Zack Snyder Reflects on Talks With Leonardo DiCaprio to Play Lex Luthor

Zack Snyder reveals some big names he reached out to for Lex Luthor.

Today marks 86 years since Superman made his debut, and folks are celebrating the iconic hero in various ways. James Gunn shared a photo from the set of his new Superman movie, which featured him alongside David Corenswet (Superman) and Rachel Brosnahan (Lois Lane) reading some classic Superman comics. The new movie is also set to star Nicholas Hoult as Lex Luthor. Of course, many actors have played the beloved DC characters over the years with different directors tackling the stories. One such director is Zack Snyder, who is known for helming Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and the "Snyder Cut" of Justice League. In his versions, the role of Lex was played by Jesse Eisenberg, but it turns out he once had another famous name in mind: Leonardo DiCaprio

While appearing on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Snyder confirmed the longstanding rumor that he had a phone conversation with Adam Driver about the role of Lex. He also revealed that he was interested in DiCaprio. 

"I think so," Snyder said when asked if the Oscar-winner was intrigued by the idea. "He had a lot of great ideas actually, just in the meeting. I think in the end, he was like 'Eh, I don't know.' But he was really smart about the material and really smart about the character."

"He was the one that mentioned to me the idea about Superman fighting the Justice League at some point," Snyder added, noting he eventually used the idea in Justice League. "I was like, 'Oh, that's cool.' He is a [comic guy]. I was like, 'I'm going to put that over there.'"

When Is The Next Superman Being Released? 

Originally titled Superman: Legacy, DC Studios describes James Gunn's Superman as the story of Superman's journey to reconcile his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing as Clark Kent of Smallville, Kansas. He is the embodiment of truth, justice, and the American way, guided by human kindness in a world that sees kindness as old-fashioned. 

In addition to the previously mentioned stars, Superman: Legacy will star María Gabriela de Faría as Angela Spica/The Engineer, Isabela Merced as Kendra Saunders/Hawkgirl, Nathan Fillion as Guy Gardner, Edi Gathegi as Michael Holt/Mr. Terrific, Anthony Carrigan as Rex Mason/Metamorpho, and Sara Sampaio as Eve Teschmacher. 

"It's not an origin story," Peter Safran previously explained to reporters when asked about the film. "It focuses on Superman balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing. Superman represents truth, justice, and the American way. He has kindness in a world that thinks of kindness as old fashioned."

Gunn previously confirmed Superman would be released in theaters on July 11, 2025.