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Robert Downey Jr. was almost Lex Luthor?

Illustration for article titled Robert Downey Jr. was almost Lex Luthor?

In an interview with The Playlist, director McG — who was once attached to a big-budget Superman movie — revealed that Tony Stark himself had actually signed to play the villainous Lex Luthor.

"We had Robert Downey Jr. locked up to be Lex Luthor, which I think would have been extraordinary," McG enthused. But his pick for the Big Blue Boyscout is actually much less of a surprise. "Ironically, we liked Henry Cavill a lot, but we hadn't cast him yet," he says of the actor currently wearing the tights in the upcoming "Man Of Steel." "J.J. wrote the script, and we got that to a really good place in the end," he says of the film, the first in a proposed trilogy. "But I'm to blame for [the film not happening]." While we've heard no shortage of superhero movie casting over the years, the idea of a then-low-key Downey Jr. as Lex Luthor is enough to make us wonder a whole score of what-if fantasies, particularly considering his own subsequent ascension to the top of the A-List following "Iron Man."


We think Downey would have made a tremendous fast-talking Lex, but we still prefer him as our snarky man in the tin can.

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I'd still like to see Billy Zane take a crack at it.