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Feature
Who Should Play Lex Luthor? And Which Lex Luthor Should They Play?
We look at contenders for the role, and the comic-book incarnations of the Superman baddie

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Mad Scientist Lex

Lex Luther Mad Scientist

The first outing of Lex Luthor in the comics saw him as a classic mad scientist, living in a flying city hung from a dirigible and taking control of European countries to set them at one another’s throats – this in 1940, as if they needed help with that. But he also had death rays at his disposal, and soon he was merrily recreating dinosaurs – take that, John Hammond! – and planning to drain all the world’s oil wells.

We quite like the notion of a batshit crazy super-genius Luthor, but it probably doesn’t fit with the established Man Of Steel aesthetic. A better work-around would be to emphasise the “scientist” in “mad scientist” and have an expert in, say, robotics (as Luthor is often portrayed) pit his creations against the Man Of Steel to prove their superiority, getting homicidally irate if and when they fail to do so. But it’s a fine line to walk.

We’d cast: Bryan Cranston is the most obvious choice here: we know he can play a (breaking) bad scientist already. Another TV-inspired option might be Michael C. Hall – we know that the Dexter star can do twisted but charismatic, and he’s at home in a lab. But we’d go for Jason Clarke, who gives good bad guy but needs a chance to play something other than a heavy.
 

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Have Your Say
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Your Comments

21 Hows about
Brandon Routh. What a film! More

Posted by jontysidgwick on Friday July 5, 2013, 17:52

22 Leonardo Leads
Has anyone wondered what Leonardo Di Caprio would look like without his carefully coiffered mane? If you think Lex Luthor I'd have to agree with you. I think he'd be perfect doing the Evil CEO ( a la Django Unchained) or the sociopathic rich kid ( as taken from The Man in the Iron Mask) or a blend of the 2 More

Posted by collins2848 on Friday July 5, 2013, 13:20

23 We're not there yet
I loved Michael Rosenbaum as Lex - his development of the character was ace. Very much the Twisted Rich Boy Lex!! Nothing exciting among the suggestions, but Denzil & Cooper are absolute no-no's. Law plays a good villain, but he's a little too British. Luther needs to be intelligent, calculating, damaged while still having the ability to endear himself to the people. Haven't a clue really! Mark Strong is a decent shout or maybe a bald Hugo Weaving? More

Posted by Hillsman on Friday July 5, 2013, 12:36

24 Missing the BEST choice!!
I'm sorry, but Billy Zane would be perfect. Can ooze arrogance, is physically built to be intimidating to others/subordinates and could easily play a genius scientist. And he's pefectly bald already. More

Posted by slipalong on Friday July 5, 2013, 11:33

25 Mark Strong or Coster-Waldau!
I think they done a great job with General Zod's character, Michael Shannon done a superb job, making him quite believable and you could understand things from his point of view and wasn't just outright evil! With Luthor they need to make him a believably intelligent, twisted and complex character so again you can see and understand things from his point of view, making him convincing! I think the first choice would be Mark Strong as he's an excellent actor who can play a character with an array of different emotions (his performance in Tinker Tailor is perfect!), plus he can do bad guy roles with his eyes closed. But then on the other hand Nicolaj Coster-Waldau is also an exceptional actor who does intellengent and twisted very well! So it's actually probably neck and neck for me between those two. More

Posted by dannyfletch on Thursday July 4, 2013, 19:53

26 Josh Brolin IS Lex Luthor
Absolutely no way should Jude Law play Lex Luthor, he's not a great actor and hasn't given a decent performance that I can remember. Not Paul Dano either (he was extremely bloody irritating in There Will Be Blood). Bryan Cranston was an utterly forgettable villain in Total Recall not a patch on Ronny Cox in Arnie's version, so not him either. Mark Strong would be a good choice he has believable menace and intelligence, two things Luthor would need. Josh Brolin would be an excellent choice for Luthor, he's as good an actor as Hackman and can hold his own with anyone. More

Posted by BenTramer on Thursday July 4, 2013, 15:30

27 Certainly like the idea of Denzel taking a stab...
...would also like to see Daniel Day-Lewis (no chance) drinking the Big Guy's milkshake. Just hope they make him a serious villain with a credible cause. This guy should be fearless and formidable, like a modern-day Moriarty. Viggo Mortenson could deliver. More

Posted by Porter on Thursday July 4, 2013, 13:22

28 Loving Michael C Hall
Think he'd be great - he just needs to channel more evil Dexter More

Posted by Antcav on Thursday July 4, 2013, 13:08

29 I've always thought...
Bill Murray would be a good choice for Lex. Ever since I heard he was an early choice for Witches of Eastwick. He could do the corrupt businessman or mad scientist type, smooth and salesmanly to the public but filled with cold anger on the inside... somewhere between his Rushmore, Scrooged and Lost in Translation performances. And he could do awkward humour while he was at it. More

Posted by Pirate King on Thursday July 4, 2013, 12:47

30 Jason Clarke is a good shout
He was fantastic in ZDT More

Posted by spideed2 on Thursday July 4, 2013, 12:37

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