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There’s a Batman. There’s a Superman. Now all these two superheroes need is a villain, and if Warner Bros. gets their way, he’ll be played by Joaquin Phoenix.
Variety reports that the studio wants to sign Phoenix as the main villain in “Batman vs. Superman” opposite Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill. But the question is: Does he want to do it?
The Oscar-nominated actor is once again receiving awards buzz for his performance in Spike Jonze’s “Her,” and has rarely taken roles in big blockbusters. His last few movies have all been small indie films, and the next movie possibly on his radar is the Gus Van Sant project “Sea of Trees.”
Neither Warner Bros. nor Phoenix’s reps made a comment to Variety.
While Phoenix shies away from major studio pics, he may see potential in playing an outsized superhero villain. After all, Heath Ledger received an Oscar nomination as the Joker in “The Dark Knight.” Which villain Warner Bros. is casting for is unknown, though Variety believes it to be Lex Luthor. Perhaps Phoenix would want a similar opportunity to give an iconic performance.
“Batman vs. Superman” flies into theaters July 17, 2015.
Gallery | Actors With Heroic Jawlines
- Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Once you’ve shtupped your sister on premium cable, like this “Game of Thrones” hunk has, it might be hard for the world to see you as a good guy. He’s got the looks (and the drool-worthy Men’s Health cover) to pull off the cape, but while WB happily hired a Brit, would they have gone for a Dane?
- Bill Hader
Seems like we’re not the only ones who thought the “SNL” star looked kinda heroic. So far his only “super” credit is “Superbad,” but it’s a shame he left SNL just as they might need a Superman skit.
- Aaron Eckhart
He’s got a jawline that won’t quit (and dig that super chin!), but Eckhart got his start playing bad guys. His noble Harvey Dent in “The Dark Knight” was his only superhero-related outing so far, and we all know how that ended.
- Thomas Jane
There’s no rule about playing more than one superhero (See: Chris Evans) but Jane was already The Punisher. It’s a role that required yes, a strong jaw, and a certain quiet, intimidating presence. Also guns, which Supes is not really about. Plus, Superman has never been blond.
- Jon Stewart
He’s got a chin that’s only outdone in talk-show circles by Jay Leno, but he’s probably too short and a tad too old to be Superman. But hey, we can picture him as a (really sarcastic) Jor-El! Comic book trivia: There was a Green Lantern named John Stewart.
- Jon Hamm
He’s been rocking that slicked-back hair for years as ad exec Don Draper on “Mad Men.” Who’s to say there isn’t a set of tights under that well-tailored suit? Of course, his less-than-stellar moral code rules out the character (not the actor) for championing Truth, Justice, and The American Way.
- Tom Cruise
He’s made a career playing strong-jawed heroes who defy the odds. He was reportedly once in line to play Iron Man, something we can’t picture at all. We can’t really see him as Superman either, even if we squint. Sorry, Tom, that’s one role (unlike Jack Reacher) where you really do have to be tall.
- Jake Gyllenhaal
We’re so used to thinking of Jake as “sensitive” that it’s easy to overlook his more manly qualities. He was a tough cop in “End of Watch,” and he was once in the running to play Batman and Superman, and nearly stepped in as Spider-Man when Tobey Maguire injured his back. Are there any other superheroes left to cast?
- Jim Caviezel
Hey, Christian Bale managed being both Jesus and Batman, so why couldn’t Caviezel (our most famous modern Christ) don the tights as Superman? Probably because he’s busy kicking ass on “Person of Interest,” where he gets to kick ass, avenge the unavenged, and brood handsomely sans spandex
- Ryan Reynolds
Since he’s already been one WB superhero (And one Marvel one. Kinda.), it was never in the cards for Reynolds to suit up as Superman. Plus, we couldn’t ever take him seriously, and the role requires a degree of gravity and earnestness we haven’t yet seen from him.
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