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When it comes to iconic superheroes, Superman reigns at the top of the list. One of the most timeless superheroes in the DC Universe, Superman aka Clark Kent has been around since 1938 when writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster first gave his red cape some flourish. Since then, countless actors have brought the live-action version of the Kryptonian god to life. From Christopher Reeves’ classic portrayal in the 1970’s to Tom Welling’s hunky teenage Superman on The WB’s Smallville and most recently Henry Cavill’s portrayal in the DC Extended Universe, each actor has put their own unique spin on the character.

However, some actors were super close to donning the classic red and blue tights but, unfortunately, in the end, they were passed over for the role.

1. Joe Manganiello

Joe Manganiello poses on the red carpet with his hands in his pockets.
Joe Manganiello | Paras Griffin/Getty Images
  • Movie: Man of Steel 

We obviously know Joe Manganiello as the hunky werewolf Alcide on HBO’s True Blood and as the villainous Deathstroke in the Justice League. However, Manganiello was super close to having Henry Cavill’s job in the Man of Steel film. When he realized it wasn’t going to work out, the Magic Mike star was pretty upset. In an interview with Digital Spy, Sofia Vergara’s husband revealed,

[Warner Bros] wanted me to screen test and part of the screen test process is that they actually have to settle your deal, as if you were cast going into a screen before you get the screen test. And so that involved settling the shooting schedule. The dates for shooting Superman would have conflicted with 11 weeks of season five [of True Blood]. And as it turns out they had big plans for my character in season five and they were not willing to share me with Superman. So regrettably I never got to screen test and I never got to compete for the role. I never got to put on the suit

We think Manganiello works better as a bad boy anyway.

Next: This would have been a revolutionary casting.