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Robert Downey Jr. was cast as Lex Luthor in McG’s “Superman: Flyby”


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With “Man of Steel” still more than a year away, now seems like the perfect time to talk about other “Superman” projects that could have been. At least that’s what director McG though while promoting his new romantic action comedy “This Means War.”

McG recently sat down with The Playlist and talked about his canceled project “Superman: Flyby.” Back in the early aughts, McG was tapped to direct the bold new take on the classic superhero from screenwriter J.J. Abrams, but ultimately passed because Warner Bros wanted to film the project in Australia and McG was afraid of flying.

He certainly had interesting ideas for the casting of the film, though. The Playlist said that “Flyby” would have made some major changes to the Superman’s origins, the planet Krypton and bad boy Lex Luthor, but one thing would have remained the same: Henry Cavill.

“Ironically, we liked Henry Cavill a lot, but we hadn’t cast him yet,” McG said.

But there would have been a bit of a surprise choice for the actor to play Lex. Turns out that a pre-“Iron Man” Robert Downey Jr. was the only actor locked in for the film, and he would have played Superman’s main nemesis.

“We had Robert Downey Jr. locked up to be Lex Luthor, which I think would have been extraordinary,” McG enthused.

In addition to those two, it had previously been revealed that Shia LaBeouf was on board to play Jimmy Olsen, but not officially signed. Similarly, Selma Blair and Scarlett Johansson were in talks to play Lois Lane (courtesy of /Film), but neither was cast.

Are you intrigued by “Flyby,” even though it will never happen? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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