Superman is being reimagined for film once again, after it was revealed that J.J Abrams would be producing the next reboot of the iconic character for Warner Brothers, with a Black man playing the title role. Along with J.J, the screenwriter was announced as Ta-Nehisi Coates, a writer best known for his essays and novel focused on the Black American experience. Besides a script helmed by a Black writer, producers are rumored to be searching for a Black director to tell this new version of Superman’s story.
No other roles have been rumored, especially since the film cannot be that far into the development phase, but Warner Brothers’ plan for the Man of Steel means that other beloved characters will be coming back alongside Superman and will have the chance to be spun a different way. One of the most important characters for Superman, especially in more of his modern outings, is the recognizable Lex Luthor. Lex has been portrayed by countless amazing actors and a new reboot could bring a new actor into the DCEU universe. Here are a few actors up for the task of becoming Superman’s greatest enemy.
Lance Reddick is no stranger to commanding roles. The actor has lent his voice for some of the biggest video game roles of the past few years, like Commander Zavala in the Destiny series and Martin Hatch in Quantum Break. The actor is also known for his supporting role as Charon in the John Wick series. Besides his outward appearance, Reddick could easily portray Lex Luthor as a man with a calm exterior that is feared by those around him. Fans will get the proof they need of his villain chops when Netflix’s series about Resident Evil premieres, as Reddick is starring as Albert Wesker, the S.T.A.R.S. captain who has turned into one of the series most iconic villains.
Jon Hamm could fit into the shoes of Lex Luthor, with his charming good looks and ability to act suave and controlled like a politician. The actor’s time on Mad Men proved that he is capable of playing complex people with a gray morality — who look good while doing it all — but he’s never had a chance to fully become a villain (even the bad guy he played in Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver was laced with comedy.) It could be interesting to give him a chance to play a composed Luthor (similar to the Jon Hamm the public knows) but also let Hamm stretch his acting muscles and give Luthor a wilder side, a man who has his fair share of emotional blowouts and dastardly deeds because of his plans to take down Superman.
This next actor is known more for his villainous outings than anything other roles. Esposito portrayed crime boss and chicken restaurant manager Gus Fring in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, a performance that has earned him two Emmy nominations. Giancarlo is also “El Presidente” Antón Castillo, the main villain in the upcoming Far Cry 6. But what makes him perfect for the role of Lex Luthor beyond his villain repertoire is his experience with the DC character himself. Giancarlo has voiced Lex Luthor in HBOMax’s Harley Quinn series for two seasons, and it’s a role he takes great pride in. There’s no doubt that he would do a great job stepping away from the microphone and in front of the camera in the role.
Stoll is known for being a villain in the MCU, but that doesn’t mean he can’t cross over to the DCEU. The actor played Darren Cross, better recognized as Yellowjacket in the first Ant-Man film. Corey also has experience with roles that rely on political savvy and manipulation after spending a season on the Netflix series House of Cards. His role as the kind-hearted yet unstable Congressman Peter Russo earned him a Golden Globe nomination. His shorter time on HBO’s Billions as Michael Prince, a business titan, is also worth a peek as he plays another man with money and power.
This actor is so much more than his outings in the MCU. British-born Ejiofor was the main character in the acclaimed 12 Years a Slave and had a part in the recent action film The Old Guard. Chiwetel isn’t known for playing villainous people, but his long list of credits shows his versatility and range. Ejiofor’s role in the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness could be just the performance to prove himself in for Lex Luthor, though. His character, Mordo, is rumored to be one of the main antagonists in the film.