Titans Drops First Look At Sons Of Anarchy Vet As Bearded Lex Luthor In Season 4

The last time TV viewers watched Lex Luthor getting diabolical on the small screen, it was for Supergirl's series finale, with Jon Cryer portraying the iconic DC villain. Prior to that, the criminal mastermind was seen as a child via flashback in Titans' second season, with Payne Novak in the role. Now, the action-packed HBO Max series has confirmed it's bringing the full-on adult version of Lex in Season 4, with the always stellar Sons of Anarchy vet and Bosch star Titus Welliver bringing this undoubtedly unique version to life.

What's more, we already know what Welliver's Lex Luthor will look like, as he's front and center (or more to the left, I guess) in the first big Season 4 reveal that Titans has delivered. Check out the Twitter post below! 

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There are obviously a few takeaways that we can glean from this first peek at Titus Welliver’s Lex Luthor. First, he’s rocking the expected bald head so often associated with the villain, and it’s almost shocking to see the actor without anything up top. But then we get to that scruffy AF beard, which is quite an evolution from the tightly coifed ‘stache-and-goatee combo that Cryer donned in the Arrowverse. In fact, it may be the most facial hair that the character has rocked in any medium outside of comic books. It’s an interestingly disheveled look for the smartest man in the world, and isn’t wholly distant from Jonathan Crane’s approach to facial hair in Season 3. 

In any case, the third takeaway here is that he will apparently enter into Titans’ story not yet in supervillain form. Otherwise, Anna Diop’s Starfire would probably be a few more shades of angry or distressed when standing opposite Lex, as opposed to smiling with her hands clasped together. Kinda seems like she’s asking him for something, which could possibly tie into the heroes’ fourth-season fight with new villain Brother Blood, as portrayed by Joseph Morgan

Speaking with EW, Titans’ co-creator and showrunner Greg Walker shared a bit of background info about this Lex Luthor, saying:

He has a very sensitive, thoughtful approach to evil and power. You know what he's done, what he's capable of doing, except like many of those people, he's personable. He doesn't have a cat on his lap. Yeah. He's curious, which I think is very interesting about his character. He wants to know about people and what makes them tick, and how they're different from him. He sees the world through the lens both of his own power and his own inadequacy, and tries to compensate for both.

Greg Walker also talked about this being a big season for Joshua Urpin’s Conner, who discovered his Superboy origin story hinges being a clone created from both Superman and Lex Luthor’s DNA. So fans can almost definitely expect Titus Welliver’s arrival to tie directly into Conner’s storyline, although a villain that big likely won’t be limited to just one plot.

Harry Bosch outdoors in Bosch

(Image credit: Prime Video)

Speaking of Welliver, who has made a career out of playing memorable characters in testosterone-heavy shows such as Sons of Anarchy, Deadwood, NYPD Blue, and The Last Ship, to name but a few. He’s spent the better part of the past decade portraying Harry Bosch for Amazon’s Prime Video drama based on Michael Connelly’s novels, and while he’s popped into the Marvel-verse via Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Star Wars-verse via The Mandalorian, the actor apparently really loves Titans.

Walker explained that while he thought he was going to have to convince Welliver to hop on board as Lex Luthor, the Lost vet apparently took over the conversation with talk of both his comic book fandom and his specific love of the Titans series, to the point where he detailed specific shots and scenes during their convo. Here’s hoping that love shines through in his performance, since he’s got some huge and wildly expensive shoes to fill. 

Titans is just one of many DC TV shows coming soon, and while its release date isn’t yet locked down, those with HBO Max subscriptions can likely expect to see it debut in November. In the meantime, Welliver’s latest work can be seen in the Freevee streaming spinoff Bosch: Legacy. Head to our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see what other new and returning shows are on the way. 

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.