‘Superman vs. Batman’ Rumor: Mark Strong or Bryan Cranston as Lex Luthor?

Published 2 years ago by , Updated February 16th, 2014 at 9:24 am,

Lex Luthor Man of Steel Cameo Superman vs. Batman Rumor: Mark Strong or Bryan Cranston as Lex Luthor?

The topic of the Batman vs. Superman sequel to Man of Steel is heating up something fierce. While we’ve been discussing fanboy goodies like reasons why a Superman/Batman movie can be a hit or what comic books to draw from, other websites have been digging for any scoops they can related to the film, resulting in some conflicting casting rumors that are (in our humble opinion) good either way, no matter what turns out to be true.

We’ve already discussed why a Clark Kent/Bruce Wayne/Lex Luthor setup is best for Man of Steel 2, and even actor choices to play a mature Bruce/Batman – but what about Luthor? Which actors are suited to portraying Superman’s archenemies, a serpentine businessman who is also the greatest criminal mind of his time?

According to El Mayimbe at Latino-Review – via some not-so-subtle Twitter hints – Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston is the man Warner Bros. is looking at to play the new Lex Luthor:

However, Digital Spy has a conflicting report (actually, it’s not so much a report as an interview) in which they spoke to Kick-Ass and Green Lantern star Mark Strong about rumors that he has been approached to play Luthor in the next Superman film. Strong’s response to the query was a bit too cryptic to be ignored: “All I can say is… watch this space.”

Lex Luthor Bryan Cranston Mark Strong Superman vs. Batman Rumor: Mark Strong or Bryan Cranston as Lex Luthor?

From a credibility standpoint, either actor is a believable enough choice. As Mayimbe stated, Cranston is finishing up a chapter of his career with the final episodes of Breaking Bad, and could indeed be looking for that big franchise payday as reward for his years of hustling in the industry. Meanwhile, Strong is one of the, well, strongest character actors working today – not to mention, he has a relationship with DC/WB, having played a major supporting role in their Green Lantern tentpole.

The downsides? Well, Cranston will be nearly sixty by the time Batman vs. Superman is released, and having seen him go bald for major stretches of Breaking Bad, the man certainly looks his age (read: too old, arguably, to stand against Henry Cavill – even if Cavill will be standing next to a somewhat older Batman). Strong (at age 50) is no spring chicken, either, but it’s hard to debate that something in his Austrian/Italian genes is preserving him well: he looks like he would be a better Lex to stand against Cavill’s Superman and an older Batman.

gl sinestro hi res Superman vs. Batman Rumor: Mark Strong or Bryan Cranston as Lex Luthor?

Strong as Sinestro in ‘Green Lantern’

Sure, Strong has already been cast as a major DC Universe character (Sinestro in Green Lantern), but A) He was under enough makeup that the casual moviegoer likely didn’t recognize him, and B) DC/WB currently seems intent on ignoring Green Lantern’s existence in the universe they are building. Taking those points into account, a Mark Strong DC movie double-dip shouldn’t be that much of a problem. Plus, Sherlock Holmes (another WB tentpole) proved that Strong is more than solid as a diabolical criminal genius; taking on an icon like Lex would be no problem for an actor of his caliber. Cranston on the other hand, can get a little hammy in his film roles (sorry, I said it). 

Provided that even ONE of these options is true – who would YOU rather see play Lex Luthor? Vote in our poll below!

[poll id=”659″]


Batman vs. Superman (Man of Steel 2) will be in theaters sometime in 2015. Stay tuned for updates.

Sources: El Mayimbe & Digital Spy

Follow Kofi Outlaw on Twitter @ppnkof
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  1. Bryan Cranston would be amazing as Lex but I’d be okay with Mark Strong if he was picked instead.

  2. Bryan Cranston hands down! But I do have to agree his age is starting to catch up to him. Though he is only really going to do probably 3 DC movies, I mean how many movies will Lex appear in?

    Mark Strong would have to be my second choice and admittedly the better choice for Warner Bros. He’s a great actor and I can definitely picture him playing the villainous side of Lex Luthor as well as the white knight face for Metropolis.

  3. Wasn’t Mark Strong in Man of Steel already? Y’know, fighting Faora and…dying.

    • That was Christopher Meloni.

    • It’s Christopher Meloni…

    • Come on, man.

      How can anyone get Christopher Meloni and Bryan Cranston confused???

      • Come on, man.

        How can anyone get Bryan Cranston and Mark Strong confused?

        • Oh, you think you’re sooooo cute! lol

        • +1

  4. Bryan Cranston deserves a big break like Lex Luthor. He’s proven that he’s a a good enough actor to play the role and he’s worked with Warner Bros so he’d be perfect.

  5. Mark Strong !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  6. BC to join DC

  7. Maybe they don’t have to go with a bald, older Lex, and can go with Benedict Cumberbatch? With that being said, I won’t mind if Bryan Cranston or Mark Strong are chosen, as they are both good choices.

  8. Mark Strong, definitely. He was one of the microscopically few good things about Green Lantern. He was awesome as Sinestro, all ten minutes of him at least. And he was amazing in Kick-Ass. Mark Strong entire career is playing villains so he’d be a great choice.

    • In my opinion, he was great in Green Lantern. Could’ve reached outstanding if they gave him a bit more screen time. Didn’t know he was in Kick Ass though.

    • Right on.

      Mark Strong would be STRONG!

      Bryan Cranston is very cool. Unfortunately, he’s a bit older. We need a younger Lex Luthor to give Supes a good challenge.

      A Lex Luthor that is just as charming as he is evil.

      Mark Strong can do this!

      You can do this, Mark Strong! Let’s get this done!!!

  9. its quite hard to choose… mark strong looks like lex luthor and is a great actor … bryan cranston .. as i read is a awesome actor, i havent watched breaking bad, but he is a bit too old to be lex luthor.
    tough choice there .. imo both of them are fine they would probably put lots of makover on bryan to make him look younger , after all lex luthor is not old.

  10. I would believe the Bryan Cranston rumor if it wasn’t from egomaniac El Mayimbe. When was the last time he was right about something?

    • +1

    • Back in March when he said the sequel to Man of Steel would be a Batman/Superman movie.

      • That could easily be a lucky guess. Plenty of fans have suggested that they should do a World’s Finest movie followed by Justice League.

        • No kidding. He does have some inside hints, and he makes logical guesses.

          But yeah he is about as credible as you or I.

  11. i think they should go with bruce willis. i would love to see him as a bad guy and he is surely in good enough shape.

    • i dont think willis matches the char, hes usually playing crazy ppl gone bad and stuff like that , lex luthor is always relaxed, doesnt get mad easly even when he fights he seems to be a relaxed person. just sayin lol

      • Are you kidding? All Bruce would have to do is channel his attitude from the interviews he did for Red 2

  12. Mark Strong!! Never thought of him as Lex before. But i can clearly see him now coming up with an excellent portrayal of this character.

    • +1

    • +1

  13. I am for Bryan Cranston as Lex. His age shouldn’t be a factor as it’s Lex’s intelligence and experience that makes him such a successful nemesis for Superman.

  14. I really digged the Lex Luthor from Justice League Unlimited. I thought of that Lex Luthor to be the main ideal of what Luthor is and should look like. I, for one, would like to nominate Dwayne Johnson for the role. The guy’s age is well enough to long live in this cinematic universe, and he is quite fit to stand a foot against Supes. I can see Dwayne pull off an assholic, genuine, evil corporate.

    Dwayne Johnson for Lex!

    • Dwayne Johnson’s already bigger than Henry Cavil aha.

    • Dwayne Johnson is too big. He is bigger than HC and it would just look weird.

      • Which is one reason why Johnson/Luthor will not suspect Clark Kent to be Superman plot-wise. And if Johnson towers the hell out of Cavill, who the hell cares! Let us give Lex at least some bit of a benefit.

    • I want Dwayne Johnson to be the villain when they get around to making Hancock 2.

  15. I’ve said before on a different thread, I think the best actor to play Luthor would be Christoph Waltz. proven acting ability, can do the sinister/humour thing very well and is the right age.

  16. Strong’s response is tantamount to an admission he has
    been at least approached if not outright offered the role.

    I would prefer him to Cranston, time may have passed Bryan
    by for this part, plus he brings associations with other roles
    that Strong does not since Mark is not as well known and
    could cut a more distinctive characterization of Luthor.

    I am surprised to learn Mark is 50 but I can
    vouch for those Italian genes helping out.

  17. Martin Strong for Lex
    Cranston for Commissioner Gordon

    • Mark*

    • Cranston was a fine Gordon in the animated Batman: Year One.

  18. I kinda like the idea of Jason Isaacs (lucious Malfoy from Harry Potter) as Lex Luthor.
    But Mark Strong is by far the best choice though of all the names I heard being considered/rumored for the role of Lex Luthor

    • Ooooh that’s a good name I haven’t seen dropped before, nice one.

      I myself am for Michael C. Hall…

  19. As much as I love Bryan Cranston I can never watch anything he’s in without thinking of him as Hal from Malcolm in the Middle lol

  20. Mark Strong was great playing Sinestro, the only good thing that came out of that GL movie. I’d rather he stays put as Sinestro in the GL reboot than be casted as Luthor.

    • There won’t be a GL reboot, dude.

  21. this is what iam talking about! get older guys who can scare someone instead of casting children (ex: topher as venom or andrew as spiderman) any of these cats would be an excellent cast.

    • Is Spider-Man even supposed to be scary looking?

      • shoud have explained myself better, the mature and cut and built spiderman is menacing to villians along to go with his powers. but to the general public of course not since he is a good guy. should have used the dude that played the mini me version of juggernaut instead as second example.
        my bad.

  22. sorry, bryan cranston will always be Hal to me. Its odd how white people LOVE Breaking Bad like its the greatest thing since sliced bread

    • “Its odd how white people LOVE Breaking Bad…”

      hm? your statement is odd.

      • LOL


  23. I love Bryan Cranston, and Breaking Bad is the greatest TV show of all time. But I think there is something more menacing about Strong’s acting presence. I mean in Kick Ass and Zero Dark Thirty and (from what it looks like) in Low Winter Sun as well, he has this gravity about him that he could portray a big-time villain, or any villain for that matter. Cranston does play a great bad-guy, but I can’t see Walter White posing a threat to the man of steel and the dark knight simultaneously. Love you W.W. but i gotta go with Mark Strong here.

  24. I say go with a late 20’s early 30’s Lex and let me play him with my wild red locks. I can always get radiation sickness and loose my hair.

  25. Clive Owen as Lex Luthor He is taller than cavill(cavill is 6’1 Clive owen is 6’2),is the right age(48),Has a Deep baritone voice,Frequently plays tough characters who use intelligence rather than strength he’s proven plenty of times that he can play the cool, cold guy that Lex should be.I recommend watching Inside man to see why i want him as Lex.

  26. Are you kidding!? This is a no brainer, Strong is already a villain, that would be the LAMEST move ever to cast him as another even MORE iconic villain for another series.

    Bryan Crantson is far and away the best actor of the 2 and would present a fine challenge for Superman. Why would people be concerned that he be able to stand next to Superman. Superman can ALWAYS kick his ass into oblivion, he chooses not to and allow Lex to outsmart him with his mind, money and technology. Obviously Kryptonite is going to be invented, Superman needs a weakness. THIS is how Lex can stand up to Superman. It will happen.

  27. I had been hoping Christopher Meloni would be Lex Luthor, but obviously that wasn’t the case. An odd choice, which I thought would have been cool back when everyone was suggesting Jon Hamm play Superman, was for Jon Hamm to play Luthor. Unconventional, but hey I thought it would be cool.

    Cranston or Strong would make a great Lex. My vote is for Mark Strong, I’ve thought he was great ever since Sunshine. If Marvel can have Chris Evans play Johnny Storm then move him into a new continuity as Captain America, and have it work so well, then DC/WB can do the same with Strong.

  28. bruce willis for lex. that is all.

  29. Michael C. Hall or Leo Dicaprio for Lex Luthor (classic and experimental take respectively.)

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