Joaquin Phoenix in early talks to play Lex Luthor in ‘Batman Vs. Superman’?


Well, this is interesting. And disturbing too. According to Variety (the outlet which has gotten a lot of scoops about this film), Joaquin Phoenix is very close to signing on to a role in Batman Vs. Superman. The same Batman Vs. Superman with Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot (as Wonder Woman) and possibly Jason Momoa too. It’s interesting because Joaquin would probably be scene-chewingly evil and incredible as a comic book villain, bringing depth and pathos to whatever character they gave him (much like Heath Ledger’s Joker). It’s disturbing because I feel like director Zack Snyder is just throwing everything but the kitchen sink into this mess. Ugh.

After already reaping notice for his performance in “Her,” Joaquin Phoenix could be working with Warner Bros. again on the studio’s biggest property.

Sources tell Variety that the studio wants the Oscar-nominated actor for a role in the upcoming untitled Batman-Superman pic. However, it’s very early in the process and even if Warners offers Phoenix a role, it’s not clear he would accept as the actor has steered clear of big-budget pics in the past few years, leaning towards movies with a more prestige feel.

Phoenix is also weighing an offer on the Gus Van Sant pic “Sea of Trees” and is believed to still be considering that offer as well. WB and the actor’s reps had no comment.

Though sources couldn’t confirm what the role is, it’s believed to be for the main antagonist, which is likely to be Lex Luthor. Names like Jason Momoa and Callan Mulvey have been linked to the film but even if those actors are cast, sources are saying that they wouldn’t play the main villain, and that Warners has always wanted someone who would be a slam dunk in the role.

The pic, which opens July 17, 2015, stars Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck and Amy Adams with Zack Snyder returning as director.

Phoenix, who is repped by WME, stars in “Her” which bows Wednesday.

[From Variety]

Remember back in the 1990s when Joaquin was an indie darling doing small, important, interesting films? And then remember how he signed on to Ridley Scott’s Gladiator (and got his first Oscar nomination)? My point is that Joaquin doesn’t really have a problem working on big studio projects, but he’ll probably only sign on to something huge if A) the part is crazy-good or B) he really wants to work with certain people. I doubt Joaquin is just dying to work with Henry Cavill or Gal Gadot or Zack Snyder for that matter, but if they offer him Lex Luthor and really make Luthor an amazing villain, I could see how he might do it.

… And now I’m worried about who Jason Momoa might be playing. He was rumored to be in talks to play Doomsday, an “intergalactic killing machine” so… would they have Doomsday AND Luthor?



Photos courtesy of WENN.

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29 Responses to “Joaquin Phoenix in early talks to play Lex Luthor in ‘Batman Vs. Superman’?”

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  1. Andrea says:

    Lex is a character who actually belongs in this movie though unlike Batman and Wonder Woman who really should not be introduced yet in this still growing world. Man of Steel barely touched on building Metropolis.

    Also nerd time here but Lex and Doomsday would always be in the same narrative. If you are familiar with the famous Death and Return story you know that when Clark goes down fighting Doomsday on the street….Lex is watching. Lex was also a huge part of the doomsday animated movie they came out a few years ago.

    The person who really doesn’t have a place in a version of Death and Return (if they are doing that) is Batman. (Or WW but her role is most likely very small.) Death and Return is really a story about Lois Lane and Martha Kent. It’s a Lois POV story. Of course, it wouldn’t be Hollywood if they weren’t taking famous stories told from the POV of women and making them about dudes.

    As for Snyder….no…..Phoenix probably isn’t dying to work with him or Cavill. But he’s notoriously close with Afleck and Amy Adams.

    • magpie says:

      Very true, forgot Affleck is his brother in law’s brother.

    • V4Real says:

      @ Andrea nice little synopsis, let’s hear it for the nerds. I think you’re spot on. But what was the question again? I forgot everything once I strolled down to the pic of Momoa. They can put him in the remake of Scobby Doo and I’ll watch it.

      Oh yeah Batman v/s Superman. Now this is one disorganized mess, not Beyonce’s album/videos. Kudos to Phoenix, he’s a better actor than my boy Ben.

    • haha says:

      Phoenix has a good relationship WB’s and also Ben Affleck! Phoenix is Afflecks bro in law and is good friends with Casey Affleck. Phoenix might wind up taking this role. Plus he needs to be in a blockbuster type film again and mix up his filmography a bit. He would own it as Lex Luthor!

  2. magpie says:

    Trying to imagine JP with a shaved head.

  3. lower-case deb says:

    i dunno why, but i’m picturing a bald modern-day Commodus.

  4. Anna says:

    It seems like they’re trying to make their own version of the Avengers without going full on “Justice League”.
    I’m a Marvel girl, but I’m interested in seeing this film now. It’s either going to be completely unbearable and we’ll all laugh at it or it will be amazing.

  5. Kali says:

    While my heart/loins will always want Bryan Cranston to be Lex Luthor, I’m more than ok with Joaquin Phoenix. I’m more worried about the “everything but the kitchen sink” vibe that seems to be coming through too. The studio is so OBVIOUSLY looking at “The Avengers” juggernaut and thinking out loud about how they want to get in on some of that sweet sweet franchise mega moolah for Justice League.

    They seem to be missing the fact that there were 4/5 movies BEFORE the big team movie. We had time to get to know everyone. We had had time to watch the after credits scenes for each movie and freak out about the NEXT movie that was going to come along. I’m really desperate for the Justice League franchise to work out (I mostly want a good Wonder Woman movie) but I’m really wary. They should’ve had a second sole Superman movie and then get Lex Luthor in that. Have “Batman vs Supeman” after that so there’s more of a distance between the Nolan/Bale incarnation of Batman and then get Gal Gadot as W.W in there. Maybe one more Justice League member movie and then the big group. Sorry for the rant, it just kills me to see amazing talent in a movie that doesn’t appear to have been set up from the get-go to be the awesomeness it could be.

  6. Nicolette says:

    He can definitely pull this off, and I think he’ll be great.

  7. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I loathe comic books to an irrational degree, and never see movies based on comic books. But I also love Jason M, to an irrational degree, so… Now what do I do?

    • Happyhat says:

      I wouldn’t say I loathe comic books – I love lots of comic books. However, I find most of the films to be impossibly dull. Apart from Superman 3, because Richard Prior. And Michael Keaton’s Batmans.

      I’ve seen the Avengers – it was boring. I’ve seen a few of the Marvel ones and they are just BORING, peppered with occasional fun things. Every time Thor talked, I laughed, but that can’t keep me entertained through the entire movie. Thinking about it, I’ve been bored by the new Batman’s too – I was just distracted by Heath Ledger’s Joker. I thought I loved that film, but actually what I loved was Heath Ledger’s Joker performance.

      So, I may watch this film purely because Joaquin is in it, and keep my fingers crossed that his performance is entertaining enough to keep me entertained.

    • LadySlippers says:


      It’s quite simple. Drink a tipple or two (it might be a three tipple problem) and then you’ll simply not care.

      *flicks hand as if it’s magic*

      *drink magically appears*

      See dearie?

      *hands drink to GoodNames*

  8. Mandy says:

    I would definitely go see this if Joaquin signs on. But that would be the only way. I just don’t give a dern about these type of movies.

  9. Nanou says:

    Phoenix is Ben Affleck’s brother in law. If there’s anyone that can convince him to join the movie, it’s Ben. And money. Not the beautiful eyes of Amy Adams. Warner isn’t Marvel, they’ll probably offer him loads and loads of money to him. With a new writer reworking the script (thank goodness !!), there might also be the promise of a meaty role.

  10. Mathis says:

    That’s typical WB superhero movie casting, throwing every accessible acting talent into the talk, gripping every possible casting headline, then choose someone nobody has expected.
    I don’t think Joaquin would do this, it’s not like the comicbook adapted movies hasn’t approach him before, he refused to take Joker, instead he did that mockumentary that almost got him broke. At one point marvel offerd Bruce Banner, he was then the laughing stalk of the country and living in the fear that the stunt might actually ruined his acting career, but still, he’d rather wait for the right script to come up than desperately grasp every promising role. I honestly can’t imagine how brilliant/magnificent/flawless the script/cast should be for him to take a comic book role. The Gus Van Sant project sounds great though, won’t be surprised if he choose to work with Gus again.

  11. Arock says:

    He would be well suited. He has the intensity and the sense of humor the character would need. I’m still shaking my head about the Ben affleck choice.

  12. Evi says:

    What role will Momoa play? A knuckle dragging hench man of some kind?

  13. lower-case deb says:

    Paz de la Huerta for Maxima!!
    *sorry, don’t know where that comes from.

  14. serena says:

    I’m sure those two would make great villains! They have such interesting handsomes faces (and not only those, yum)!

  15. Stormsmama says:

    Now we’re talking
    I would so see more mellow in love Joaquin
    Chew the you know what out of every scene
    He is RDJ good if he decides he wants to be
    Damn they just made this interesting…