Surprising Facts About The DCEU Even The Most Dedicated Fans Don't Know
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.
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The First Person To Play Superman On The Big Screen Made A Cameo In 'Man Of Steel'
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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Gal Gadot Didn't Know What She Was Auditioning For When She Went In For 'Wonder Woman'
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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Gal Gadot Almost Gave Up Acting Before 'Wonder Woman'
Perhaps more accurately, Gal Gadot never even intended to be an actress. Competing in the Miss Universe pageant, however, garnered her a lot of attention - and she wasn't initially eager about it. After she gained some fame, she was offered an audition to be a Bond girl.
She related to Rolling Stone, "I told my agent, 'What are you talking about? I'm in school. I'm not an actress. I'm not gonna go.'" But she did take the audition, which led to a role in the Fast and the Furious franchise, and ultimately to Wonder Woman.
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Adam Driver And Joaquin Phoenix Were Up For The Role Of Lex Luthor
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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Zack Snyder Has Made Cameos In Multiple DCEU Films
Zack Snyder made cameo appearances in both Wonder Woman and Batman v Superman. When we first see Wonder Woman with her WWI crew in a century-old photograph in Batman v Superman, Snyder appears as a costumed officer in the background.
The photo was taken on the first day of production for Wonder Woman - and since the photo appears in both films, Snyder technically gets credit for a cameo in each.
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Warner Bros. Asked Ben Affleck To Direct 'Man Of Steel'
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.