Rainn Wilson says he’d like to play an older version of Lex Luthor in the DC Extended Universe if given the opportunity. Wilson, of course, is best known for playing Dwight Schrute, the offbeat salesman of the Scranton, Pennsylvania paper distribution company Dunder Mifflin, which he established over nine seasons on the NBC smash sitcom The Office.
Thanks to his breakthrough role, Wilson has been able to put his comedic talent to work in other projects like the animated series Adventure Time, and he’s certain to bring some levity to the upcoming CBS All-Access series Star Trek: Discovery as the conniving, comedic foil Harry Mudd. And if Wilson gets his druthers, he would like one day to play a sometimes comedic villain in the DCEU.
In an interview with ComicBook about playing Mudd in Star Trek: Discovery, Wilson was asked who he’d want to play in a future DCEU movie, and as it turns out, he’d like to play Superman’s arch-enemy. He said:
“Maybe if there’s a chance to do Luther. Of course they cast that guy who’s 27 years old to do Lex Luthor. It didn’t make much sense to me. I guess if they wanted to go back to an older Lex Luthor, that would be a fun part.”
The “27-year-old” Wilson is referring to, of course, is Jesse Eisenberg, who played the Luthor as a younger, shaggy-haired industrialist in 2016’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. His take on the character was much more serious than Kevin Spacey’s Luthor in Superman Returns in 2006, and the polar opposite of screen legend Gene Hackman’s classic witty performance as the character opposite Christopher Reeve in Superman in 1978.
By the sound of his observations about playing Luthor, it sounds like Wilson would like to take the Hackman approach to the role. In addition to that, Wilson would like to see the whole atmosphere surrounding the Man of Steel change. He says:
“I still think DC has not quite figured out Superman. That’s too bad. I didn’t love the last Superman as much of as other people did, but I think Henry Cavill is pretty great. I haven’t quite figured that out. It doesn’t have the kind of humor and … It’s not the Dark Knight. Superman is not that. It’s got to be something fun with bright colors and outlandish characters.”
Given the dire events surrounding Superman at the end of BvS, something “fun with bright colors and outlandish characters” certainly doesn’t appear to be in the cards for the upcoming Justice League. Plus, it seems like Wilson hasn’t done himself any favors criticizing the DCEU, its perceived lack of humor and saying it isn’t The Dark Knight (even though TDK director Christopher Nolan co-wrote the story for Man of Steel). At the very least, he favors Cavill playing Superman.
If it’s fun, bright and outlandish that Wilson is looking for, perhaps he should set his sights on working with Taika Waititi in a future Thor adventure, should Thor: Ragnarok be a hit with fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In fact, Wilson told Comic Book that he’s a huge fan of Waititi and is looking forward to seeing his take on the Thor universe when it opens in theaters in November. Given Wilson’s unique comedic style and love for Waititi’s work, it seems like the actor and director are destined to work with one another.
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