Before Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Lex Luthor polarized DC Extended Universe fans, Oscar-winner Leonardo DiCaprio was considered for the part just a few years after he was also being eyed to play a major Batman character in The Dark Knight Rises. It’s still amusing to wonder how DiCaprio’s take on the iconic Superman villain would have turned out. Debuting in Zack Snyder’s 2015 venture Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Eisenberg’s controversial performance as Lex Luthor divided fans and critics alike with The Social Network actor channeling a manic energy for a younger, more inexperienced version of the DC antagonist.

It’s not surprising that Leonardo DiCaprio didn’t end up playing Lex Luthor considering how the Titanic star rejected many superhero projects in his storied career. The roles that DiCaprio turned down include Robin in Batman Forever and the titular hero in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. In fact, DiCaprio even warned Timothee Chalamet to not act in any superhero movies. Chalamet, on the other hand, feels he might still star in one considering he got into acting because of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. It’s only ironic that DiCaprio could have once starred in a superhero movie directed by his Inception collaborator.


Every DCEU Movie Ranked From Worst To Best

The DCEU is almost complete after 15 movies, but how does Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom compare to the likes of Justice League and The Flash?

Zack Snyder Wanted Leonardo DiCaprio For The DCEU

The Oscar-Winning Actor Could Have Played Lex Luthor

In an episode of Happy, Sad, Confused podcast, Zack Snyder revealed how he met Leonardo DiCaprio while directing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. While not giving away the details of their discussion, the director confirmed that DiCaprio had “a lot of great ideas” about the character’s introduction in the DCEU. But when the question came to him playing the part, DiCaprio refused even if Snyder added that “he was really smart about the material. The Man of Steel director further mentioned that the actor suggested Superman fighting the Justice League, an idea that came to fruition in Justice League.

I think in the end, he was like, “Eh, I don’t know…” but he was really smart about the material.

From Gene Hackman in Richard Donner’s Superman to Michael Rosenbaum in Smallville, every live-action portrayal of Lex Luthor has been distinct in its own right. While DiCaprio’s versatility could have added a new depth to the character, this casting probably wouldn’t have fixed the movie’s overall problems. As was evident from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’s mixed reviews, Snyder’s movie suffered from an overabundance of storylines, pacing issues, and some notorious moments like the infamous “Martha” scene. With the conflict between Batman and Superman taking center stage, there’s little that DiCaprio’s Lex could have done to save the movie.


All 3 Iconic DC Characters Leonardo DiCaprio Almost Played In 3 Different Batman Movie Franchises

He may not have been in a comic book movie, but Leonardo DiCaprio could have starred opposite 3 different Batmans.

Warner Bros’ Demand For DiCaprio In The Dark Knight Rises Would Have Been Better

DiCaprio Could Have Played The Riddler In Christopher Nolan’s Last Batman Movie

From being considered to play Robin in Batman Forever to Lex Luthor in the DCEU, Leonardo DiCaprio was almost cast in three Batman franchises. A few years after collaborating with Christopher Nolan for his cerebral thriller Inception, DiCaprio was also considered by Warner Bros to play The Riddler in Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. The movie’s story writer David S Goyer confirmed that the studio heads were indeed eyeing DiCaprio to play the puzzle-obsessed criminal mastermind in the follow-up to The Dark Knight.


Dark Knight Rises Sequel: Why Nolan Never Made A 4th Batman Movie

Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy is among the best trilogies and superhero movies ever, but why didn’t he make a fourth Batman movie?

The Dark Knight Rises co-screenwriter Jonathan Nolan added that while he had plans to develop a Riddler character, Bane was picked as the movie’s villain because The Riddler seemed too similar to Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight. Still, DiCaprio’s portrayal of the Riddler could have been a completely off-the-wall, darkly charismatic take on the character. The actor so far has played several multi-layered villains like Calvin Candie in Django Unchained and Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street. This range proves that DiCaprio could’ve had a stellar superhero movie debut if he had played the enduring DCvillain.

As Lex Luthor, DiCaprio would have faced the same issues as Jesse Eisenberg, which led to such criticism of his performance. DiCaprio’s version would presumably have come across as an older iteration of the character, which may have helped, but there’s too much of a hyperactive tech industry nepo baby about the character in the script, and DiCaprio simply doesn’t fit that image. His lost Riddler would have been a far better fit all round.

Key Release Dates

The Batman Part II

“}]] DiCaprio could’ve once joined the Dark Knight saga  Read More