Note: Rolling Stone might have jumped the gun on this report, considering their source isn't entirely credible. But let's pretend it is true...
Rolling Stone dropped the news this morning that Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad” fame has signed a multi-picture deal to play Superman’s nemesis, Lex Luthor. For a while now, fans have been quite vocal on who they think should play Luthor in upcoming Superman movies, and one of the more popular nominations was Cranston.
In contrast to Warner Bros.’ horrible decision last week to cast Ben Affleck as Batman, it seems WB and DC Comics are now finally listening to fans. Not to say fans always know best, but fans usually have a better idea of what actor fits what role better than studio executives do.
Here are three reasons why Cranston would be the perfect choice to play Luthor.
3. He has the look
One thing that stuck out to me as I watched “Man of Steel” was how much certain actors were so unlike the characters they were portraying, physically speaking. Henry Cavill was a short Superman. Amy Adams didn’t have the spitfire attitude Lois Lane does in the comics. And the best casting decision was Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent.
When Affleck was named as the new Batman, the Internet exploded and people lamented on how much he didn’t look like Bruce Wayne or Bats. If “Man of Steel” is considered to be a shaky start to the new WB/DC universe, then Affleck’s casting was the first nail in the coffin.
But now we have Cranston as Luthor, and thank goodness. He just has the look. Cranston can pull off a bald head, he has the cheek bones, he has the eyes and he’s the ideal age.
And don’t forget…
2. The man can act
Whether it’s Hal in “Malcolm in the Middle” or Walt in “Breaking Bad,” Cranston has shown he can handle just about any role thrown his way. His acting skills are broad but his ability to be nuanced in his roles, especially as Walt, is what will contribute most to the Luthor role.
Say the writers want a more comic book-y Luthor, or a character akin to the Luthor we got in the 1978 “Superman” film — sinister but chirpy and likeable. Cranston can pull it off. And if the writers create a completely sinister, no-holds-barred Luthor? Cranston has that covered, too.
Just look at the latest episode of “Breaking Bad” as proof: Walt is this major drug lord who has become hardened over the years as he continues to advance past the point of no return. He’s murdered people. He’s lied to his family. He’s threatened his brother-in-law, DEA agent Hank Schrader. But the entire time, Walt is still aloof and almost a bumbling buffoon. Did you notice how he goofily fumbled his way into the car wash after he learned Jesse didn’t end up skipping town after all? It’s little things like that that make Cranston a joy to watch, and it’s things like that I hope the writers use to their advantage.
1. He bumps future WB/DC movies up to a whole new level
Cranston became an A-lister thanks to the popularity of “Breaking Bad,” and though he’s overall likely not as popular as Affleck, Cranston is popular for a completely different reason and with a completely different kind of people: Those who admire quality. He’s just on a different level of the actor echelon and, as long as he’s given a well-written Luthor to portray, he will outact and outshine both Cavill and Affleck.
This casting decision tells me WB and DC are serious. Instead of going with another relatively unknown actor (like Cavill was), they’re going for a big name in a big way. And the news might just be the sugar that helps fans digest the Affleck situation.