Joaquin Phoenix Wanted for BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN Villain Role

by     Posted 307 days ago

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Warner Bros. and director Zack Snyder are aiming very, very high for the villain role in the upcoming Man of Steel follow-up Batman vs. Superman.  With the casting of Ben Affleck as an older, weathered Batman, the studio turned plenty of heads, and they recently tapped Gal Gadot to play Wonder Woman in what is likely the first of many feature film appearances by the female superhero.  Directly after the release of Man of Steel, fans assumed that Snyder and Co. would be bringing iconic Superman villain Lex Luthor into the mix for the follow-up, and indeed Easter Eggs hidden in Man of Steel pointed to Luthor’s existence in the DC cinematic universe.

As Snyder prepares to begin production on Batman vs. Superman early next year, he’s swinging for the fences when it comes to casting what is very possibly the Luthor role by extending an offer to one Joaquin Phoenix.  Hit the jump for more, and if you missed the latest news that Argo screenwriter Chris Terrio is being brought in to touch up the script, click here.

joaquin phoenix-batman-vs-supermanVariety is reporting that Warner Bros. wants Joaquin Phoenix for a key role in Batman vs. Superman, which is believed to be the main villain.  While previous reports have mentioned Jason Momoa and Callan Mulvey in connection with antagonistic roles in Batman vs. Superman, they’re said to be in contention for characters other than the film’s main villain, which sources tell Variety could be Lex Luthor.

It’s very early days in the process and even if Warner Bros. extends an offer to Phoenix, there’s no guarantee he’ll take it.  The actor very much marches to the beat of his own drum and has eschewed big studio pics in recent years for more character-focused fare like The Master and Her.  That being said, he’s a bit of an unpredictable guy, so there’s no guarantee he won’t accept Warner Bros.’ offer either.  He’s also weighing an offer to star in director Gus Van Sant‘s Sea of Trees, so the actor has a few decisions to make.  Whatever happens, it’s clear that the studio wants a very prestigious name in the role.

What say you, dear readers?  Would Joaquin Phoenix be a good fit for Lex Luthor?  If he passes, which other actor along the lines of Phoenix do you think should play the part?  Sound off in the comments below.

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  • axalon

    Dude is such a good actor, glad to hear he’s throwing himself back into more roles. He’d be great for this.

    • lordjim

      he´d be another waste of talent in this, just like michael shannon before him.to be a good actor one needs a good role, and phoenix knows that.

      • GrimReaper07

        Agreed, but hopefully Chris Terrio’s involvement means that the characters won’t all be one dimensional.

      • Phoneo Nemo

        I think Goyer TRIED to make Zod 3-dimensional by showing him as a victim of a tragic world order. Ironically, this creates two conflicts in characterization. He isn’t sophisticated enough to make a strong anti-hero, but is too sympathetic to be a pure villain. Thus he’s an antagonist robbed of his potency, yet we cannot root for him in any way. With Batman Begins (mostly written by Goyer, but polished a bit by the Nolans), Ra’s ideology is detached from the narrative, and he has a LOT less screen-time than the protagonist. Thus he’s hard to pity, and easy to root against, even with admirable goals (ridding people of their “bad behavior,”

        Contrast this with Zod, who is shown almost as much as Supes, whose world was taken away from him, and who has the element of sharing in the culture that Kal-El wasn’t able to exist in. Clark wasn’t developed enough to become the ultimate hero, and Zod wasn’t motivated by evil enough to be the ultimate villian.

        Shannon tried to bring about the dual madness and stoicism from the character, but the character wasn’t written to be psychotic enough for the former, nor “cold-blooded” enough for the latter. Shannon did what he could with that role, and the “Zod television warning” moment only illustrated a a glimpse of what might have been if Micheal was written better.

      • GrimReaper07

        Don’t quite agree about Ra’s Al Ghul but you hit the nail on the head with Zod. I would also add that the fact that he’s a terrible fighter (Superman kicks his ass and his companions are much more frightening) also doesn’t help matters.

      • GrimReaper07

        Don’t quite agree about Ra’s Al Ghul but you hit the nail on the head with Zod. I would also add that the fact that he’s a terrible fighter (Superman kicks his ass and his companions are much more frightening) also doesn’t help matters.

      • Jamesy

        Have to agree, I think Phoenix would be wasted in this unless he really has something great to work with. Would be a shame if it was just your typical bad guy, if it is Lex and he’s up for the role then hopefully it’s a great arc and has decent screen time. But I always pictured him as Hugo Strange, which could the role he’s wanted for.

  • axalon

    Dude is such a good actor, glad to hear he’s throwing himself back into more roles. He’d be great for this.

  • FireWithFire

    Who? Honestly, never heard of him. It’d be nice to see Warner Bros go with some more stars, a la Man of Steel. Maybe someone like Colin Farell or Ryan Reynolds.

    • mattinacan

      dumbest comment of the day right there, you win!

    • mattinacan

      dumbest comment of the day right there, you win!

    • meme

      I hope your being sarcastic with your two options.

      • GrimReaper07

        To be fair, Colin Farrel is a great actor, just sort of ridiculous for Lex Luthor.

    • God of Collider

      I think it comes down to the fact that DC isn’t as good as Marvel and those who read DC, on average, are of a lower intelligence level, hence anyone who chooses to work on a DC film is usually of low intelligence, which is why DC films fail regularly (unless they are the subject of 100 million dollars worth of ad tie-ins like Man of Steel).

      • http://filmsmartblog.wordpress.com/ Josh White

        Wow you’re really good at trolling

      • God of Collider

        So telling the truth is now trolling? I don’t understand the people on this site. No matter what you do they call you a troll. Sigh.

      • Mike

        Maybe it has something to do with your name and the fact that you are trying to make a case for why DC isn’t as good as marvel

      • pouya

        WB are making those movies not DC , WB own DC and DC univerc

      • God of Collider

        DC has a hand in it directly, obviously. See? I just needed one DC fan to respond and prove my thesis about DC fans having a lower intellect.

      • Chris

        MoS was a lame, stupid movie, but IM3 was pretty stupid too. I still have some hopes for Avengers 2 but Marvel is not necessary a guarantee for quality movies.

      • Troll Therapist

        Today in our therapy session I want to you count to ten when you have these “trolling” thoughts enter your mind. Afterwards ask yourself: “Why do I hate my father? Why do I paint my nails black? Why has my anger manifested itself to the point that I have created multiple fake profiles to back up my arguments?” These are the things that we need to work on in order to break the barriers that you have created that are holding you back from a meaningful life. Blaming others, Chris Nolan and the DC Universe, will not change your virgin status. Only you have the power to do that. Great, I want you to work on this during the week and we’ll check in to see where your progress is by Christmas. Also on our schedule next week is dealing w your issues regarding corn and piss and why you find it desirable to ingest it orally. Cheers ;)

    • Polarboy

      Almost can’t believe that people don’t realise that you are joking, although I suppose that is the point of writing such a comment so kudos.

    • doctor_robot

      “never heard of him”…. seriously?

  • Daniel Ronczkowski

    Joaquin Phoenix would be epic! Dude can act his butt off in damn near anything.

    • The Flobbit

      Yes, but I’d rather go with Mark Strong as Lex Luthor. He’s an insane actor, charismatic, smart, and has the grit to go head-to-head with Superman.

      • Sten

        I’d rather have Phoenix in his second bad guy role than Strong in his 100th. Although he might be good. But Phoenix is a better actor.

  • mattinacan

    i will be shocked if he accepts this role, he is way too talented to waste his time with this.

    • Daniel Ronczkowski

      Yeah maybe…but dude does what he wants and chooses the roles he wants.

      • mattinacan

        exactly my point, he is notorious for not caring about money or oscars and just picks roles he likes, or with people he likes working with. which is why i think he will never accept this role.

      • http://filmsmartblog.wordpress.com/ Josh White

        In all honesty you can truly add depth to comic-book movies, Lex Luthor can be written so deep you find yourself drowning just saying

      • lordjim

        forgotten the last one???zack snyder and david goyer even managed to make michael shannon boring, and that´s not an easy task.

      • http://filmsmartblog.wordpress.com/ Josh White

        well… you’re right they could’ve done more with Zod’s dialogue b/c I prefer Faora

      • -

        Well yeah, but how many times has that been pulled off really effectively? Even The Dark Knight trilogy didn’t completely pull it off (although I think The Dark Knight as an individual film pretty much did)

      • zack

        He has known Ben for 20 years if not more, his sister married Ben’s brother, I don’t think he would be uncomfortable working with Ben. That said, I don’t think he would take the role either, the stress ofpress tour alone would have killed all his desire(if he has any) to do a comic book movie.

  • lama

    Come on now, this guy is amazing. Commodus is one of my favorite enemies that happens to act in my favorite movie. He’s an incredible actor and he’d be the main attraction and opposite to the announcement of Affleck’s naming.

  • lama

    Come on now, this guy is amazing. Commodus is one of my favorite enemies that happens to act in my favorite movie. He’s an incredible actor and he’d be the main attraction and opposite to the announcement of Affleck’s naming.

  • james

    He may say yes on the grounds of working with Russell Crowe as Jor-El’s AI avatar. Maybe Crowe said the gang were good to work with and it’d pay the hell out of his bills for the rest of his days. Does he have kids?

  • james

    He may say yes on the grounds of working with Russell Crowe as Jor-El’s AI avatar. Maybe Crowe said the gang were good to work with and it’d pay the hell out of his bills for the rest of his days. Does he have kids?

  • Nomis1700

    I would love him to be Lex! He can totally nail the character. Hope Lex is just well written and Phoenix does the rest!

  • Nomis1700

    I would love him to be Lex! He can totally nail the character. Hope Lex is just well written and Phoenix does the rest!

  • YodaRocks

    After the minor disaster of Batman casting and major one for Wonder Woman, finally a casting decision worth cheering for. Make it happen WB.

    • http://filmsmartblog.wordpress.com/ Josh White

      What? The Ben Affleck casting was awesome where have you been? I haven’t seen enough work from Gal Gadot to make a judgement of her capabilities but if WB is risking a potential franchise on her she probably had something good to offer.

      • mattinacan

        the question is where have you been? no one is excited for a Ben Affleck batman. everyone waiting to make up their mind until we see some footage.

      • http://filmsmartblog.wordpress.com/ Josh White

        Actually lots of people are excited for his casting… thats why I said where have you been? Only fanboys who have only seen Daredevil and somehow blame him for the entire thing think that he’s just horrible. I’ve heard more positive then negative at this point because everyone has taken a step back and realized just how much this will benefit the DCCU.

      • mattinacan

        ah, your entire argument negated because you dropped ‘fanboy’, can’t take you seriously anymore

      • http://filmsmartblog.wordpress.com/ Josh White

        I am very much a fan of Marvel and DC movies, but it’s true fanboys will blindly bash anything that doesn’t come from their preffered company. I dropped it because in this situation it was necessary, now if that is what takes credibility away good for you.

      • The Flobbit

        Uhhh….absolutely one person on EARTH is excited for Ben Affleck’s Batman and he is you.

      • http://filmsmartblog.wordpress.com/ Josh White

        Um… Kevin Smith & John Campea are both excited for the casting of Ben Affleck because not only has he evolved as an actor, he has the opportunity to direct or be in the production process of some of these films which will bring a new dimension to these movies. If you look up articles about his casting when it first happened people were just bitching but that doesn’t mean that his casting was bad because they all took a step back and realized the potential he has to play this part great.

      • The Flobbit

        Kevin Smith? Please don’t make me laugh.

      • mattinacan

        Kevin Smith is excited that one of his close friends was cast as batman? shocking, just shocking!

      • Bret

        I think Affleck will be awesome as Batman. While some didn’t like the news initially, I think he has grown on a lot of people.

        To stay on topic, I think Phoenix would be excellent in any role and think he would be a great addition.

  • YodaRocks

    After the minor disaster of Batman casting and major one for Wonder Woman, finally a casting decision worth cheering for. Make it happen WB.

  • Andrew King

    Michael Fassbender

    • cb

      Come on, they can’t hire him for EVERYTHING! Heard his name come up for Morpheus in Sandman as well as Bruce wayne for MOS 2. He’s already Magneto, and i don’t think he’s going anywhere.

  • Merlin235

    One of the most talented actors alive today. MOS II would be lucky to get him. Might even encourage me to forgive them for MOS. The guy can act around anyone.

  • Steven Ray Morris

    inspired choice.

  • imolnar

    While the character of lex could be fodder for a deep character study, the fact that there are at least 3 superheroes in this means lex doesn’t get a ton of screen time. And Phoenix doesn’t seem like he’d do something he can’t fully throw himself into.

    • Jonboy

      Good point. I was wondering how they’re gonna have screen time for Wonder Woman and now Lex Luthor needs good screen time as well. Avengers worked cuz we’ve seen all the characters (including Loki) before in seperate films. This would be a hard nut to crack.

  • nelson

    David Morrissey is a better choice to play lex luthor in my opinion.

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  • Masshuu il Malacandra

    My only question is, will he shave his head? I like Joaquin Phoenix as an actor and love his name.

  • Dip

    Bryan Cranston doe

  • Captain

    Affleck reputation as director may attract Phoenix to do it. Also they brought Argo screenwriter. It seems that Affleck is taking over this ha!. I dont have problem with this. Let Zack the visuals only and it will be fine

    • Jonboy

      I wonder if Ben Affleck read the script and said this needs improving.

  • 2 cents

    Daniel “mutha fuckin” Day Lewis!!!!! If the Phoenix passes make the call!

    • Noomba

      Mr. Lewis is taking a 5 year break from acting at the moment. I think he is a stone mason right now over in Europe somewhere.

    • -

      I’m pretty sure he’s said that he would basically never do any big franchise movie like that ever. He turned down Lord of the Rings.

      • Strong Enough

        what a cunt

      • -

        Why? The LoTR being a notable exception, franchise movies are more often than not really mediocre.

      • Strong Enough

        As an actor wouldn’t he want to elevate it to new territory? that would be an exciting challenge

  • Christian Grey

    Whatever happened to Bryan Cranston playing the Lex Luther… Joaquin being a great actor. We have already seen Joaquin playing an evil dude in Gladiator… Need a new face like Bryan Cranston playing a BADASS LEX .. Just like given a chance for Michael Shannon where he proved to be a great villain… Its only fair to give Bryan Cranston a chance given the amount of talent he has got and proved as a villain..

    • http://filmsmartblog.wordpress.com/ Josh White

      Bryan Cranston was always just a rumor with no backbone…

      • Christian Grey

        Still.. Poor guy needs a big break in the movies.. given how talented he is .. he can atleast give a solid performance like heath ledger did in the dark knight..

      • mattinacan

        i’m pretty sure he was in Drive and Argo, and will be one of the leads in Godzilla next year, sooo yea…

      • Christian Grey

        no arguments there.. but, all supporting roles and nothing gets bigger than playing the main villain Lex Luther…

      • -

        Yeah, and with the success of Breaking Bad he’s not exactly this obscure actor who just needs a big break.

  • -

    Mixed feelings. I think Phoenix is far and away the most talented actor of his generation, yet I don’t really expect anything special from this film to be honest so if it sucks I’d rather Phoenix not be in it (especially considering how he’s on such a roll since The Master)

  • Strong Enough

    Bizzaro

  • http://www.youtube.com/somejackball somejackball

    i accept that

  • danny

    He ain’t going to take it for the role and if he does is for the money SIMPLE AS THAT

  • Person

    So Maximus’s son is Commodus’s arch-rival? Sounds about right.

  • The Flobbit

    The choice is right in front of you, Warner Bros: Mark Strong as Lex Luthor.

    • Person

      But… but… he’s already Sinestro, you’re gonna screw up the whole DC Universe they’re planning!

      • The Flobbit

        To hell with Sinestro and Green Lantern. Let us forget it ever existed.

  • ʝoe ßloggs

    If Lex is equal parts charming, brilliant and conniving, diabolical then Joaquin can play the role very well.

    But here’s a thought. What if he doesn’t play Lex but The Joker instead?

    • Ass_Kegels

      Stop kidding yourself and see if you can get your job back at the 7-11. Or kill yourself. Whichever one is funnier.

      • ʝoe ßloggs

        Have you tried getting out of your mom’s basement for some fresh air?

      • Ass_Kegels

        I like nachos. A lot of tractors are green. Steve Guttenberg was in Short Circuit. Doctors never prescribe Twinkies. I’m sorry, for some reason I thought today was “Write a Bunch of Stupid Bullshit Day.”

      • ʝoe ßloggs

        “I thought today was Write a Bunch of Stupid Bullshit Day.”

        And you do it so well.
        Congratulations.

      • Jonboy

        Seriously though he would do a great Joker considering we have an old batman if there was a older Joker to be cast this guy would fit right in.

  • straight arrow

    No way he will take this roll. His name is too big for this. But If he does decides to do… probably be one of the most ballsiest thing he would do, career wise

  • Dmula

    This would be great,if not Dicaprio as Luther(Calvin Candy is a great example as why hed be good,just less angry)

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  • Chris

    Isn’t he a bit too good for wasting his talent on a dumb superhero movie with shit actors like Affleck and Cavill?

  • Jonboy

    I’ve heard people requesting Denzel Washingotn to play Luthor, He’s a bit old but imagine Denzel’s classic laugh in a Luthor role. He would totally own!

  • Redjester

    I just don’t see this type of film appealing to Mr. Phoenix; not even remotely. That said, if you’re going to shoot for the stars, might as well shoot all the way. Daniel Day Lewis doesn’t seem to be up to much these days…

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  • TToughnuts

    You know what would be better…a much older Joker…

  • deetee

    I think he’ll make a great Brainiac.

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  • BatmanvsJoker

    How about cast Tom Hanks as a badass villain?!

  • Chaz

    This will be a bloated, obnoxious, nonsensical event. The difference between Michael Bay and Zack Snyder is growing smaller by the film.

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