Zack Snyder Spoke to Leonardo DiCaprio About Playing Lex Luthor: ‘He Was Smart About the Material’ and Pitched Superman Fighting the Justice League

Zack Snyder revealed on the latest episode of the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast that he spoke to Leonardo DiCaprio about playing Lex Luthor in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” The role was ultimately played by Jesse Eisenberg. Snyder confirmed a rumor that he had a phone discussion with Adam Driver about Lex, but then dropped the scoop that he also courted DiCaprio.

Was DiCaprio intrigued? “I think so,” Snyder said. “He had a lot of great ideas actually, just in the meeting. I think in the end, he was like ‘Eh, I don’t know.’ But he was really smart about the material and really smart about the character.”

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“He was the one that mentioned to me the idea about Superman fighting the Justice League at some point,” Snyder added, noting that it was a plot point he’d incorporate into his DC Universe in “Justice League.” “I was like, ‘Oh, that’s cool.’ He is a [comic guy]. I was like, ‘I’m going to put that over there.'”

Snyder’s reveal that DiCaprio met to discuss playing Lex Luthor might surprise fans given the viral advice the Oscar-winning actor once gave to Timothée Chalamet: “No hard drugs and no superhero movies.” DiCaprio has never gone down the comic book movie route. Chalamet recently told The New York Times while on the press tour for “Dune: Part Two” that he’s sticking to DiCaprio’s advice for now, but potentially not forever.

“Well, Leonardo DiCaprio said to me, ‘No superhero movies, no hard drugs.’ Which I thought was very good,” Chalamet said. “I follow them both! But the movie that made me want to act is a superhero movie, ‘The Dark Knight.’ If the script was great, if the director was great, I’d have to consider it.”

Elsewhere in his “Happy Sad Confused” interview, Snyder brought up “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” again when asked about which fandom controversy has taken him most off guard over the years as related to his filmography. Snyder’s films have often outraged genre fans due to decisions like making Batman kill, but he said he was most surprised by the backlash to Batman and Superman putting their differences aside at the climax of “Dawn of Justice” once they realize their mothers are both named Martha.

“Martha really made me go, ‘Really? That’s it? That’s the thing that broke you?'” Snyder said. “[Screenwriter] Chris Terrio and I talk about it…if you disagree with the concept that Batman sees in Superman a kindred spirit because he sees him suddenly as human because their mothers shared the same name, I don’t know a more human thing that was going to happen in that moment. The truth is I don’t care. The other part of it is I do. It’s interesting. That caught me [off guard]. I’m glad people care on some level.”

Watch Snyder’s full interview on the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast in the video below.

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