Robert Downey Jr. Was Locked as Lex Luthor in McG's 'Superman' Reboot

Robert Downey Jr.

The 'This Means War' director reveals that the 'Iron Man' actor would have played Superman's archenemy in his former movie project, which was taken over by Bryan Singer who helmed 'Superman Returns'.
Though he is now famously known for his portrayal of superhero Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. was actually cast as a supervillain in McG's "Superman" reboot back in 2002. Though the project was dead, the director revealed that Downey Jr. originally signed on to star as Lex Luthor five years before he was attached to Jon Favreau's "Iron Man".

Speaking to Indie Wire during the press junket of "This Means War", McG discussed his former superhero movie project, which once had J.J. Abrams serving as the screenwriter. "We had Robert Downey Jr. locked up to be Lex Luthor, which I think would have been extraordinary," he unveiled.

Surprisingly, the filmmaker admitted that at that time he also eyed Henry Cavill, who tackles the lead role in Zack Snyder's upcoming "Man of Steel", to play the part of the titular superhero. "Ironically, we liked Henry Cavill a lot, but we hadn't cast him yet," said the 43-year-old director.

Back in 2002, McG was attached to direct a "Superman" reboot called "Flyby". The project had also tapped Abrams as the scribe, who provided a great script that took the film into a different approach and made changes to Superman's origins. McG, however, decided to leave the project due to his aerophobia after Warner Bros. Pictures insisted to shoot the movie in Australia.

Of his failed project, which was initially planned as a trilogy, McG said, "J.J. wrote the script, and we got that to a really good place in the end." He continued on, "But I'm to blame for [the film not happening]."

Since McG dropped out "Flyby", Bryan Singer was chosen to replace him in 2004, resulting in 2006's "Superman Returns". McG himself decided to work on plane crash drama "We Are Marshall" instead.

McG's upcoming directorial movie after "This Means War" is "Ouija", a supernatural film co-produced by Michael Bay. The "Terminator Salvation" helmer also serves as the producer for Anders Anderson's upcoming thriller starring James Van Der Beek called "Stolen".

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