Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice star Jesse Eisenberg wasn't the biggest name rumored to bring Lex Luthor to life in the DC Extended Universe, as A-list stars including Bryan Cranston, Mark Strong, Joaquin Phoenix, Idris Elba and Denzel Washington were all reportedly in the running for the role. However, during an interview with ScreenRant, those rumors came as a surprise to Washington. When asked if Warner Bros. was interested in him playing the role, Washington wasn't aware of the rumors.
"Really? I never heard that," he revealed. Washington followed up saying you shouldn't believe everything you hear online. "Oh, of course you believe everything you hear. No. I never I’ve never heard that until just now," he said.
Lex Luthor was almost completely cut from Justice League, aside from a small cameo in the second post-credits scene. Eisenberg's casting as the infamous Batman v Superman villain brought about much controversy right from the start, and his performance didn't do much to soothe the outrage, as critics and audiences both largely panned his performance.
We'll probably never know whether critics and audiences would have had a different reaction to Batman v Superman's Luthor had Washington been cast. For now, it appears Eisenberg's version of Luthor will remain an important part of the DC Extended Universe, based on the second post-credits scene in Justice League.
Now in theaters, Justice League stars Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Ciarán Hinds as Steppenwolf, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon.