For the longest time, rumors persisted that Bryan Cranston was this close to joining the burgeoning DC Cinematic Universe as Superman arch-nemesis Lex Luthor. Some reports even claimed that the Breaking Bad star was confirmed to take the role.
Of course, those rumors ended up proving false when Jesse Eisenberg was announced to take on the role, staring with the 2016 release Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Director Zack Snyder’s vision ultimately appears to be something totally unlike what Cranston undoubtedly would have brought to it, which begs the question of whether the actor was ever even up for the role to begin with.
MTV finally got an answer from Cranston, asking him point-blank if he was ever in talks with Warner Bros. and DC to play Lex Luthor. Here’s what the actor had to say:
“Not one conversation [about Lex Luthor]. It was all fan-driven. They’re thinking, ‘Who can play Lex Luthor? Who’s bald who can be menacing? Oh! Walter White! We can get that guy.’ And it’s like, it’s not very inspiring casting.”
While there’s little doubt that Cranston would have brought his own unique take on the iconic villain, he does have a point. Casting an actor best known as an intimidating bald man to play… another intimidating bald man, isn’t exactly the freshest move. Just as the casting of Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot seemed like out-of-left-field choices, Eisenberg’s Luthor promises to distinguish himself from the character’s other famous live-action interpretations (Gene Hackman, Kevin Spacey and Smallville‘s Michael Rosenbaum).
Cranston had previously denied any discussions for the role, and now that the Batman v Superman is well on its way to theaters, it’s nice to finally be able to close the book on that particular rumor once and for all. If anything, it serves as a stark reminder of the Internet’s ability to conjure up stories out of thin air, regardless of whether there is any shred of truth there to begin with.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will be in theaters on March 25, 2016; Suicide Squad on August 5, 2016; Wonder Woman – June 23, 2017; Justice League – November 17, 2017; The Flash – March 23, 2018; Aquaman – July 27, 2018; Shazam – April 5, 2019; Justice League 2 – June 14, 2019; Cyborg – April 3, 2020; Green Lantern – June 19, 2020.