In the world of comic book movies sometimes the villains can be as interesting as the heroes. It is something that Hollywood is leaning into more of late with a continued exploration of what makes the antagonists tick, and how they ultimately ended up on the wrong side of the good versus evil spectrum. More and more movies along these lines are coming out, and now we have another one in the works. Giant Freakin Robot has the exclusive from a trusted and proven source that Warner Bros. is developing a Lex Luthor movie, something that will give the bald-headed super-villain the backstory he deserves.
According to our source, Warner Bros. is considering this Lex Luthor solo movie along the same lines as we saw Joker. The Todd Phillips-directed masterpiece had Joaquin Phoenix give Arthur Fleck the slow burn into madness that eventually establishes the Clown Prince of Crime. Whether a Lex Luthor movie would have the same darkness and tension remains to be seen. But there is a substantial backstory for the genius Luthor and how he takes his place as one of Superman’s fiercest enemies, one who got there basically on the back of enormous intellect and a megalomaniac drive for ultimate power.
With Warner Bros. developing a Lex Luthor solo movie, fans would be right to immediately picture who we last saw in the role for the DC Extended Universe. That was Jesse Eisenberg who played the character in Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice and then had a cameo in a Justice League post-credit scene as well. Originally, casting Eisenberg did set us on a younger track for Lex Luthor with the dude just starting to get into his power-hungry ways through LexCorps and the creation of Doomsday. It was a tech-billionaire vibe through and through. Warner Bros. co-opted a couple of different stories to put that in place and it didn’t totally work. I don’t think we would see them go back to the Eisenberg well if rewriting an origin story for the character.
And whether this Lex Luthor solo film actually exists within the bounds of the Snyderverse or is its own, standalone production, would have to get ironed out as well. Arthur Fleck as Joker seems to be in his own universe for the time being though time will tell if that ever overlaps with other stories. We know that the studio is not adherent to one through-line like we have seen up to this point in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Flash solo movie is set to introduce their own version of the Multiverse, but we also know there are new Superman projects that are existing on their own as well. DC isn’t as committed to keeping everything within the same confines.
If the Lex Luthor solo movie comes out it will be just another iteration of what could be a fascinating character if given a longer leash on how he came to be. In addition to the Eisenberg version, there have been other attempts at this as well. Michael Rosenbaum played Lex in Smallville in what was as close to a long-running origin story that we have seen. Where he starts compared to where he finished was a fantastic story. There was also the Kevin Spacey version in Superman Returns in which Lex basically comes out of the box evil. And, of course, there was the original Gene Hackman version that trended more comedic.
In all, this is an exciting prospect for an iconic DC villain. There are a number of ways to take a Lex Luthor solo movie, especially in the modern age. We will have more information on this development as it comes out.