Rock admits that he was once supposed to play the Kryptonian god's Shutterbug buddy, Jimmy Olsen, in a feature film adaptation that didn't materialize. "I was cast in Superman 20 years ago when Nic Cage wanted to play Superman," explains Rock. “I was occupied; I had wardrobes. I saw the miniature sets and hung out with [Director] Tim [Burton] and it fell apart. "
“There's a part of me that's like, where is my superhero movie? I was so close. "
Chris Rock
This doomed project, known as Superman Lives, became one of the great "what-if" opportunities in modern Hollywood history, to the point that an entire documentary (The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened?) Demise. As Page points out, it is also the subject of a popular monologue by director Kevin Smith (who wrote an early draft of the script for Superman Lives) that the Bridgerton heartbreaker admits was "one of the funniest things I've ever heard." . I listen to this once a year to keep up to date with the Hollywood trial. "
As for rock, he seems to have left the entire ordeal, especially since the character of Jimmy Olsen "doesn't really attract me right now." Nonetheless, he remains disappointed that his chance at Superman fame never materialized. “There's a part of me that's like, where is my superhero movie? I was so close. "
To learn more about Rock and Co.'s comic book ambitions, watch the clip above from The Hollywood Reporter's roundtable chat. And check out the contenders for Sunday's Primetime Emmy Awards.
In this article:
Chris Rock
American comedian, actor, screenwriter, television producer, film producer, and director
John Boyega
British-Nigerian actor

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