Another day, another rumor about the impending cinematic pairing of Batman and Superman to break the Internet. Today, Variety revealed that sources are alleging Warner Bros. is extending an offer for actor Joaquin Phoenix to come aboard Zack Synder’s untitled sequel to Man of Steel, the film that’s already made waves over the announcements that Ben Affleck will portray Bruce Wayne and the film will feature an appearance by Wonder Woman, to be played by Gal Gadot.
The role Phoenix would play has not yet been specified, but speculation is that Phoenix is being courted to play Big Bad Lex Luthor in the film, a character played in previous Superman pics by Gene Hackman and Kevin Spacey. We reported earlier that Game of Thrones actor Jason Momoa may join the cast, perhaps in a villain form, but Warner Bros. and the team behind the film surely want to have a more known quantity to portray a more significant villain in the film. This is purely in the rumor stages as no official offer has been made to the actor, nor has a particular part been confirmed from either side of the equation, merely a suggestion that the actor is being courted by the studio.
Which says nothing as to whether Phoenix would accept an offer regardless. The famously idiosyncratic actor, who’s is currently earning raves as a well as a recent Golden Globe nomination for his role in Spike Jonze’s Her (also a Warner Bros. film), may balk at the mere thought of appearing in such a spectacle. Phoenix, whose career resurgence took flight last year when he appeared in Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master (earning an Oscar nomination to boot) after the strange prankster mockumentary I’m Still Here, in which the actor seemed ready to retire from acting to focus on becoming a rap star, appeared to damper it. Of course, Phoenix rose to fame earlier in his career appearing in the big-budget swords and sandal epic Gladiator, but since then has seemingly been more in his comfort zone in darker, more independent dramas. He’s upcoming slate includes roles in James Grey’s period epic The Immigrant, which premiered at Cannes this past summer, and the upcoming Inherent Vice, directed by his Master helmer Paul Thomas Anderson. Phoenix is also being courted for a role in Gus van Sant’s latest film, a drama entitled Sea of Trees, a project perhaps more in keeping with the choices the actor has made recently.
We will stay tuned to latest information as it arises. Batman and Superman are still slated to meet up on the big screen for the first time on July 17, 2015.