From wild man to Man Of Steel? What Happened? You might not think it now - particularly since the enduring image of Nolte these days is of that regrettable, wild-looking mug-shot - but Nolte was once classed as one of Hollywood's hot young things. As a result, before Richard Donner officially signed on to direct the movie, Nolte was pitched to the director by madcap producer Ilya Salkind based on his acting ability. Or perhaps on his physique depending on how you read Salkind's comments here:
"We found guys with fabulous physique who couldn't act, or wonderful actors who did not look remotely like Superman."
But then despite the urge to classify Nolte as one of those rejected actors, the imposing figure - then a relative unknown - was actually signed for the part of Superman when Mario Puzo came on board to script, with Brando and Gene Hackman already signed up. Unfortunately for him, Richard Donner wasn't overly impressed with Puzo's script and delayed the production for some substantial rewrites, forcing Nolte to drop out. Would He Have Worked? It would at least have been interesting. Nolte isn't exactly known for his restraint, and the idea of an angry slurring Superman is an intriguing one, even if it would have horribly tainted the original movie.