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

We’ve covered director McG’s scrapped Superman movie Flyby (which featured a script by J.J. Abrams) quite a bit here at SuperHeroHype, but we had not heard this one. McG revealed to The Playlist that his Lex Luthor would have been none other than Robert Downey Jr.:

“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].” While we’ve heard no shortage of superhero movie casting over the years, the idea of a then-low-key Downey Jr. as Lex Luthor is enough to make us wonder a whole score of what-if fantasies, particularly considering his own subsequent ascension to the top of the A-List following “Iron Man.”

Zack Snyder’s new Superman movie starring Henry Cavill, Man of Steel, will hit theaters on June 14, 2013.