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Joaquin Phoenix as Lex Luthor in 'Batman vs. Superman'?

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The Man of Steel sequel may be titled Batman vs. Superman -- with Wonder Woman --, but this trinity of superheroes might come together to fight one of the greatest super-villains of all time: Lex Luthor.

Rumors are circulating that Joaquin Phoenix could be the lead candidate for this role, as Variety reported that Warner Bros. are interested in signing on the Golden Globe and Oscar-nominated actor for a role in Batman vs. Superman with Henry Cavill back as the Man of Steel, Ben Affleck as the Dark Knight and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman.

Hailed by himself as "the greatest criminal mastermind of all time", Lex Luthor has been Superman's arch-nemesis for over 70 years in the pivotal battle between good and evil.

Luthor has been played by Gene Hackman in three Superman movies starring the late Christopher Reeve, Kevin Spacey in 2006's Superman Returns with Brandon Routh, John Shea in ABC's Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman with Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher, and Michael Rosenbaum in CW's Superman-in-training Smallville with Tom Welling.

Batman vs. Superman is set for release on July 17, 2015.

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