Paul Walker: Declining Superman's Cape

Exploring an unexpected chapter in a beloved actor's career.

by Nouman Rasool
Paul Walker: Declining Superman's Cape
© Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images

In a revealing documentary, "I Am Paul Walker," broadcast on The CW, the late actor's once-promising potential as Superman is brought to light, offering fans a poignant glimpse into a path not taken. Known for his iconic role in the Fast & Furious franchise, Walker's versatility as an actor was underscored by his manager, Matt Luber, who disclosed that Walker was once a leading contender for the Superman role, an opportunity worth a staggering $10 million.

This revelation, featured in the documentary which first premiered on the Paramount Network in August 2018, adds a new layer to the actor's storied career. The film, directed by Adrian Buitenhuis, delves deep into Walker's life, juxtaposing his personal journey with the peaks of his film career.

It presents an intimate portrait of the actor through interviews with those closest to him and a wealth of personal videos and photos provided by his family and friends. Walker's stunt double and childhood friend, Oakley Lehman, confirmed in the documentary that Walker had seriously considered the role.

However, Walker's own words painted a picture of a man at odds with the superhero persona. Recalling a conversation, Luber shared a moment when Walker, dressed in the iconic Superman attire, expressed his discomfort and swiftly decided it wasn't the right fit for him.

Paul Walker's Superman Revelation

This sentiment was echoed by Brendan Fraser, who, during a guest appearance on The Howard Stern Show in February 2023, revealed that he and Walker were both in the running for the lead in 2006's "Superman Returns." Fraser described the audition process as competitive, with "everyone in town" vying for the part.

He, too, expressed reservations about being forever identified with such an iconic role. Walker, who tragically passed away in 2013, had previously commented on his decision to turn down the Superman role. In a 2003 interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, he candidly spoke about his simple lifestyle and the lack of necessity for the immense wealth the role could have brought.

"I Am Paul Walker" offers not only a tribute to the actor's successful film career but also a heartfelt exploration of his personal life, revealing the complexities and choices that shaped his journey. This documentary stands as a testament to what Walker's career could have included, adding a bittersweet note to the legacy of an actor gone too soon.