Tom Hanks Was On The Studio Wish List To Play Lex Luthor

By Sean O'Connell 2014-02-05 10:19:54discussion comments
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Jesse Eisenberg, star of The Social Network and the animated Rio franchise, landed the coveted Lex Luthor role in Zack Snyderís Batman vs. Superman (or whatever they end up calling it). Some complained. Most sided with our own Eric, who called Eisenberg the "perfect" choice to play the villainous part. Now wait until you hear who you almost got in the role.

In a THR column explaining why Warner went younger with Lex, Borys Kit and Tatiana Siegel confirm earlier reports that Adam Driver (of Girls) and Joaquin Phoenix had been in the mix for the Luthor role. Driver, who we initially thought was up for Nightwing, had a conflict that kept him out of Snyderís movie, while Phoenix Ė according to THR Ė simply passed.

Joaquin GIF

Meanwhile, at one point, THR says the studio thought about going with a veteran actor to play Luthor, and the name on the studioís wish list wasnít Bryan Cranston (who was never approached, according to this article). It was Tom Hanks. The Oscar winnerís name reportedly was "discussed internally," though nothing came of it.

I hear you. Thatís batshit insane, right? Hanks would NEVER commit to playing a villain in a Superman movie. But donít you think thatís EXACTLY how people felt back when Gene Hackman signed on to play the role in Richard Donnerís 1978 masterpiece? At the time, Hackman was coming off Richard Attenboroughís A Bridge Too Far with Sean Connery and Michael Caine. He was Popeye Freaking Doyle. He didnít need a superhero movieÖ and yet, he crushed in the part. Iím sure this was considered when they floated Hanksí name, but it never was going to pan out.

So Eisenberg will be the one starring opposite Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck when Snyderís sequel to Man of Steel finally begins filming. And in a related story, we learned that the movie begins filming in Michigan this summer.

This bit of info comes to us from the new, hottest source for all things Batman-SupermanÖ Ms. Jennifer Garner. While promoting her upcoming football dramedy Draft Day, Garner went on Detroitís own Sports 105.1 FM (via IGN) and explained that the whole family will be moving to The D so Ben can film his little Batman movie this summer. She jokes:
My husband is [filming in Detroit]. Batman is shooting andÖ or whatever it's called. I don't know what it's calledÖ Superman with Batman, whatever it is. But he is shooting this summer, so we'll be there."

No one knows what itís called. It might hit theaters without a title. Does it really need one? Probably not. It has Batman, Superman, and a Lex Luthor who isnít Phoenix, Driver, or Hanks. Look for it in theaters in 2016.
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