Rumor: Mark Strong & Bryan Cranston In The Mix For Lex Luthor In 'Superman Vs. Batman'

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by Oliver Lyttelton
August 9, 2013 9:59 AM
11 Comments
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With the dust settled on "Man Of Steel" (an awful lot of dust, given how much of Metropolis was totaled by film's end) it's fair to call it a successful reboot of the Superman franchise. Sure, it divided fans and critics, and didn't hit the giddy billion-dollar heights of the "Dark Knight" films (yet), but $650 million and counting isn't anything to be sniffed at for a franchise starter, and Warner Bros made clear that they're pushing forward at Comic-Con by bringing out Zack Snyder to announce that he'd be returning to direct the film's sequel, which would feature Henry Cavill's Kal-El face off against a new iteration of Batman.

With the film aiming for a 2015 release, things are moving swiftly on the project, so it's no surprise that we're already hearing casting rumors, with names like Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin cropping up for the Caped Crusader last weekend. And now, the last couple of days have brought some hints at two actors who might follow in the footsteps of Gene Hackman and Kevin Spacey to play Superman's greatest nemesis, Lex Luthor, in the project.

First up, perennial movie villain Mark Strong (who's been the bad guy in "Sherlock Holmes," "John Carter," "Robin Hood" and "Kick Ass" among others) has apparently had his name out there in the ether for the part for a while, and when Digital Spy put the possibility to him, the actor (whose AMC series "Low Winter Sun" begins airing this Sunday, and who gives an excellent performance in "Blood," which is in limited release this weekend) told the site "All I can say is... watch this space," which hardly qualifies as a denial, and certainly seems to suggest that he's at least in the running.

But there may be someone else with a head start on the role, as Latino Review's scoopmeister El Mayimbe has been dropping numerous hints on Twitter that Strong's AMC colleague Bryan Cranston may be up for the gig. The "Breaking Bad" actor's schedule is clearing up now that the series has wrapped (its final eight episodes begin airing Sunday), and the actor has a good relationship with Warners, having featured in "Contagion," "Rock Of Ages" and the upcoming "Godzilla" for the studio (he also voiced James Gordon in the animated "Batman: Year One" series, fact fans).

Of course, these are all unverified rumors, and things are early enough down the line that these could just be names being kicked around by Snyder & co. There's no doubt that either actor would be a good fit for the part, but given that they're among the more famous bald character actors around, there's a certain lack of imagination at work. And if you're gonna think about well-known slapheads, at least give Corey Stoll some consideration...

We probably won't get a firm answer in the immediate future, but we're also likely to know before too long: with "Batman Vs. Superman," or whatever it ends up being called, aiming for a 2015 release, filming needs to get underway early next year at the latest.


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11 Comments

  • DG | August 11, 2013 2:55 AMReply

    Don't do it Bryan!

  • James O'Brien | August 10, 2013 9:07 PMReply

    Michael Rosenbaum is currently leading at Fill the Part.

  • GOD | August 10, 2013 12:55 AMReply

    i just came.

  • Talal | August 9, 2013 4:42 PMReply

    Zack Snyder is an excellent director and I liked his latest Man of Steel and all he did in this film directed by and select representatives who appeared in the film; As for such who will represent in the character of Lex Luther I prefer Mark Strong, it is my belief Profile will be where all the specifications and charisma in Lex Luther character.

  • Traie | August 9, 2013 12:01 PMReply

    Strong also played Sinestro in Green Lantern and was set up as the baddie for the unrealized sequel in the post credit sequence

  • TheoC | August 9, 2013 11:38 AMReply

    In a perfect world it's neither Cranston or Strong it's somebody as charming as a shaved Clooney, someone you could b tricked into voting for, what I love about Lex in the comics, is that he's not always wrong he just exploits everything for his own gain, he has more than one dimension, on paper Spacey was great casting, but his Lex was far too lavender.

    I think the movie should really be the People Vs Superman with Lex luthor as the Attorney General bring a major class action against Superman for all the destruction caused in the first movie.

  • TheoC | August 9, 2013 11:29 AMReply

    Oh he'll just end up shaving Billy Crudup.

  • marko | August 9, 2013 11:07 AMReply

    Most of the time, unimaginative suggestions like these can be easily dismissed as rumors, but then again Zack Snyder is a pretty unimaginative director.

  • mpbstereo | August 9, 2013 10:43 AMReply

    Great suggestion, Stoll.

  • mpbstereo | August 9, 2013 10:43 AMReply

    Great suggestion, Stoll.

  • Pig Bodine | August 9, 2013 10:12 AMReply

    "... given that they're among the more famous bald character actors around, there's a certain lack of imagination at work...."

    Exactly!

    How about somebody who can be scary *and* a little funny? If he'd be willing to shave his head ... Jon Hamm? Which would also give a nice bit of symmetry to the years of Hamm/Superman rumors.

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