Warner Bros.' casting of Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor came as a pretty out-there choice for everyone expecting some older, already-bald guy on AMC. But as it turns out, he wasn't even the most left-field option being considered to distract from Ben Affleck.
The Hollywood Reporter has a rundown on the casting of the Superman-Batman villain, confirming that Joaquin Phoenix was offered the part and refuting that Bryan Cranston was ever even approached for the role. More interestingly, they offer that Adam Driver, once rumored to be playing Nightwing in the film, was actually in talks to show us how he'd look with the shaved head of Luthor.
Perhaps even stranger than that, THR goes on to suggest that the studio had been having discussion internally about whether they should try to get Tom Hanks to play the villain, if that's what it would take to get Mom interested. That's when Warner Bros. had to be like, "Look, we've got two very similar actors here, and this could go either way. Jesse Eisenberg and Tom Hanks are equally apt options to play a supervillain. We've just got to pick one or the other. Here are photos of the two of them, and I've labeled them "Jesse" and "Tom" so you can tell who is who. Now I'm just going to throw a dart at those, because otherwise, how does one choose between Jesse Eisenberg and Tom Hanks?" And so it was decided. But now, whenever we see Eisenberg up there as Lex, we'll always be thinking, "Man, Tom Hanks would also be very good in this part," as we always think whenever we see Jesse Eisenberg on screen.