There has been no shortage of online buzz when it comes to the 2015 sequel to Man of Steel, announced with great fanfare at Comic Con in July, which will showcase Superman and Batman together on the big screen and facing off for the first time. The web exploded with a tidal wave of outrage when Ben Affleck was cast as Batman opposite Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel in a screenplay set to take a cue from the 1986 graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns.
Bryan Cranston’s name has been bandied about (along with Mark Strong) as a candidate for the role of Lex Luthor (personally, after his bravado-laden performance in Pacific Rim, I would love to see Idris Elba get a crack at it). While Cranston has been receiving the most heat as of late, absolutely nothing beyond pure fan speculation has surfaced.A rather ridiculous recent report from Cosmic Book News has received an awful lot of reposts, even from Rolling Stone. CBN is on the record that Cranston has already sealed the deal with WB. While that bit of news alone by no means requires a huge leap of faith, their subsequent claims lie on the far fetched side of the fence. They report Cranston has signed on for six pictures, Ben Affleck is inked for 13 (a 13 picture deal? Seriously? Chris Evans talked Marvel down from 9 to 6 before committing to play Captain America), and finally Matt Damon is in WB’s sights for Aquaman or Martian Manhunter in Justice League.
Now back to Cranston. The Boston Globe caught up with the Breaking Bad star and thankfully asked if he was aware of the rampant online rumors of his alleged Lex Luthor multi-picture deal.
“I’ve heard that too,” he told the Globe. “Six? This is all news to me. I think that maybe my name is bandied about because I’m known to be bald. ‘What bald guy can we get?’ The reality is they can take any actor and shave his head or put a bald cap on him.”
When asked how a conversation might go between him and Gene Hackman, who played Lex Luthor opposite Christopher Reeve’s big screen Superman from 1978-1987, Cranston laughed off the scenario. “I can just see how that phone call would go,” he said. “‘Gene? Hi, this is Bryan Cranston.’ ‘Who? Bryan Cranston? What do you want? How did you get this number?’ ”
We’ll have to wait and see what comes of any of this. I’m always on board with the “Where’s there’s smoke there’s fire” line of thinking with some online rumors, but following Affleck sealing the deal to play the next big screen Dark Knight, I think its safe to assume just anyone may be in talks to join the cast of the Man of Steel follow-up.
Cranston told the Globe if one thing’s for certain, he will be pacing himself for the remainder of 2103, but nonetheless alludes that something big may be cooking. “I think I’ll relax the rest of the year. There’s some irons in the fire, things that people are talking about, but nothing is set.”
Stay tuned for more firm casting announcements soon. The untitled Man of Steel sequel is already set to shoot in Detroit in early 2104, whose gritty Motor City streets will double as both Metropolis and Gotham City.