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Tom Hanks was considered for Lex Luthor in Batman vs Superman

02.05.2014

As fans settle down about the casting of Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor in BATMAN VS SUPERMAN, we are beginning to find out more information as to who else was considered for the major DC villain. On top of the knowledge that Joaquin Phoenix was close to gaining the role, we have some other names of candidates floated by Warner Bros, including none other than Tom Hanks.

But, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Hanks was never approached for the role and neither was Bryan Cranston, thereby confirming that the Internet is once and forever more a rumor mill. It was confirmed that Joaquin Phoenix was offered the role but passed on the opportunity, the reason for which is unknown. Their sources also claim that GIRLS star Adam Driver was approached for the part but had a scheduling conflict. We had previously linked Driver to the part of Nightwing but with Eisenberg being cast as Luthor, it begins to make more sense.

In recent incarnations of Lex Luthor, he is played as closer in age to Superman rather than the older actors who have played the part such as Kevin Spacey and Gene Hackman. Eisenberg does fit better with the modern continuity of the characters, but Tom Hanks would have been a very intriguing choice.

In either case, we now have our heroes and villain, so filming can continue this summer as planned. Stay tuned for more news. BATMAN VS SUPERMAN opens May 6, 2016.

Oh, and check out Jesse Eisenberg's leaked audition for Lex below.

Leaked Jesse Eisenberg Lex Luthor Audition from Funny Or Die

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

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11:50PM on 02/07/2014
All i'm hoping is that they don't do campy Lex or Real Estate Lex
All i'm hoping is that they don't do campy Lex or Real Estate Lex
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11:51AM on 02/06/2014
If he pulls this off, it will be as epic as the Joker.... Hummmm..... not really.
At least, the expectations for this movie are getting really low.
If he pulls this off, it will be as epic as the Joker.... Hummmm..... not really.
At least, the expectations for this movie are getting really low.
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+13
10:58PM on 02/05/2014

remember when they cast Kevin Costner for John Kent and we were all like FUCK YEAH!!

i miss that
i miss that
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8:45PM on 02/05/2014
I'm fine with the casting. Sure Tom Hanks and Joaquin Phoenix would have been awesome, but I think Eisenberg will bring something good to the table.
I'm fine with the casting. Sure Tom Hanks and Joaquin Phoenix would have been awesome, but I think Eisenberg will bring something good to the table.
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8:01PM on 02/05/2014
Tom Hanks would've been interesting, but Joaquin Phoenix is my favourite choice out of the names put forward. Still looking forward to what Eisenberg will bring to the table. And that Funny or Die clip was pretty good, that's a solid Eisenberg impression there. If we have learnt anything from this, it's that the folks at DC/Warner are really good at keeping secrets. Of all the names flung out there for Lex Luthor, Jesse Eisenberg was never among them. Same with the rumoured candidates for
Tom Hanks would've been interesting, but Joaquin Phoenix is my favourite choice out of the names put forward. Still looking forward to what Eisenberg will bring to the table. And that Funny or Die clip was pretty good, that's a solid Eisenberg impression there. If we have learnt anything from this, it's that the folks at DC/Warner are really good at keeping secrets. Of all the names flung out there for Lex Luthor, Jesse Eisenberg was never among them. Same with the rumoured candidates for Batman, not even a whisper of Ben Affleck. But Gal Gadot was cited as a potential Wonder Woman and she did get the part.
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6:16PM on 02/05/2014
Hanks would have been phenomenal. And if he had half a brain would have said, "HEEEELLLLL NOOOOO!!!!!"
Hanks would have been phenomenal. And if he had half a brain would have said, "HEEEELLLLL NOOOOO!!!!!"
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+2
6:01PM on 02/05/2014

would've been much better than who they did cast...

Hanks, Phoenix, DiCaprio, Cranston....all would've been better choices. I don't think this will be a heath ledger situation where ppl were angry he was cast as the Joker, only to wind up being absolutely perfect in the role.
Hanks, Phoenix, DiCaprio, Cranston....all would've been better choices. I don't think this will be a heath ledger situation where ppl were angry he was cast as the Joker, only to wind up being absolutely perfect in the role.
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3:01AM on 02/06/2014
And you know that how?
And you know that how?
5:52PM on 02/05/2014

Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks would've been fricking epic! So pissed him or Jaquin didn't get the role. I would give my left nut fo see something like that. Jesse Eisenberg is great and probably will be great but its Tom Hanks were tlaking about.
Tom Hanks would've been fricking epic! So pissed him or Jaquin didn't get the role. I would give my left nut fo see something like that. Jesse Eisenberg is great and probably will be great but its Tom Hanks were tlaking about.
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5:51PM on 02/05/2014

Couple thoughts

First off Joaquin would have absolutely OWNED any role that they gave him. However I'm actually really glad he's not involved, he's just not the blockbuster type of guy especially one made by these jackals. I could MAYBE see him do a Marvel film but I kinda doubt that too. Secondly Hanks would have been leagues better than Eisenberg. Hanks could easily pull off that nice guy persona needed for the public eye but still manage to be intense and evil.

Lastly I'm slightly concerned if WB went
First off Joaquin would have absolutely OWNED any role that they gave him. However I'm actually really glad he's not involved, he's just not the blockbuster type of guy especially one made by these jackals. I could MAYBE see him do a Marvel film but I kinda doubt that too. Secondly Hanks would have been leagues better than Eisenberg. Hanks could easily pull off that nice guy persona needed for the public eye but still manage to be intense and evil.

Lastly I'm slightly concerned if WB went from such older actors to a much younger one. Doesn't casting a 30 year old Lex play differently than casting a 40+ Lex? Those are two completely different age groups that entirely change the interpratation of Lex. Its slightly concerning to me. This whole production has seemed like WB pulling stuff out of their asses with no direction on where they are going with the story.
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5:12PM on 02/05/2014

lol

LOLz!
LOLz!
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4:56PM on 02/05/2014

Also...

Tom Hanks as Jim Gordon. That would be amazing.
Tom Hanks as Jim Gordon. That would be amazing.
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4:32PM on 02/05/2014
I'm just glad that Adam Driver wasn't up for Nightwing and I thank the gods that he wasn't cast as Lex. He would have been 1000 times worse than Eisenberg. Wish Phoenix took the part when it was offered to him. At least they tried to give it to a more appropriate choice before casting Eisenberg. With that said, they must see something in Jesse that makes them think he can pull it off, so I'll be waiting to see a clip or two with him as Lex before I give up on him in the role.
I'm just glad that Adam Driver wasn't up for Nightwing and I thank the gods that he wasn't cast as Lex. He would have been 1000 times worse than Eisenberg. Wish Phoenix took the part when it was offered to him. At least they tried to give it to a more appropriate choice before casting Eisenberg. With that said, they must see something in Jesse that makes them think he can pull it off, so I'll be waiting to see a clip or two with him as Lex before I give up on him in the role.
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4:06PM on 02/05/2014

Lex's Father!!

I just thought of the most amazing casting ever...Woody Allen as Lex's dad Lionel Luthor! God that would be the perfect icing on this shit cake DC is trying to feed us!
I just thought of the most amazing casting ever...Woody Allen as Lex's dad Lionel Luthor! God that would be the perfect icing on this shit cake DC is trying to feed us!
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4:44PM on 02/05/2014
Eat a bowl of dicks pal.
Eat a bowl of dicks pal.
6:07PM on 02/05/2014
Haha well with the casting roulette they're pulling on this one, nothing is impossible!
Haha well with the casting roulette they're pulling on this one, nothing is impossible!
8:04PM on 02/05/2014
Classy The_Conman...another Internet tough guy on a movie website. I guarantee you post on that shithole AICN...where everybody treats each other like garbage. Hopefully you feel fulfilled with your original comeback...have a nice life!
Classy The_Conman...another Internet tough guy on a movie website. I guarantee you post on that shithole AICN...where everybody treats each other like garbage. Hopefully you feel fulfilled with your original comeback...have a nice life!
3:51PM on 02/05/2014

Hanks would have been great!

At least they didn't turn him into Lexi Luthor. Tom Hanks would have knocked this out of the park, Lex needs to be likable with an underlying intensity. Just imagining Hanks going from the corporate, marketable face of a company to a villain bent on destroying Superman. That casting alone would have taken so many of the doubts about this project and flipped them around.

I'm pretty sure they are making Eisenberg a tech genius but I can't see him as an intense villain that will represent
At least they didn't turn him into Lexi Luthor. Tom Hanks would have knocked this out of the park, Lex needs to be likable with an underlying intensity. Just imagining Hanks going from the corporate, marketable face of a company to a villain bent on destroying Superman. That casting alone would have taken so many of the doubts about this project and flipped them around.

I'm pretty sure they are making Eisenberg a tech genius but I can't see him as an intense villain that will represent any threat to the most powerful superhero in the genre. I have a feeling he is going to come off as a whiny bitch and basically playing his role from The Social Network but more over the top. I liked the Affleck casting but Eisenberg is really going to need to fight an uphill battle to give a performance representative of the power, charisma and pure evil of Lex Luthor.
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3:58PM on 02/05/2014
Agree with your point about Eisenberg. I honestly think he has it in him to pull this off, but you're right it is going to be an uphill battle for him. I think if he focuses on channeling his role from Social Network and at the same time avoiding every acting sensibility he's had in any other role, he'll be able to give a great performance.

I'm just worried, same as you, that he's going to come off as this jittery, quick talking, nervous little nerd. Rather than a confident, arrogant,
Agree with your point about Eisenberg. I honestly think he has it in him to pull this off, but you're right it is going to be an uphill battle for him. I think if he focuses on channeling his role from Social Network and at the same time avoiding every acting sensibility he's had in any other role, he'll be able to give a great performance.

I'm just worried, same as you, that he's going to come off as this jittery, quick talking, nervous little nerd. Rather than a confident, arrogant, genius that Lex should be.
4:19PM on 02/05/2014
@MickLoud I think Eisenberg is an excellent actor and there are a lot of roles that he could give award level performances in...Lex Luthor just isn't one of them. He just comes off as an anxiety ridden, whiny guy and if he can pull off charismatic, threatening and confident it would be a truly special performance...but I don't have the confidence that he can do it. I look at his film catalogue and he is wonderful in The Social Network, Adventureland, Zombieland and The Squid and the Whale but
@MickLoud I think Eisenberg is an excellent actor and there are a lot of roles that he could give award level performances in...Lex Luthor just isn't one of them. He just comes off as an anxiety ridden, whiny guy and if he can pull off charismatic, threatening and confident it would be a truly special performance...but I don't have the confidence that he can do it. I look at his film catalogue and he is wonderful in The Social Network, Adventureland, Zombieland and The Squid and the Whale but what makes you think he can pull of Luthor from any of those roles? I guess he took some of his ticks and anxiety away for Now You See Me but I still never saw any real intensity and his confidence never came across as genuine to me. And he is going to need completely change his entire speech pattern and voice modulation which is so tricky. We will all see I guess...but like I said casting Hanks or Phoenix would have done a lot to turn around the perception that EVERY role has been miscast. Hanks is going to get a role as a villain in a Marvel movie and it will be iconic!
3:44PM on 02/05/2014
Man, I could have gotten behind that. I have no problems with Eisenberg's casting, thought it's certainly an... odd choice, but Tom Hanks would have been great, I bet. The dude needs more villainous roles! I really liked him in his less savory roles in Cloud Atlas.
Man, I could have gotten behind that. I have no problems with Eisenberg's casting, thought it's certainly an... odd choice, but Tom Hanks would have been great, I bet. The dude needs more villainous roles! I really liked him in his less savory roles in Cloud Atlas.
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3:28PM on 02/05/2014
That would've been AMAZING
That would've been AMAZING
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+15
3:05PM on 02/05/2014
Tom Hanks would have been leagues better than Jesse Eisenberg.
Tom Hanks would have been leagues better than Jesse Eisenberg.
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3:04PM on 02/05/2014
Wait, this isn't real ?
Wait, this isn't real ?
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2:56PM on 02/05/2014

Also would have been a terrible decision.

But not as glaringly fucking stupid as Jesse Eisenberg.
Atleast Tom Hanks can act.
But not as glaringly fucking stupid as Jesse Eisenberg.
Atleast Tom Hanks can act.
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3:47PM on 02/05/2014
Eisenberg can act, it's just too bad he acts the same in every damn movie and has as much charisma onscreen as a doorstop. His performances are as deep as my kids' inflatable pool. Ok, I'm done.
Eisenberg can act, it's just too bad he acts the same in every damn movie and has as much charisma onscreen as a doorstop. His performances are as deep as my kids' inflatable pool. Ok, I'm done.
4:00PM on 02/05/2014
How would having a 2-time Academy Award winner that is as versatile as any actor in Hollywood be a bad choice? Hanks has everything you need to play Luthor and his likability would have made this character so much more interesting and devious.

And Eisenberg is a good actor he is just is a bad fit for Luthor or any comic book villain I can think of...he doesn't have the charisma or intensity to bring any sense of dread to this role...he is also going to look like an asshole with a bald head.
How would having a 2-time Academy Award winner that is as versatile as any actor in Hollywood be a bad choice? Hanks has everything you need to play Luthor and his likability would have made this character so much more interesting and devious.

And Eisenberg is a good actor he is just is a bad fit for Luthor or any comic book villain I can think of...he doesn't have the charisma or intensity to bring any sense of dread to this role...he is also going to look like an asshole with a bald head. I can see the route they are going by making Luthor a tech genius that has built an empire at a young age and he will use his technology to fight Superman. He is also going to go over the top and chew up scenery but in a bad way and it will likely come off as ridiculous. I would rather have an actor that can exude confidence and an underlying sense of evil intentions than an actor that is a young Woody Allen bringing his anxiety and quirkiness to the role.
4:37PM on 02/05/2014
Tclayton, I disagree with you very much! Eisenberg can play a very convincing Killer Moth before mutation:
Tclayton, I disagree with you very much! Eisenberg can play a very convincing Killer Moth before mutation:
6:27PM on 02/05/2014
Eisenberg is a horrible pompous asshole who is the significantly more-unlikeable Michael Cera.

And Tom Hanks is a fantastic actor, BUT he'd have been wrong for it. There's nothing more to stand on than opinion, but like Tom Hanks is the kind of actor you'd want for a Perry White or a Pa Kent..
Eisenberg is a horrible pompous asshole who is the significantly more-unlikeable Michael Cera.

And Tom Hanks is a fantastic actor, BUT he'd have been wrong for it. There's nothing more to stand on than opinion, but like Tom Hanks is the kind of actor you'd want for a Perry White or a Pa Kent..
2:52PM on 02/05/2014
Tom Hanks would have made for a hell of a Lex Luthor. Too bad he was never approached. I don't mind Cranston not getting the chance to play Luthor. He is the only person I can see playing Gordon in the new Batman films.

I'm starting to warm up to the idea of Eisenberg, but having Tom Hanks, one of the nicest guys around playing one of the most iconic villains would have been amazing to see.
Tom Hanks would have made for a hell of a Lex Luthor. Too bad he was never approached. I don't mind Cranston not getting the chance to play Luthor. He is the only person I can see playing Gordon in the new Batman films.

I'm starting to warm up to the idea of Eisenberg, but having Tom Hanks, one of the nicest guys around playing one of the most iconic villains would have been amazing to see.
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4:47PM on 02/05/2014
Tom Hanks is considered a dick actually fyi lol
Tom Hanks is considered a dick actually fyi lol
8:53PM on 02/05/2014
Why is he the only person that can play Gordon?
Why is he the only person that can play Gordon?
11:19PM on 02/06/2014
He's not. Plenty of people could. But for me I think he would be the perfect choice.
He's not. Plenty of people could. But for me I think he would be the perfect choice.
9:33AM on 02/07/2014
Because he voiced him in an animated feature? Or because he's the fanboy favourite right now? I'm pretty sure at one point he's the only person you could see playing lex, now you're ok with eisenberg playing him.

Have an original thought dude.
Because he voiced him in an animated feature? Or because he's the fanboy favourite right now? I'm pretty sure at one point he's the only person you could see playing lex, now you're ok with eisenberg playing him.

Have an original thought dude.
-11
2:37PM on 02/05/2014

hopefully Phoenix passed

Because Marvel offered him something better. Dr Strange maybe? I'm sure he wasn't too keen on being part of something that started off on the wrong foot with Man of Steel.

Didn't Hanks say he wanted to do a superhero movie before as the villain? I don't know. It just seems like there are all these A-list actors out there not getting involved in what Warner is doing for whatever reason.

Ripe for the Disney picking.
Because Marvel offered him something better. Dr Strange maybe? I'm sure he wasn't too keen on being part of something that started off on the wrong foot with Man of Steel.

Didn't Hanks say he wanted to do a superhero movie before as the villain? I don't know. It just seems like there are all these A-list actors out there not getting involved in what Warner is doing for whatever reason.

Ripe for the Disney picking.
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