As many of you already know, before Alan Ritchson was kicking ass and taking names as Jack Reacher in Amazon's series adaptation of Lee Child's novels, he was Hank Hall aka Hawk on (now) HBO Max's Titans for three seasons (with some CW side trips). But fans of Smallville remember Ritchson from his more "aquatic" days as Arthur Curry aka Aquaman, a role he played over the course of four episodes, beginning with 2005's S05E04 "Aqua," with his final appearance in 2010's S10E09 "Patriot." The actor made such an impact during his debut that conversations immediately started about an Aquaman spinoff series that Rictchson would lead. But as he shares with Michael Rosenbaum on the Inside of You podcast, things quickly went south after the merger between UPN and The WB was complete and The CW was born.
As Ritchson explains it, the new "Powers That Be" weren't looking to give the keys of a new series to a newcomer, so the search began for someone new. And that's when Justin Hartley (This Is Us) was brought in for the role, having just left the soap Passions. The pilot was expected to debut in Fall 2006 but the newly-merged network scrapped the series. It should be noted that Smallville series creators Miles Millar and Alfred Gough have gone on record in the past saying that Ritchson wasn't considered because the pilot wasn't meant to be a Smallville spinoff and that "Aqua" was never intended to be a backdoor pilot. Here's a look at the clip where Ritchson explains how he went from being oh so close to his own Aquaman spinoff to the lessons he took away from the experience after the network & studio went in a different direction:
And here's a look at the entire interview, where Ritchson and Rosenbaum cover a number of subjects, from his battle with bipolarism, his struggles to find an identity in Hollywood, his approach to portraying Lee Child's Jack Reacher, hitting rock-bottom mentally, and more: