With 'Man Of Steel' writer David S. Goyer gearing up to write the sequel and Henry Cavill confirming that he's returning to the spandex suit, there's one question on everybody's lips. Who's going to play Lex Luthor? Several names have been mooted, some surprising, some not so. Here's five actors we think are the best for the role.
5. MEL GIBSON
Yes, really. This could be his comeback role. Just imagine it. Luthor is supposed to be this driven, unflinching arch-capitalist who's prone to terrifying mood-swings and fits of unspeakable rage. That's basically Mel Gibson, minus the anti-semitisim / misogyny / massive emotional problems. Gibson's been looking for a role to make his comeback with and he's never really played a villain. Sure, he was something of an anti-hero in the surprisingly good 'How I Spent My Summer Vacation' – but he's never been a really boo-hiss villain.
4. ED HARRIS
Ed Harris has been away from our screen for a while. However, whenever he decides to turn up, he's always the best on the screen. If you've never seen A History of Violence, just watch that and come back to us. Wouldn't he make a perfect mobster-type criminal? Luthor is supposed to be this supervillain-type criminal with a penchant for violence. We've seen Harris doing villain roles in the past so he's more than capable. And he's bald already, so that's something.
3. JASON ISAACS
Some of the casting in Man of Steel has been very interesting. Michael Shannon, for example, was plucked out of HBO's Boardwalk Empire on the strength of his character there. It's almost as if they're specifically choosing actors on how well they'll play the role, not on the basis of their star rating. Jason Isaacs has played villains before, sure. But what makes him such an effective villain is that you can clearly see where he's coming from. Luthor is meant to have an air of refinement to him, he's meant to very self-involved. Isaacs has done this before; just look at him in The Patriot alongside other Luthor-hopeful Mel Gibson. He plays this English army captain that's a total dick. Put an American accent over that character and you've got Luthor.
2. MARK STRONG
If we were basing this on who looked the most like comic-book Lex Luthor, Mark Strong would be our Number One choice. However, when you look at the disappointing Green Lantern film from a couple of years ago, Strong's performance wasn't... strong. That said, he can be good when he wants to be. As long as he tones down the hamminess and plays it reasonably straight, Strong could be a (groan) strong choice for Luthor.
1. BRYAN CRANSTON
Ginger-balding hair? Check. Face like a map of the world? Check. Has played diabolical mastermind in the past? Check. Amazing character actor with the ability to play a hardened, remorseless criminal? Check. Bryan Cranston is the most logical choice to play Lex Luthor. Breaking Bad is ending soon and Cranston is looking to move more into feature films. He was in Total Recall as the villain, we know, but he wasn't that bad in it. He just wasn't in it enough to make an impact. But with a decent script behind, Cranston's performance as Luthor could be incredible. He could be Heath Ledger's Joker to Man of Steel - a brilliant actor in a role he was born to play.