Bryan Cranston Thinks You’re Lazy For Fan-Casting Him As This Iconic Villain

Bryan Cranston thinks casting him as Lex Luthor would be a lousy decision solely based on looks.

By Zack Zagranis | Published

bryan cranston

Bryan Cranston has one word for Superman fans that want him to play Lex Luthor: Lazy. The Breaking Bad star went on the Happy Sad Confused podcast recently, and one of the topics of discussion was the rumor that he might be playing the Man of Steel’s archnemesis in DC’s upcoming Superman: Legacy. The former Heisenberg thinks he’s an uninspired choice for the follically challenged supervillain.

“I think it was, like, lazy casting. There should be a, like, ‘’ And I was like ‘What is it?’ Because I had a bald head, they go ‘Ah! Lex Luthor!’ It’s like, come on. Let’s think about this a little bit.”

Bryan Cranston

The host of the podcast Josh Horowitz also brought up fans wanting the Malcolm in the Middle star to play Jim Gordon for an equally shallow reason, his mustache. Bryan Cranston reminded the host that he had played Batman character James Gordon already in the animated Batman: Year One adaptation but agreed with Horowitz that as far as a live-action Commissioner Gordon was concerned, basing his eligibility for the role around a single physical characteristic would be weak casting.

While the actor isn’t wrong about the laziness of casting based on similar hairstyles, he might be mistaken that a bald head is the only reason fans would like to see him as Lex Luthor. The way Bryan Cranston played Walter White as a megalomaniacal genius who’s overconfident to a fault is very similar to the way Lex Luthor acts in the comics.

The only difference between the two characters is that Luthor is better at being a criminal than Walt is.

Lex Luthor

Luckily studios aren’t quite as lazy as fans when it comes to making superhero casting decisions, or we would never have gotten Michael Keaton as Batman. When Keaton was announced for the title role in Tim Burton’s Batman, fans were not happy.

The actor was considered too small and unmuscled to play The Dark Knight, something Burton overcame with a sculpted rubber suit complete with six-pack abs.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, six-foot-three-inch Wolverine actor Hugh Jackman was considered by most fans too tall to play the five-foot-three-inch Canadian superhero. Flash forward, and Keaton is most fans’ favorite live-action portrayal of Batman, and Jackman is so iconic as Wolverine that he’s still playing him 23 years after the first X-Men film.

Both examples serve to help illustrate Bryan Cranston’s point that characters shouldn’t just be played by whoever happens to look the most like them.

Then again, casting against type is how we got arguably the worst portrayal of Lex Luthor in a motion picture, Jesse Eisenberg, in Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Eisenberg’s weird, quirky performance as Lex Luthor may have seemed like an inspired choice on paper, but on screen, it just came off as, well, very un-Luthor-like.

jesse eisenberg
Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor

If James Gunn wants to cast the perfect Breaking Bad actor for Lex Luthor, he should look past Bryan Cranston and set his sights on Giancarlo Esposito. Esposito certainly doesn’t resemble the comic version of Lex Luthor when it comes to looks, but in terms of acting, Gus Fring is pretty much already Lex Luthor if he ran an international drug ring.

Plus, Esposito already plays Lex on HBO’s Harley Quinn series, so we already know he can handle the role.

Chances are, we’ll know who’s playing Lex Luthor soon enough. James Gunn just announced his picks for Superman and Lois Lane, so the casting for Luthor shouldn’t be far behind. All we know is that if Bryan Cranston had his way, it would be someone with a full head of hair.