No Tights, No Tuxedo: Eastwood Reveals He Passed on Iconic Roles

Movie Talk
Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood

Dirty Harry in tights? How about 'The Man With No Name' in a tux sipping a vodka martini?

That's what could have happened, according to L.A. Times journalist Geoff Boucher. During a three-hour interview with the reporter, Clint Eastwood let it slip that he could have played both Superman and 007, but turned the roles down.

In the early 1970s fresh off of his success with "Dirty Harry," Eastwood was approached by the president of Warner Bros. Frank Wells to play the Man of Steel. "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."

Video: Watch the original trailer for 'Dirty Harry' >>

Unlike today, where every third flick seems to have been culled from the pages of comic books, superhero movies were then seen as box-office poison. Eastwood was concerned of being typecast as a caped crime fighter. "I always liked characters that were more grounded in reality," he said.

When "Superman" did eventually hit the silver screen in 1978, starring a then unknown Christopher Reeve, Eastwood found himself starring opposite a smart aleck orangutan in "Every Which Way but Loose."

A few years earlier, Eastwood was approached by a representative of the Broccoli family, who produced the 007 series. Desperate to find a replacement for Sean Connery, they thought that Eastwood might be the person they sought. He disagreed.

"I was also offered pretty good money to do James Bond if I would take on the role. 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."

So does the multi-Oscar winning actor/director feel any regret passing up two extremely lucrative franchises?

"Believe me, I can get it out of my mind. I got it out of mind back then. It was easy."

Watch Clint Eastwood talk about his early career: