3. Colm Feore
One thing about Hackman’s and Spacey’s take on Lex is that, even in their most despicable moments, it was really difficult to hate them. Spacey stabbed Brandon Routh‘s Superman in the back with a shard of kryptonite and let him fall to a watery grave, but – with the whole tooth brushing and everything – he was still the most entertaining part of the film. On which note, if Snyder and Co. are looking for a truly loathsome Luthor, someone they can really make the audience want to see get their comeuppance, they could do a lot worse than Colm Feore. This relatively known American-Canadian actor appeared as First Gentleman Henry Taylor, husband to the President, in 24: Redemption and later in Season 7 of the show, as well as, more pertinently, the frost giant Laufey in Thor. He’s now set to play Adrian Toomes in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, who will more than likely become Vulture at some point, setting the character up as part of the Sinister Six for the sequel, but it’s his demonic turn as the mysterious Andre Linoge in the Stephen King miniseries Storm of the Century that stands most in his favor for his casting as Superman’s nemesis. The bone chilling evil he displayed in that role is suggestive of a Luthor we can really sink our teeth into. Plus, he’s (almost) bald, too.
2. Corey Stoll
Again, while baldness is by no means a prerequisite for the role – mooted contender Bryan Cranston has a full head of hair when he’s not appearing in Breaking Bad – it does tend to highlight certain actors you might not otherwise think of. Case and point: Corey Stoll. He appeared as lead detective TJ Jaruszalski in the first and only 22-episode season of Law and Order: LA and amongst the main cast of Netflix Original Series House of Cards. Apart from the part of Ernest Hemingway in Woody Allen‘s Midnight in Paris – in which you might easily mistake him for Tom Hardy – or as minor number cruncher Zev Vendel in The Bourne Legacy, he doesn’t really have a film career of which to speak. Even so, Stoll, we feel, could provide a more down-to-earth, naturalistic take on the character, that of Lex Luthor as a businessman, a guy in a suit, who just so happens to get into the business of supervillainy. If Batman vs. Superman is all about the vs., it seems probable that Lex, if he does appear, won’t be the focal point of the film, more the third act obstacle that forces the two to band together. As such, Stoll’s understated menace, that cool stare, could provide just the base level of heat to keep the film at simmering point till the whole thing’s ready to boil over.
1. Matthew McConaughey
Okay, hear me out here. Matthew McConaughey is more than just a surfer dude pretty boy, more than just the star of a bunch of naff 2000s romcoms: though he may still be most recognized for the likes of Sahara and How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days, in the last few years he’s made a serious effort to reinvent himself as a serious actor. His role as an ethically dubious criminal defense attorney in 2011’s The Lincoln Lawyer got him off to a good start. Since then he’s played as pseudo-mystical fugitive in Mud, an ambitious DA in Bernie, a loquacious hitman in Killer Joe, and a retired stripper in Magic Mike – all critically acclaimed performances. This year alone he’s set to appear in Dallas Buyers Club – for which he went the Christian Bale route and dropped 40 pounds to play a homophobic hedonist diagnosed with HIV – and Martin Scorsese‘s The Wolf of Wall Street as the would-be mentor to Leonardo DiCaprio‘s fraudulent stockbroker. Having established real credibility, as well as a willingness to transform himself, McConaughey should be a top candidate for the role of Lex: able to play charming and loathsome in equal measure, his straight-down-the-line stare is the only one I can imagine breaking through the new Superman’s Zen.
But what do you think? Do you wish a few preferred candidates, such as John Hamm, had made the list? Are you outraged by Skasgard or McConaughey, nonplussed by Feore and Stoll? For that note, would you buy the rakish West in the role? Sound off below!