Sensing that what Man Of Steel 2: It’s Like, How Much More Black Could This Be? And The Answer Is None, None More Black could really use is a little something for the art house crowd, the production has reportedly reached out to Joaquin Phoenix for an as-yet-unspecified role. As with all news of the movie that is still two years away, Variety’s report is carefully tentative, reminding everyone that it’s “very early in the process” and that Phoenix has not exactly embraced blockbuster fare of late, so he may refuse it if and when it’s offered. Still, Variety feels confident in reporting that Warner Bros. has at least reached out to Phoenix for what’s believed to be the role of Lex Luthor.

Other recent reports have suggested that both Jason Momoa and Callan Mulvey could be up for the sequel’s villain roles, though Variety says that even if they are, neither would be the main villain—and furthermore, neither would be the “slam dunk” Lex Luthor that Warner Bros. and Zack Snyder apparently believe Joaquin Phoenix would be, especially since the Internet wants Bryan Cranston, and Snyder demonstrably doesn’t listen to what people want from his superhero movies.


Anyway, aside from Phoenix’s likelihood to continue choosing smaller roles instead—the same report says he’s considering taking on Gus Van Sant’s Sea Of Trees, for example—he’s also a legendarily difficult and easily riled actor, making him a risky gamble for a studio who needs someone who’ll stick around for what will surely be multiple movies. And given Phoenix’s demonstrated disdain for doing publicity (see this new L.A. Times profile for just the latest example), he’s also particularly ill-suited for such a giant comic-book franchise’s relentless marketing campaign, which would probably only prompt him to scurry off and make another movie about guys taking dumps on his chest. In other words, this is likely as close to seeing Joaquin Phoenix and Batman together as you’re ever gonna get.