A number of sites have been racing to put up a headline stating unequivocally that Bryan Cranston has been confirmed to play Lex Luthor in Man of Steel 2. All of this is based on an unsourced report coming from the notoriously unreliable Cosmicbooknews, claiming to confirm an earlier rumor that had Cranston and Mark Strong as the top contenders.While some of the details make sense, there are others that sound as if they were cooked up to try and make the story sound legit.
Assuming it's true, the story has Cranston locked up for a six-picture deal as Lex Luthor, popping up in various films in the same way Nick Fury does over at Marvel. Warner Bros. wants to wait until after the Breaking Bad series finale to make the announcement, although why they think that will make a difference is unclear. This would leave the door open for Strong to reprise his role as Green Lantern villain Sinestro, possible as part of the Justice League film. Would this mean WB is keeping Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan? There have been so many Green Lanterns that a switch could easily be explained away, as the studio seems set on moving as far away from that film as possible.
Getting into silly season, the site also says that 25-year-old Teen Wolf star Tyler Hoechlin was given heavy consideration for Batman, ahead of Affleck but behind their top choice, Karl Urban. While Urban is definitely a believable option, Hoechlin sounds like someone Cosmicbooknews just really likes a lot. To cast him would be to undermine the "older, veteran" Batman that was confirmed in the same press release that announced Affleck. As for Urban, the Star Trek and Dredd star simply couldn't find a way to fit it into his schedule, which is unfortunate because he would have made an excellent choice. So they fell back on Affleck, who made such an impression that he was signed to a whopping 13-picture deal, which would all but shutter his future as a director. They do say many of these appearances would amount to cameos in other films, as they plan to build a cohesive world similar to what Marvel has done.
By now we've all seen the jokes and Internet memes about Matt Damon playing Robin. In the final ridiculous twist in an already shaky report, it says WB is sorta giving in to the jokes and seeking Damon to join the Justice League as either Aquaman or Martian Manhunter. These characters couldn't be more different in every conceivable way, and neither suited for Damon. Plus, do you really think WB wants to turn their cherished superhero franchise into a laughingstock and the target of Good Will Hunting jokes for the foreseeable future? Probably not. At that rate they might as well cast Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as the Wonder Twins.
Like all stories of this nature, there are kernels of possibility in there, just enough to make it worth paying attention to but not enough to take seriously. Cranston could certainly end up as Lex Luthor; he has a relationship with the studio, appearing in Affleck's Argo and starring in Godzilla. Plus he's one of the most sought-after character actors around and can obviously play a villain if called upon. It's just not true yet, and the rest of the story sounds like complete bullshit. All we know for certain is that Zack Snyder's Man of Steel 2 is set to open on July 17th 2015, and will star Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, and Laurence Fishburne.