Is Joaquin Phoenix the Next Lex Luthor?

at 6:00 pm | By

As the cast comes together for the as-yet-untitled Superman-Batman film, a new name has surfaced to play the main antagonist, Lex Luthor. Variety reports that Warner Bros. is looking at Joaquin Phoenix to play Superman’s most famous nemesis who has previously been played by Gene Hackman and Kevin Spacey. Henry Cavill and Amy Adams are set to reprise their Man of Steel roles as Superman and Lois Lane, respectively. Ben Affleck has already been cast as Batman in the sequel, set to hit theaters in summer 2015.

Phoenix would make an incredible Lex Luthor, but there’s probably a chance of this dream casting coming to fruition. For one, Phoenix hasn’t made a big budget movie like this Superman vs. Batman movie since, well, The Gladiator. Also, as Variety points out, Phoenix has also been offered a role in Gus Van Sant‘s Sea of Trees, a project that just landed on the 2013 Black List. This is its scenario:

An American man takes a journey into the infamous “Suicide Forest” at the foothills of Mount Fuji with the intention of taking his own life. When he is interrupted by a Japanese man who has had second thoughts about his own suicide, and is trying to find his way out of the forest, the two begin a journey of reflection and survival.

That sounds much more like a Joaquin Phoenix film than the sequel to a superhero movie that featured a fight sequence in an IHOP, doesn’t it?

In addition, superhero movies are grueling. There’s a long shooting schedule, much of which is done in front of a green screen and then once you’re done with that, there’s the inevitable press tour which doesn’t really seem like the place for a man who’s been described more than once as “prickly.”

So while Joaquin Phoenix as Lex Luthor may sound like a dream, that’s likely all it is, a pipe dream.