James Gunn has named his favorite performance of Superman villain Lex Luthor.
The director, now one of DC’s bosses along with Peter Safran, is discussing the upcoming Superman movie, which is in active development.
Gunn introduced this topic in an episode of the podcast Inside you, the host is Michael Rosenbaum. Rosenbaum plays Superman villain Lex Luthor in TV series small town.
During the interview, Rosenbaum asked Gunn to make a “promise” to him when choosing a new Luthor.
“He’ll have gravitas, he’ll be Lex Luthor – he won’t be playing Lex Luthor [while] he acts like [another] character, or goofy or…”
Here, Rosenbaum shouted the word “crazy” performatively, adding, “He’s going to be something grounded and real.”
The actor then said, “I’m not saying someone did it,” to which Gunn replied, “Maybe someone did it.”
After the podcast episode went live, many people came forward to defend Jesse Eisenberg after it was suggested that he was the person Gunn was referring to. Eisenberg played the role in the 2016 film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
However, Gunn has denied the allegations and tweeted “I’m not mentioning Jesse” in response to a tweet that read: “What’s the disagreement with Eisenberg? He is one of the best actors of our generation.”
He then revealed that he was actually referring to Gene Hackman, who played Lex Luthor in Richard Donner’s 1978 film. Superman and its 1980 sequel Superman II.
“When reading these replies, it sometimes seems like people are looking for things to infuriate and have little historical understanding of,” he said, adding: “Even though Donner’s Superman movies are some of my favorite movies, I have spoken out publicly before and even wrote about it in EW [Entertainment Weekly] back in the early 2000s, it would have been careless to say that Lex Luthor wasn’t my favorite part of those movies.
“The portrait can lean towards the camp and I wish he looked like a bigger threat and I wish he played it bald throughout. I’m sorry to reveal that I didn’t like ANY Lex on Michael’s show, but here it is.
“For the record, I think Hackman is one of the five greatest actors of the ’70s and ’80s, and he’s starred in some of my favorite movies. I just don’t love him like Lex.
For the new Superman movie, titled Superman: Legacy, Gunn is said to be experimenting with the screen with Nicholas Hoult, David Coreswet and Tom Brittney, along with Rachel Brosnahan, Emma Mackey and BridgertonPhoebe Dynevor is racing to play Lois Lane.
Meanwhile, fans of The CW . series Superman & Lois was furious after it was revealed that a fourth season would come without seven main cast members due to budget cuts.