Before Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice casted The Social Network’s Jesse Eisenberg, rumors were flying about who would play Superman’s bald nemesis. One of the more persistent reports during this time was that Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston was being heavily considered for the role. Now that the film is finished shooting, the whole affair is moot, but Cranston has just gone on record saying that he was never officially considered for the role in the first place.
When MTV asked Cranston about whether Warner Bros got in touch with him about playing Luthor in the 2016 blockbuster, the actor firmly stated that he didn’t have one conversation with the studio. In his words:
It was all fan driven. They’re thinking, 'Who could play Lex Luthor? Who’s bald who could be menacing? Ooohh, Walter White! We can get that guy.' And it’s not very inspiring casting.
It may not have been "inspiring casting," but Cranston playing Luthor would have been interesting to see on the big screen. Even ignoring the physical resemblance when he’s rocking the chrome dome look, the actor was indeed menacing as Walter White, and he no doubt would have been intimidating as the powerful industrialist. Cranston’s other villainous roles include Chancellor Cohaagen in the Total Recall remake and, hilariously enough, voicing two monsters in Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, but playing one of DC’s most famous evildoers would have allowed him to explore the character for likely several movies. Still, Cranston already has some experience with DC under his belt having voiced James Gordon in the animated movie Batman: Year One. He was also rumored earlier this year to be playing the main bad guy in 2016’s Star Trek Beyond, but like Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, that was proven false as Idris Elba has since nabbed that role.
As for Eisenberg, whatever your opinions about him are, him playing Lex Luthor was certainly an outside-the-box casting. This version of Luthor, while younger than the Gene Hackman and Kevin Spacey iterations, is said to be closer to the graphic novel and TV versions of the character, and will hate the Man of Steel just as much as always has. Luthor’s exact role in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice hasn’t been disclosed, though it’s been reported that he will be wearing his trademark war suit from the comics and may be responsible for creating Doomsday. Luthor is also rumored to be appearing in Suicide Squad, with the titular team possibly being sent to stop his superhuman trafficking operation, though this hasn’t been confirmed.
We’ll see Lex Luthor make his DCCU debut when Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters on March 25, 2016.