Joaquin Phoenix in Early 'Batman vs. Superman' Talks as Lex Luthor?

December 18, 2013
Source: Variety

Joaquin Phoenix

We already know that Jason Momoa is in the running for some sort of villain/hero role in the gestating comic book sequel Batman vs. Superman, the follow-up to this year's Man of Steel from director Zack Snyder, but now we have word on a potential talent being lined up for the film's primary villain. Variety has word that Warner Bros. wants to get their Her leading man Joaquin Phoenix for a role in the film, but it's still very early in the process, so it's far from a done deal. The actor has strayed away from blockbusters and is currently considering a role in Sea of Trees, the next film from Good Will Hunting director Gus Van Sant.

The question is, who is this primary villain? The smart money is on Lex Luthor, and it's not hard to envision Phoenix knocking that role out of the park after playing the dastardly emperor in Gladiator, undoubtedly the biggest film he's ever done. It would certainly add some weight and gravitas to the comic book film that seems to be on rocky waters with a crowded cast that will include Ben Affleck as Batman and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, with some other roles (like The Flash) left to be filled. Remember that Callan Mulvey (300: Rise of the Empire) is still being lined up for a villain role, but apparently that's not the primary antagonist. We hope that Phoenix will decide to enter the blockbuster world and really turn some heads.

UPDATE: THR reports Warner Bros. is bringing in Chris Terrio, screenwriter of Argo, to do a rewrite on Batman vs. Superman. So we have an Academy Award winning writer working on this movie. Cool?

Find more posts: Casting, DC Movies, Movie News



Luthor makes sense, but I would love to see him playing the Joker.

Al Apone on Dec 18, 2013


Dont think Joker is for him. And also The Joker wont be coming back anytime soon.

Such heroic nonsense on Dec 18, 2013


Joker probably wouldnt be a right fit into this movie tbf, but should be in the next Affleck-Batman movie. No reason to keep Joker out, now that we are starting with a new Baman Universe.

Al Apone on Dec 18, 2013


I would like for them to introduce villains that haven't been seen in any of the Batman films from the comics before getting to The Joker. Maybe even the Riddler or Mr.Freeze. Then have the The Joker be the one behind the scenes for the first few movies and save him as the main villain for the final film.

Charlie Hard on Dec 18, 2013


Not saying to keep him out, but we need to give all his other villains a chance to appear, and also, besides this movie being about how batman and superman coexist, its also about the introduction of other justice league heroes.

Such heroic nonsense on Dec 18, 2013


They could just get Day-Lewis to play Ledger playing the Joker again.

OfficialJab on Dec 18, 2013


WORD! Can you imagine if two different actors get Oscars for playing the same character?! Only Day-Lewis could knock the Joker role outta da park at the moment

Sherlon on Dec 19, 2013


That would be epic if Day Lewis was 30 years younger. Hes too old to do that now.

Such heroic nonsense on Dec 19, 2013


Not sure how i feel about this. If we get the "Gladiator days" Joaquin Phoenix when he performed magnificently, then perhaps we could have a good Lex. If we get the "I've-gone-Bat-Shit-and-i-think-I'm-a-rapper", Joaquin Phoenix then this movie is proper-fucked as Tommy says in Snatch.

Such heroic nonsense on Dec 18, 2013


You do realize that the rapper shtick was all a fake for the film they were making, right? Whether it was good or not is beside the point, Joaquin never went "Bat-Shit" nor did he think he was a rapper.

Phillip Gockel on Dec 18, 2013


Either way, the guy still went bat shit and left acting for awhile cause he was in some sort of life turmoil and was possibly heading in the wrong direction. Surely you havent forgotten about the famous interview with David Letterman where the guy was obviously on something.

Such heroic nonsense on Dec 18, 2013


that interview was part of the publicity stunt for the movie you diddley darn ignoramus. Ben affleck is going to look like rob schneider if Joaquin is lex luthor.

RectumRaider on Dec 18, 2013


If anything, Phoenix and his friends' stunt was more like a Charlie Kaufman performance. The movie was a part of the performance. Too bad it flopped b/c it could have been really funny.

dbucks on Dec 18, 2013


HA! Pfffft now who is the diddley darn ignoramus believing what the media and the interview claiming it was all for a mockumentary at face value?! You know the guy checked into rehab at a time for alcoholism. ARGH nevermind, whats the point in arguing with a simple-minded robot. Anyway, stick to your day job raiding rectums and dont comment on anything, ever!

Such heroic nonsense on Dec 19, 2013


His roles in The Master and Her seem to suggest that the "Gladiator days" Phoenix never left.

IamSlave on Dec 18, 2013


I doubt Joaquin Phoenix would take the role for Luthor but nothing seems impossible now knowing Ben Affleck surprisingly took the Batman lead with that mind. It would definitely be an inspired choice. Other than that not sure who else they would pick if he turns it down. Bryan Cranston? Brad Pitt? Tom Hanks? Woody Harrelson? Nicolas Cage? Bennedict Cumberbatch? John Goodman? or even the possibility of Christian Bale. Well granted Bale just came off playing Batman but he would need to be bald for the role. Just throwing in other possibilities....

Charlie Hard on Dec 18, 2013


Jesus, how did you come up with such a horrible list? I only agree with Cranston.

Such heroic nonsense on Dec 18, 2013


I keep saying...Benedict Cumberbatch is the ideal lex luthor. Joaquin Phoenix can make a good Vandall Savage IMO

Sherlon on Dec 19, 2013


i can get w/ this choice. i have stated i thought justin timberlake would make a good lex. i really dont want old lex. i want a young and established w/ tons of charisma lex. joaquin phoenix would be a lateral choice for me. in addition i had not seen runner runner when i made my previous statement. not so sure about affleck and timberlakes onscreen dynamic lending itself to the man of steel part 2.

mgazo on Dec 18, 2013


Yes. Bring the pain! This would be such a great fit. Phoenix's presence is palpable.

DAVIDPD on Dec 18, 2013


Joaquin would be my dream Lex Luthor

Snowmanfloza on Dec 18, 2013


I like it.

Xerxexx on Dec 18, 2013


I love it.

Quanah on Dec 18, 2013


I want some more of it.

Ethan Anderton on Dec 18, 2013


I try so hard, I can't rise above it.

Xerxexx on Dec 18, 2013


Well He's got the nut-ball part down!

Jimmy Love on Dec 18, 2013


The man in the bat suit didn't put butts in the theater, it was the villians. Same for this movie.

mooreworthy on Dec 18, 2013


I don't know what the plans are with this movie, but I'd like to just see Batman and Superman fighting it out, with no added superheros or villains or cameos, and keeping the 'next year on DC Universe' teases to a minimum. Just Batman vs. Superman. There's a lot to explore as it is.

Nathan D on Dec 18, 2013


I like the update. The script is what it's all about. If you have a bad script you can have the best actors and the most stylish director, but your movie will still suck.

DavideCoppola on Dec 19, 2013


Chiwetel Ejiofor is still my first choice...

Morvidus on Dec 19, 2013


Precise Choice

Ehsan Davodi on Dec 19, 2013


This sounds like great casting to me. Benedict Cumberbatch as Mr. Freeze, that would be awesome, let's redeem that character. Shall we begin?

thejon93rd on Dec 19, 2013


Well, why don't we just have Andy Dick play Soloman Grundy while we're at it? Jesus.

borninatrailer on Dec 20, 2013


Lex Luthor again? Zzzzzz

cobrazombie on Dec 20, 2013

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