Walking Dead Actor Officially Cast As Lex Luthor

Michael Cudlitz, Abraham from The Walking Dead, is joining Superman & Lois as Lex Luthor.

By Jonathan Klotz | Published

Michael Cudlitz as Abraham on The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead is apparently a great finishing school for taking on the role of a major villain from DC Comics. First Chad Coleman is cast as the Superman & Lois version of Darkseid, but now Michael Cudlitz has signed on as Lex Luthor. Entertainment Weekly broke the news about the latest signing, ending long-standing speculation that’s been running ever since it was first announced Clark Kent’s most famous nemesis would be part of the new season.

Superman & Lois‘ Lex Luthor is coming back into the public eye after having been underground for years. This new version of the businessman is known as a successful billionaire, but away from the spotlight, he’s a vicious kingpin that does not hesitate to deal harshly with anyone that displeases him. That description is radically different from The Walking Dead character of Abraham, a former Army Sergeant trying to save the world before making an attempt to settle into a quiet life, but every Lex Luthor has been a little different as well.

Just as most comic adaptations make changes from the source material, The Walking Dead eliminated storylines, reworked characters, and created new survivors. Superman & Lois has already made dramatic changes from the DC Comics Rebirth-era versions of Clark and Lois, played by Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch, and the new Lex Luthor will not be comics accurate. At the start of the line-wide relaunch in 2018, Luthor was a power-armored superhero and a member of the Justice League working towards his redemption.

lex luthor
Jon Cryer as Lex Luthor on Supergirl

Redeeming villains was a long-time trope on The Walking Dead, notably with Negan, sort of, but no Lex Luthor has ever been redeemed in a Superman show. Smallville had an unique take on a younger Lex that was friends with Clark came the closest, but as the series went on Michael Rosenbaum’s interpretation became more and more evil as time went on. The most recent version of Luthor, came from The CW’s Supergirl with Jon Cryer filling the manipulative, obsessive shoes of the most important man in Metropolis.

Michael Cudlitz is joining an exclusive club, in addition to The Walking Dead to a superhero franchise club, by becoming the 11th actor to play a live-action Lex Luthor. Casting of the infamous villain is usually made with the same amount of fanfare used for a new Superman actor. Past actors beyond Cryer and Rosenbaum, include Titus Welliver (Titans),Jesse Eisenberg (Batman vs. Superman), Kevin Spacey (Superman Returns), John Shea (Lois and Clark), and Gene Hackman (Superman: The Movie).

In addition to The Walking Dead, Michael Cudlitz can be seen in Clarice, Southland, Band of Brothers, and the films Grosse Pointe Blank, A River Runs Through It and Driven. Before playing Lex Luthor, the closest he’s come to a superhero series is in Amazon’s Invincible when he voiced Red Rush for an episode. Fans will get to see the latest Luthor in just a few weeks when the third season of Superman & Lois debuts Tuesday, March 14th at 8 PM on The CW.