Say hello to our latest Lex Luthor! James Gunn has found his villain for Superman: Legacy and David Corenswet found his on-screen nemesis in the form of Nicholas Hoult.
A former superhero himself, thanks to his role as Beast in the X-Men franchise, Hoult becomes the fifth actor to play the most hated man in Metropolis in a live-action film, and joins the long list of names who have brought the iconic comic book foe to life across numerous mediums over the decades. So, no pressure, Nicholas, but you definitely have big shoes to fill. At least we know he looks good with his shaved head, thanks to Mad Max: Road to Fury.
Hoult is a talented actor and Gunn’s casting in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has always been unmatched. So it would be unwise to bet against him becoming one of the best Luthors we’ve ever seen. Still, a few of the following ten performances might prove difficult to beat. Others… not so much.
10. Kevin Spacey
Lex by Kevin Spacey The Return of Superman rounds out this list because…well, it’s Kevin Spacey. Additionally, the now-disgraced actor missed a golden opportunity to reinvent the role for the 21st century and simply does his best Gene Hackman impersonation, delivering a hackneyed and dated portrayal of a movie supervillain.
9. Lyle Talbot
Prolific 1940s actor Lyle Talbot has the honor of being the first person to bring Lex Luthor to life, alongside original Superman actor Kirk Alyn, in the 1950 film series. Atom Man vs. Superman. Talbot’s interpretation is a perfect snapshot of who Lex was at the start of his storied history, a classic mad scientist.
8. Titus Welliver
As part of Titans four-season plan to add everything but the kitchen sink, Titus Welliver showed up for a single episode of the show’s final season – that’s all DC let them use the character for, FYI . With only a few minutes of screen time under his belt, the Bosch The star failed to fully get under Lex’s skin, but he provided a solid interpretation of the modern Lex.
7. Michael Cudlitz
And, for some reason, it’s an unwritten rule that the modern Lex must have a beard. See also the incarnation of Michael Cudlitz in Superman and Lois season 3. The brilliance of the popular CW series is that it brings a new dimension to very familiar characters, and this is on full display with its portrayal of Lex. Uniquely, Cudlitz plays him as a hopped-up thug, Kal-El’s own version of the Kingpin.
6. Jesse Eisenberg
Look, I’m not happy that Jesse Eisenberg ranked this high, you’re not happy about it, let’s move on. By its nature of being the most important cinematic Lex of the century so far, Eisenberg has to land sixth place. And, to be fair, at least he offered a version of the character we’ve never seen before – even if it’s because he seems to think he’s playing the Riddler.
5. Jon Cryer
Who would have thought Jon Cryer would make a great Lex Luthor when he played Gene Hackman’s dim-witted nephew in Superman: a quest for peace? Supergirl casting him as his former on-screen uncle decades later proved to be a stroke of genius, as Cryer ignored his Two and a half men character to play a selfish villain that we love to hate. Oh, and you can blame him for the whole “Lex has a beard” trend.
4. John Shea
The little known John Shea of Lois and Clark in fourth place? What, I’m a child of the 90s, sue me. The first season of Dean Cain/Teri Hatcher »Illegal work meets Steel man” The series is certainly the best, and that’s largely due to the constant presence of Lex Luthor as both Superman’s enemy and Clark Kent’s rival for Lois’ affections. Shea deserves a lot of credit for helping to reinvent Lex as a sophisticated three-dimensional figure.
3. Gene Hackman
Oops, don’t tell James Gunn “I hate Gene Hackman’s Lex” that he’s ranked number three. Yes, Hackman’s interpretation is much clumsier than we’re used to these days, and it took many, many years before Lex could be seen as a formidable threat again, but you can’t deny how iconic and influential the legendary actor is. the representation is. Even though he refused to shave his head.
2. Clancy Brown
Now let’s move on to the Lex that everyone forgets. He may not have played him in live-action, but Clancy Brown gave us perhaps the most authentic Luthor in the DC Animated Universe, encompassing Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, and more. Brown’s voice oozes malevolence as perhaps the most despicable Lex we’ve ever had.
1. Michael Rosenbaum
You saw this one coming, didn’t you? Small cityMichael Rosenbaum’s own Michael Rosenbaum – and James Gunn’s sidekick, by the way – is widely considered by Superman fans to be the greatest Lex of them all, and for good reason. Over the course of seven seasons of the beloved prequel series, it took young Luthor from Clark Kent’s wealthy best friend to the dark-hearted evil businessman he was always destined to become. Thanks to Rosenbaum’s textured performance and his time in the role, he’s unlikely to be surpassed anytime soon.
But hey, Nicholas Hoult, do your best.