Last week the internet decided that Bryan Cranston was playing Lex Luthor in the follow-up to Man Of Steel. Some of you wondered why we didn't report this. The answer is that the source was even worse than this morning's Cumberbatch/Star Wars rumour. Today, it seems as if we were right to dismiss it, since Cranston has himself attempted to put a dampener on all the excitement. "It's all news to me," he told Boston.com.
The whole story basically stems from the fact that Cranston is known for playing a bald man on television. Obviously this makes him the perfect Luthor. "I think that maybe my name is bandied about because I’m known to be bald. ‘What bald guy can we get?’ The reality is they can take any actor and shave his head or put a bald cap on him.”
It all got out of hand. In early August Metro pointed a microphone at Cranston and asked him if he'd be interested in the role. "Give me a call!" the actor joked. "I like Lex Luthor. I think he's misunderstood. He's a loveable, sweet man." The web quickly Chinese-whispered this from "Cranston is up for playing Luthor" to "Cranston is playing Luthor" to "Cranston has signed a massive deal to play Luthor six times".
So take this as Cranston wishing he'd never said anything. The Bostonites asked him if he'd be contacting Gene Hackman for advice. "I can just see how that phone call would go,” he laughs modestly. “‘Gene? Hi, this is Bryan Cranston.’ ‘Who? Bryan Cranston? What do you want? How did you get this number?’"
However, those conspiracy theorists among you intent on clinging to this story may note that Boston.com don't actually get a flat-out denial from Cranston. His response to "We've heard you're playing Lex Luthor" isn't "Well, I'm not". It's "I heard that too." So make of that what you will. Maybe come summer 2015 we'll be eating these words after all.