Robert Downey Jr Could Have Been Lex Luthor in McG’s Superman

Zack Snyder's MAN OF STEEL is only a few months away, yet did you know there was another Superman movie in production under TERMINATOR SALVATION director McG, and it had Robert Downey Jr on as Lex Luthor.

Zack Snyder’s MAN OF STEEL is only a few months away, yet did you know there was another Superman movie in production under TERMINATOR SALVATION director McG, and it had Robert Downey Jr on as Lex Luthor.

That’s right!  In a new interview with The Playlist, McG talks about FLYBY, the project that never was.  Here’s an excerpt:

“It’s not the first franchise picture McG has been attached to that almost changed the entire mythology of a beloved property. In the early aughts, McG was attached to “Flyby,” a rebooting of the “Superman” series that, thanks to a boldly different take from screenwriter J.J. Abrams, would have made wholesale changes to the origins of Superman, his home planet Krypton, and his main nemesis Lex Luthor. McG ended up exiting the project when the studio was adamant about shooting in Australia. He blames his fear of flying for being “thrown off” that project, calling it his “rock-bottom” moment, which would eventually lead him to taking on his next film, the plane-crash drama “We Are Marshall,” as a catharsis.”

“McG says no final casting decisions had been made on the film, though he did mention one name that, we admit, we hadn’t heard before. “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].”

Tell me that doesn’t sound absolutely awesome?

Other plot details and casting decisions were pointed out, courtesy of /Film:

-They were looking at unknown actors to play Superman. Stan Winston designed a “prototype suit” and McG reportedly shot test footage with several candidates, including Jason Behr, Henry Cavill, Jared Padalecki and Michael Cassidy.

-Selma Blair and Scarlett Johansson were in talks for Lois Lane

-Shia LaBeouf was on board to play Jimmy Olsen

-LaBeouf claimed that McG wanted Johnny Depp for the role of Lex Luthor

So we could have had a ridiculously different Superman movie coming out than what we we’re expecting.  I would have loved to see what JJ Abrams could have done with a trilogy.  (If anybody could match Nolan’s BATMAN status, it would be him.)  But, alas, we shall see what Zack Snyder comes up with.

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