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Surprising Facts About The DCEU Even The Most Dedicated Fans Don't Know  

Zack Howe
584 votes 109 voters 3.6k views 13 items

List Rules Vote up the facts about the DCEU that surprised you.

Interest in the DC Extended Universe - or DCEU - has skyrocketed thanks to the success of both Wonder Woman and Aquaman. As the cinematic universe grows, diligent fans continue to bring more and more fun DCEU facts to light. From trivia about the actors in DC Comics movies to sneaky Easter eggs, there's no shortage of intriguing tidbits when it comes to the DCEU. 

Do you know which actress was pregnant while shooting a DC film? Or which superhero roles almost went to other actors? Here's a look at some behind-the-scenes facts that are sure to stoke your interest in DC's ever-growing film catalog.

Gal Gadot Didn't Know What She Was Auditioning For When She Went In For 'Wonder Woman'
Gal Gadot Didn't Know What She... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Surprising Facts About The DCEU Even The Most Dedicated Fans Don't Know
Photo:  Wonder Woman/Warner Bros.

After seeing her in the Fast and the Furious franchise, Warner Bros. became very interested in Gal Gadot. However, Gadot wasn't actually told what part she was trying out for when she auditioned because studio execs were trying to keep the project under wraps.

Gadot conveyed the experience to Rolling Stone, saying Zack Snyder called her after the first screening to confirm she was auditioning to be Diana Prince. According to Gadot, "Zack [Snyder] called me and was like, 'So do you know what you're testing for?' I said, 'No.' He said, 'Well, I'm not sure if you have her in Israel, but did you hear about Wonder Woman?'" She quickly pieced together the enormous opportunity being presented to her and accepted.

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The First Person To Play Superman On The Big Screen Made A Cameo In 'Man Of Steel'
The First Person To Play Super... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Surprising Facts About The DCEU Even The Most Dedicated Fans Don't Know
Photo:  Superman/Man of Steel/Warner Bros.

The name Aaron Smolinski might not mean anything to you, but he was technically the first person to grace the silver screen as Kal-El. At the beginning of 1978's Superman, a young Kryptonian boy crawls out of his downed spaceship in Kansas before being adopted by the Kents. That boy was played by Smolinski, who managed to sneak into another Superman film 35 years later when he played an unnamed communications officer in Man of Steel.

One of his biggest roles between Superman stints was Pete in MVP: Most Valuable Primate, a movie about a hockey-playing chimp.

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Warner Bros. Asked Ben Affleck To Direct 'Man Of Steel'
Warner Bros. Asked Ben Affleck... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Surprising Facts About The DCEU Even The Most Dedicated Fans Don't Know
Photo:  Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice/Warner Bros.

At one point, Ben Affleck was considered a frontrunner to helm Man of Steel, but he ultimately passed on the opportunity. He explained to Deadline why he didn't want the gig:

The one benefit of having done all kinds of movies as an actor is, you learn the pros and cons of being tempted to do a really big movie because it costs a lot of money. With Superman, I think they’re going to do a great version. Chris Nolan is brilliant and they’ve got a great director for it. I’ve love to do something like Blade Runner, but a lesson I’ve learned is to not look at movies based on budget, how much they’ll spend on effects, or where they will shoot. Story is what’s important. Also, there are a lot of guys ahead of me on the list to do epic effects movies.

In short, like many critics, he didn't appear too keen on the story.

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Adam Driver And Joaquin Phoenix Were Up For The Role Of Lex Luthor
Adam Driver And Joaquin Phoeni... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Surprising Facts About The DCEU Even The Most Dedicated Fans Don't Know
Photo:  Star Wars: The Last Jedi/Walt Disney Studios

Both Adam Driver and Joaquin Phoenix were offered the role of Lex Luthor before it ultimately went to Jesse Eisenberg. Phoenix passed on the role outright, while Driver had a scheduling conflict. Those weren't the only big names tossed around at Warner Bros., though. Before the studio decided on a young Luthor, rumors circled that Tom Hanks was in the mix of potential actors.

It's unclear if he was ever approached for the role, but it's a moot point, as the studio decided to go with a younger iteration of the Superman antagonist.

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