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

Published 1 year 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"]

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

Sources: El Mayimbe & Digital Spy

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TAGS: batman, batman vs superman, man of steel, superman, superman man of steel

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  1. I think Philip Seymour Hoffman would be a great Lex Luthor. Sure he doesn’t fit the character description, but this film universe needs as many strong, proven actors as possible. I’m not saying Mark Strong and Bryan Cranston aren’t strong actors, I just think Hoffman would be great.

    • Agreed. I love MI:3 mostly for him. Hoffman plays an awesome villain.

      • I agree that he plays an awesome villain. But I would really like to see a young Lex Luther. I want to see the “perfect man” version of him.

  2. I say jason issacs watch him on Awake,The Patriot,Harry Potter nd The Brotherhood.he could play a great version of lex not 2 old or young,nd i still say luke evans for batman he could play a convincing bruce nd a big physical batman.also he has already shared the screen wit henry(him as zues was the strongest part of immortals)

    • Good choice but for some reason, people here are too hung up on Strong always playing villains so I wouldn’t be surprised if they complained about Isaacs doing the same too.

      He was great in Soldier though.

  3. Cranston.

  4. Boss choices, both of them!

  5. Though it will probably never, I like to see Denzel Washington deliver another huge villain role, I think he would an amazing Lex Luthor.

    • Denzel Washington as Lex LUTHOR!!!! OMG YES!!!! Can you imagine Alonzo Harris/Frank Lucas putting foot to ass on Supes and Batman!

      “I’m the greatest criminal mind of our time….King Kong AINT GOT NOTHING ON ME, you simple simon says mother f$%^ers!”

      1)Denzel
      2)Mark Strong
      3)Bryan Cranston

  6. Both choices are fantastic, would maybe prefer to see Cranston in the role marginally only
    because it’d feel more new

  7. As much as i hate these tired old.. lets just pick any guy whos bald for lex luthor debates” i keep seeing allover the net… these are two of my favourite character actors.. &Strong is cut from a different cloth.. Cranston is THE man &if anything deserves this role more than anyone… HOWEVER. neither of them should get it. &neither of them will

    forego the OBVIOUS.. &as much as i hate myself for going back there.. (very unlikely choice) Leeo DiCaprio.. would be an excellent choice.. not bald just keep the Gatsby cut &paint those pretty blond locks red &let him loose.. the guys range &ability to portray a wholesome allround lovable guy who can turn on a sixpence fora really squirmy vengeful RAGE embued character is almst supernatural

    i can see him playing the ULTIMATE success story gatsby for the modern C age if u will…gone wrong

    parents die in tragic circumstances (car “accident”) he is orphaned ends up on the streets then emancipates himself &wins the insurance settlement from his parents demise in court defending himself.. goes on to breeze through MIT &Havard whilst dabbling in real estate &stocks builds up an ENORMOUS fortune whilst becoming a leading figure in exo biology &physics (his “hobby”) by the start of Man of Tomorrow he is the worlds richest &most successful man (think Carlos Slim/Brian Cox/Bloomberg/Brad Pitt combined hes already coming to the end of his run as mayor of Metropolis transforming it into the “City of Tomorrow” &is considering running for the senate…

    the accolades overflow &to top it all off hes goodlooking &has a lovely thick full head of hair.. his only really OCD obsessive trait.. by movies end something supes does (involving heat vision &a mask) will leave him badly burnt/scarred &only thru the aid of the worlds best plastic surgeonse does he recoup some of his looks.. but his hair will NEVER growback. added to a couple plot/character twists that have never been seen from a Luthor on screen &the already growing hate for the man who stole his unchallenged limelight.. this will add a significantly personal twist &venom to the infamously VAIN &arrogant Luthor.. rather than just having some “Bald guy” play one of the greatest villains ever.. we could watch him transform from evil into an even more driven evil visually sympbolised by the shedding of his locks by films end

    I Believe in leo Di Caprio..do You?

  8. Like a lot of Smallville fans, I think Michael Rosenbaum’s Lex is probably the best we’ve seen so far – but no way am I deluding myself into thinking that they’ll cast him for MOS2. And it’s not exactly hard to be the ‘best’ when previous Lex performances were the hammy type. IMO if Snyder goes with Rosenbaum’s portrayal as the basic template for the character in the next movie, it’ll work well (Costner’s Jonathan Kent and the scenes with Clark struggling with his powers are very reminiscent of Smallville).

    Honestly any of the two would be fine to me. The key is in the script – whether they make Lex a regular evil corporate genius type, or whether they also manage to make him sympathetic. I’m not always a big fan of Lex in the animated movies/serieses because he isn’t quite sympathetic enough in most cases.

  9. Lex Luthor would be a great role for Gerard Butler seeing as how Zack Synder had him carry “300″ successfully. Lex should not only be bald, but very charismatic. Even though you know he is a powerful adversary, you’re still drawn to him. Or why not have Michael Keaton be Lex and have him face off at one point with the new Batman?

    • Mike, I agree completely!! He should act exactly how he was in Law Abiding Citizen. I just watched that recently and its hard not to root for him in that movie. His arrogance and genius fits Lex perfectly!

  10. The great Heisenberg!

  11. I think they are both great actors I chose Strong just because I thought he was younger and luthor never came off as a 60 year old guy to me it’s a reboot so they very well could do it . Overall they are both great choices I’m fine either way

  12. I don’t really think either have much of a Lex Luthor look, but Strong totally has the attitude and bravado. He can totally pull off an evil billionaire like Lex Luthor. Strong as Frank Dimico in Kick-ASS was kind of similar to Lex.

  13. If I can only choose between those two, I would choose Mark Strong. If I could choose anyone, I would probably still select Mark Strong. However, Christopher Meloni would be a super close 2nd.

  14. to go off topic, if there was another choice beyond the two listed in this story, I’d go with powers boothe. this guy just epitomizes s**tbag. even in avengers, he comes off as a villain when on the side of the angels.

  15. Either one would be very safe, almost lazy choices. Especially Mark Strong. Is there a movie where he’s not the villain?

  16. If i have to choose from these two, Strong because he is younger. I don’t really care to see a 60 year old Luthor. I want Lex Luthor in his prime not in depends (diapers).

  17. Leonardo DiCaprio

  18. Billy Zane.

  19. I’m just sayin.. Bruce Willis looks badass bald and plays a great bad guy #GrindHouseYo

  20. Idris Elba for Lex Luthor!

  21. Mark Strong for me

  22. Mel Gibson!

  23. Mark Strong is the strongest candidate. Bryan Cranston is too old, Lex must be around the same age as Clark. And noone would recongnize Strong as Sinestro, hell, i didn’t until i saw it in the end cast credits.

  24. How about Natalie Portman? She shaved her head too! lol

    • I nearly died laughing.

  25. Benedict Cumberbatch for Lex Luthor! Joking aside – yeah, I was joking… the guy should get a break every now and then – maybe they should get someone a bit unexpected. Like Ewan McGregor.

  26. I’d rather see Cranston as Commissioner Gordon and Mark Strong coming back with as Sinestro with his Corps in a potential Green Lantern 2 (whoever that Green Lantern might be…)

  27. Mark Strong is the better choice.

  28. Billy Zane

  29. Billy Zane for Lex Luthor

    • I would like to see Zane play James Bond. He could look a little like Connery.