Every Comic Book Character Clint Eastwood Passed On (Including Batman)

Here's every comic book character Clint Eastwood has passed on playing. Eastwood worked his way up through small or uncredited roles in movies like Revenge Of The Creature - one of only two Eastwood horror roles - before his first major part came with TV series Rawhide. He had no way of knowing that it would be a low-budget Italian Western dubbed A Fistful Of Dollars that would elevate him to stardom, and in addition to returning for two sequels, he appeared in more hits like Where Eagles Dare or the Dirty Harry movies.

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Nowadays, Eastwood is recognized just as much as a director as an actor, thanks to films like Unforgiven, Mystic River and Sully. As a performer, Eastwood tended to stick with the kind of characters he played best, which were often men of few words. Outside of 1982's Firefox Eastwood tended to avoid blockbusters too, though he's rejected some interesting offers. He passed on James Bond in the '70s - believing the part shouldn't be played by an American - and Die Hard's John McClane.

Related: Why John Wayne Turned Down Starring In A Western With Clint Eastwood

He's also entirely avoided comic book movie adaptations or playing superheroes. He's every comic book movie Clint Eastwood passed on.

Superman

Clint Eastwood turned down Playing superman Christopher reeves

When Superman was in pre-production, it feels like just about every actor who vaguely fit the character was approached, with everyone from Nick Nolte to Charles Bronson and James Caan offered the part. This includes Eastwood too, who recalled in a 2010 Hero Complex interview (via MTV) that the head of Warner Bros came to the star about the role, but he turned it down straight away. According to Eastwood, “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." Considering how iconic Christopher Reeve's Superman performance became, this worked out in everyone's favor.

Dick Tracy

Warren Beatty in Dick Tracy

Dick Tracy is a detective character who first appeared in comic strips in the '30s, but it was a long road to the eventual 1990 movie adaptation. Development on this film began during the '80s, with helmers like Walter Hill and John Landis working on different takes. While Warren Beatty would eventually direct and star in Dick Tracy - in addition to securing the rights to the character - Mel Gibson, Richard Gere and Clint Eastwood were also approached. The latter passed on the role, though his 1930's set buddy comedy City Heat saw him play a detective not too far from Dick Tracy.

Men In Black

Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in Men In Black

Men In Black is based on a relatively obscure comic from the early '90s, and the taciturn Agent K provided Tommy Lee Jones with one of his best roles. The original Men In Black movie also further cemented Will Smith's stardom, but a very different take on the film would have been fronted by Eastwood and Chris O'Donnell. The former turned down the role - likely not being a fan of the sci-fi angle - while director Barry Sonnenfeld later confessed to intentionally underselling the project to O'Donnell so he could approach Smith instead.

Related: Why Clint Eastwood Was Fired From Universal In The '50s

Batman Beyond

Batman Beyond's Canceled Movie Almost Had The Best Dark Knight Casting Clint Eastwood

Batman & Robin famously grounded the big screen franchise for nearly a decade, which was eventually revived with 2005's Batman Begins. In the interim, several different pitches were conceived for a potential reboot, including a live-action riff on Batman: The Animated Series sequel show Batman Beyond. This took place decades into the future, where a retired Bruce Wayne worked with a younger Batman named Terry McGinnis.

Remember The Titans helmer Boaz Yakin was hired to direct Batman Beyond, which he wanted to be dark and gritty. He had Clint Eastwood - who has died a few times onscreen - in mind for the older Bruce Wayne, which is near-perfect casting. Sadly, Yakin's R-rated take on the material saw Warner Bros back away from Batman Beyond, placing it on hold before later canceling it completely.

2022-09-11T12:48:27.000Z

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