Rumor Patrol: Bradley Cooper as Lex Luthor in ‘Man of Steel’

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 31st, 2013 at 10:25 am,

While it’s still a year and a half away, with some much bigger superhero movies to come before it, interest in Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot Man of Steel is starting to rise – and that of course brings, rumors, rumors and more rumors.

Today’s big rumor concerns an aspect of Man of Steel that has by and large slipped under the radar: the presence (or lack thereof) of Lex Luthor. But if rumor has it right, a certain famous face could be taking up the Luthor mantle.

Cosmic Book News is reporting that Hangover star Bradley Cooper will be appearing as Luthor in Man of Steel. That’s appearing, not being featured as the main antagonist – a job that’s been handed to Boardwalk Empire actor Michael Shannon, who will portray Superman’s equally-powered foe, General Zod.

This RUMOR comes totally unsubstantiated and unverified, from sources unknown, so let’s not be too quick to jump up and believe it. However, the source does claim that Cooper’s involvement is a recent development (hence why he hasn’t appeared in any set photos yet), as his schedule suddenly had an opening due to the stalled production on the Paradise Lost adaptation, in which Cooper was set to star as Lucifer. So could the actor truly be going from Lucifer to Luthor?

At first glance, the smart money would be on “no.” A part like Lex Luthor in a new Superman movie franchise would be a multi-film contract commitment – even if the part were a small 0ne in this initial film. With the way that Cooper has been packing his schedule in the last year or so, we’d almost certainly know if the actor were signing on for something this big and time consuming.

Lex Luthor Comic Book Rumor Patrol: Bradley Cooper as Lex Luthor in Man of Steel

Similarly, all indications have pointed to Snyder and Co. wanting to do something different with this new film – a fresh approach to the character, as it were. Even though bringing General Zod back is a bit of a repeat tactic, you can bet that any Luthor presence in this film will be a peripheral one. Cooper seems a little too big right now to take on this small a part; even a just-for-fun cameo would lead to fans demanding that he return in sequels in order to preserve continuity. Lot of hassle for a little bit of fun.

Of course, that’s not to say that it’s impossible that the collapse of Paradise Lost opened the door for Cooper to hop on MoS; with so much time left ’til release day, the filmmakers could certainly fit him somewhere while deals for sequels were getting locked down. Not impossible, but not likely, either.

While it won’t be a surprise to hear this rumor debunked, it does leave us with some good questions: Will Lex Luthor appear in ‘Man of Steel’ at all? How big a part will he play? If he appears, who will play him – big actor or smaller name? And will that actor be brought over for the sequels, should the role expand?

Man of Steel will be in theaters on June 14, 2013

Source: Cosmic Book News


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  1. I wouldn’t mind Lex being in the movie if they portrayed him how is he being portrayed in Action Comics reboot. His character is different from the others. Or if he was portrayed the way he is in It’s Superman! as a corrupt politician set to take over the city with neforius inventions.

  2. Maybe hint at some lex action, I’m hoping that when Zod arrives on his ship that the brainiac system was on board and became aware and exited via a human host. Then have the whole Lex Braniac partnership in the second and possibly carry on to a third. But somewhere somehow Darkseid needs to be involved.

  3. I’m going to agree with you one this one. It could be one of those things where you’re so used to seeing an actor play either lead in a comedy (The Hangover) or an a**hole in a movie (like Wedding Crashers). Sometimes, someone you don’t expect to capture a character just nails it, mostly because you don’t see it coming. Cooper might fall into this category. He was going to play Lucifer, which is odd to me but yet, I can see it… I personally think Leonardo DiCaprio would be awesome for Lex Luthor because he’s played about every character possible, except a villain. People would say ‘he doesn’t look like Lex enough.’ The thing is, I think he might look more like a Lex without hair than people think & his acting is incredible. Just saying…
    Can you imagine the attention, the pull this film would get if people knew he was going to be a part of it in some way going forward!? It’d be amazing.

  4. I could see Snyder/Nolan would like to bring actors from the Batman films & Inception to make the Superman reboot great.

  5. Well this article has got me thinking. Several things to suggest. I’ve watched GL a couple times this past month, and isn’t the presence of Amanda Waller in that movie some sort of indicator? She is a DC character and not just a GL character, correct? In recent years hasn’t Lex also taken on more of a DC role(primarily in the animated JL series) than just a Superman villian? Aaaand, correct me if I’m wrong, but GL, (the most recent DC release) is the only DC movie to end like a Marvel movie, with a post credit easter egg\spoiler\teaser\button. Is it not possible that DC is quietly tieing their universe together? Obviously the epic fail status of GL would complicate that but it nevertheless could be fixed. On a little side note, didn’t the guy who played Moriarty in SH2 have about a sixty second role in SH? I have previously been unimpressed with almost all MOS news, but if WB is planning a big surprise with this Superman movie, I’m all for it. It would be worth their while to secretly cast Brad as Lex, even for a small set up role. Someone at SR wrote a few months back, “Mark my words, Henry and Ryan will reprise their roles as S and GL in a Justice League movie.” Not an exact quote but something along those lines. The possibilities are awesome

  6. ^ Hhmmn. Very deep and thought provoking ideas from S.O.P.

  7. No offense to Cooper, I’m a huge fan, but I don’t think he’d be right for the part. For me only one person can be Lex, wait, 2. Either kevin spacey, or Mike Rosenbaum.

  8. Mike Rosenbaum is by far my favorite Luthor he made the”Master of Evil” so human, relateable, and dramatic to me, but he also made him in someways heroic because he tried to do the right thing but anytime he did or tried he was rejected by society so therefore he went to being a villain because he didn’t feel as if the hero role was doing him any good. Smallville is by far my favorite show love that to death and Lex is my favorite character next to Clark, when i watched it though i always noticed a bit of irony and this is just what i noticed on the show maybe its also in the comics let me know if it is, but i always noticed that Clark was an Alien but he was accepted by more people as if he was a human but Lex was treated like an Alien because fewer people understood him and therefore they rejected him, just a little something I found interesting.

    I like Bradley Cooper a lot i want to see Limitless when i get a chance i think he could be a great Luthor if they just change the writing of the character and make it differetn from Hackman, Rosenbaum, and Spacey (Spacey i also liked in the role and i think hes a great actor), one because its a reboot and all but second because the way that Luthot worked in all the movies (not counting Smallville) is that he was always after land and used his criminal powers and goons to steal a bunch of land then he’d lay a huge ass chunk of Kryptonite on supes, he’d get rid of thanks to a hot chick, and then he pick up the island, or repair the fault, or stop the earthquake and then he’d take Luthor to jail where he’d break out in the next 5 weeks, and then he’d smile for the camera while flying above the earth lol! Thats probably one of the reasons why i liked Rosenbaum a lot bebause they actually gave him a character to me at least.

    My take on Lex Luthor is a little bit different then others and if you guys don’t mind i would like to share it with you. Imagine Lex Luthor actually having hair maybe long brown or dark red and he despises Superman because he has a really dark kind of philosophy, he believes that heroes don’t exist in the world he thinks that people in the world that call themselves heroes and help other people aren’t trying to help them because they care about them they just think that if they help people that people will like them more and thats all they really care about in the end. SO that’s my take on Luthor if there has been one like that in the past whether it’d be television or comics let me know because i like stuff like that.

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