Titans' Showrunner Shares Thoughts On Lex Luthor's Future After Major Twist In Season 4 Premiere

As generally exciting as it was for Titans to return to HBO Max with Season 4, the anticipatory feelings only grew once it became clear that Bosch star Titus Welliver would be  rocking a big ol’ bushy beard while portraying the iconic DC villain Lex Luthor for a storyline centering on his half-son Conor Kent. Now that the first two episodes are out, it’s clear that Titans wanted to shock the bejesus out of fans with its Lex narrative, as it set him up with a fatal disease before straight up killing Superman’s nemesis off and leaving him in a substantial puddle of nastiness. But is he really dead and gone forever?

CinemaBlend spoke with Titans showrunner Greg Walker about the episode’s shocking conclusion, which saw Lex being murdered from afar by fellow vengeful super-villain Mother Mayhem, as portrayed by Franka Potente, and her wild snake creatures. The premiere also ended with Conor getting caught literally red-handed by police, having just witnessed Lex’s confession to creating Superboy sheerly for ego-driven legacy purposes. While we got to see more from Conor’s situation in the also-streaming Episode 2, viewers witnessed nothing more from Welliver’s affluent super-genius. So is he really and truly dead and gone? Maybe if this was another show, but here’s what Walker told me:

Yeah, good question. I mean, you know the show, and we're pretty cavalier with death. It's kind of been one of our trademarks, or certainly we stumbled into it. So nobody's ever really dead in our show. Though there are some tougher ones to come back from; I don't know how we're gonna put Hank back together if we ever were to, piece by piece. DNA on the wall to scrape off. [Laughs.] But no, seriously, I would love to have him back. He's just a formidable actor.

So as of right now at this very moment, Lex Luthor as we knew him for less than an hour is indeed pushing up the daisies in a metaphorical sense. But let's not act as if his estate is going to immediately bury him six feet under, even beyond whatever autopsy will need to be done to understand what the hell happened to him. Lex's body will no doubt be preserved in some fashion before finding its way to a Lazarus Pit or something on a similar scale. Might need to put some blood back into him before any resurrections take place, though.

Lex Luthor dead in Titans Season 4

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Judging from how Greg Walker described the process of bringing self-confessed Titans fanatic Titus Welliver into the live-action series, it sounds like DC only gave limited access to the creative team regarding how much of Lex Luthor could be used within the season as a whole. Which is what influenced the idea to go after actors whose schedules could allow for filming guest spots for one episode (or maybe two?) as opposed to those who would necessarily need to have nothing else to prioritize over Titans. So it makes sense from a behind-the-scenes perspective why it all played out like this, but it's still a blow to a DC fan's heart and brain. 

In talking about how he and the other writers approached this particular iteration of the villainous mastermind, Greg Walker talked about playing into the character's tied up senses of morality and mortality, saying:

The complexity of someone who has all the power in the world, who has been evil and is kind of comfortable with that. You know, it doesn't keep him up at night, his transgressions. He wouldn't even see them as transgressions. They're just expressions of a destiny that he seems hellbent on fulfilling. But now faced with mortality, he's thinking less about accumulation and more about legacy, and that's a different phase of someone's life. And his legacy, of course, is Conor Kent.

So if and when Lex Luthor does return to the land of the living within Titans' narrative, or any other upcoming DC series, fans can no doubt expect for him to have an even more particular point of view when it comes to his legacy and bloodline. We'll just have to see whether or not Conor is still on the right side of justice when it happens.

There’s a lot more to get excited about with Titans Season 4, and new episodes are available every Thursday with an HBO Max subscription. Head to our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see what other new and returning shows are popping up soon. 

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.