Michael Rosenbaum, who portrayed Lex Luthor in the renowned DC TV series Smallville, wants to play the famed DC Comics villain in James Gunn’s DC Universe. While Henry Cavill returned to DC this autumn in Black Adam, his time as Superman was regrettably over.
Despite Warner Bros.’ efforts to build Man of Steel 2 as part of a wider storyline for Cavill’s Superman, things took an unexpected turn with the release of Black Adam. DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn stated this week that a new Superman film is in the works, but it will not include Cavill as Krypton’s last son.
As opinions to the upcoming Superman film have been mixed, fan-casting for different classic figures from DC fiction has begun. While Michael Rooker was a popular choice to play Lex in the Superman remake, Rosenbaum also indicated interest in playing the beloved villain.
The Smallville performer played Superman’s antagonist for seven seasons before returning for the series finale in 2011, making him the longest-serving Lex actor in live-action. Gunn claims that he has been working on the script for the upcoming Superman film for quite some time, most likely before becoming one of DC Studios’ co-CEOs with Peter Safran.
While Gunn is writing the screenplay, it does not appear that he will direct the film, since he revealed that they have not yet chosen a director. Cavill’s Superman will not be used since the new version will centre on a younger Clark Kent in his early days as a Daily Planet reporter and superhero. Despite this, Gunn claims that the Superman picture is not an origin narrative.
Since being tapped to assist head DC Studios and the DCU, Gunn has made it clear that Superman is one of, if not the, top priority for him and Safran. With his Superman incarnation planned to centre on the hero’s early years, Gunn also indicated on Twitter that Clark would not necessarily meet significant characters for the first time.
The only difference between this Man of Steel and Cavill’s version is that he will be younger, probably in his early twenties. Regardless of where the film begins off, this Superman will already be in contact with some well-known individuals, whether they are Justice League heroes or Daily Planet employees. While only time will tell whether Rosenbaum is cast as Lex in the movies, it would be a big coup if he was.
Given how Warner Bros. and the DC Universe have been expanding the multiverse theme, the narrative may excuse Rosenbaum playing a Lex duplicate while not contradicting the character he played on Smallville. It’s also worth mentioning that Gunn and Rosenbaum are friends who have previously collaborated on projects such as the Guardians of the Galaxy series.
With Rosenbaum’s portrayal as Lex still being one of the most admired elements of live-action Superman media, the opportunity to reprise his role as the legendary DC villain, especially in a DCU film, would be welcomed.
Time will tell if Smallville’s Rosenbaum will have another chance to play the Man of Tomorrow’s greatest enemy, even if it isn’t against Tom Welling’s Superman.