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Smallville’s Michael Rosenbaum Wants to be Man of Steel’s Luthor

Lex Luthor is out there. Although Superman’s key nemesis wasn’t seen in Man of Steel, the LuthorCorp tower appeared in the film, making it clear the brilliant but twisted billionaire exists somewhere in the DC Cinematic Universe.

With that in mind, Smallville actor Michael Rosenbaum wants to make sure he’s on the radar of Warner Bros. and director Zack Snyder when casting gets under way for the fast-tracked Man of Steel sequel. Rosenbaum, who played Luthor for much of Smallville‘s 10-year run, out the following tweet on Wednesday:



The link refers to a list of actors who should play Luthor in Man of Steel 2, with Rosenbaum’s name right at the top. Clearly he has the experience, but should Warner Bros. dip into the Smallville well for its big-screen efforts? That’s a debate for the comments section.

Meanwhile, Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston as Luthor does get the wheels turning, doesn’t it?



  • dekko

    When was Amy Adams on “Smallville?”

  • Kevin Brettauer

    It was more than just Adams. They also had Alessandro Juliani, Tahmoh Penikett and Mackenzie Gray.

  • Kevin Brettauer

    “Craving”, episode 1×07

  • mike

    I am not a big fan of Smallville but he was an excellent Luthor

  • Alex W

    I’m not a huge Smallville fan but I do have to say Rosenbaum was definitely the major highlight of that show (especially where acting was concerned). He’d definitely be at the top of my list.

  • MrMGU

    Yes, former Smallville actors were in the movie, but they were playing different, completely, unrelated characters. Seeing Juliani in the movie, actually took me out of it for a minute because he had a fairly large supporting role as Emil Hamilton on the show, and his scenes in the move were in fact WITH Dr. Hamilton.

    I LOVED Rosenbaum;s Luthor and the show definitely suffered in the final three seasons without him (save he finale), but is it a wise move to have him play the same character in a completely different iteration — and such a major role?

    For God’s sake, they wont even let JK Simmons play Jameson in the rebooted Spider-Man, and NOBODY can do it better than him. They knew that and oped to not even have him in the movie, but how long can that last?

    Can Rosenbaum pull off a movie version, though? I’d be interested in seeing him do it, but I’m not convinced he can.

  • kalorama

    M.O.S. also cast the guy who played Prof. Hamilton on Smallville in a role as a soldier.

  • Kano

    First season, A Meteor Freak of the Week, She drink diet smoothies from vegtables fertilised with meteor rocks and became a vampire type that sucked the fat tissue from others to survive… Yes this really happened

  • akkadiannumen

    He was pretty good Luthor but it worked for the show because we were able to see him grow into the part of the villain. It won’t work in a movie. Don’t be greedy, Michael and let someone else have fun playing one of the greatest villains ever.

  • Kano

    YES, Make this happen. I know that they will want to distance themselves from past iterations but he was da man in Smallville the marked drop in entertainment when he left was obvious I mean sure they had Zod, Doomsday etc etc but no one ever out performed his Lex.
    Plus Marvel Studios recent flirting with him must speak for itself.

  • Ryan

    Funny how he couldn’t wait to get off the show, refused to commit to coming back for the final episode until the last minute and now he’s practically begging to play the character again…

  • bobby

    theres a big difference between tv and movies. Im not an actor but typically actors see movies as an upgrade over television….

  • Der Langhaarige

    Not to mention that Smallville was really crappy at times (And I say that as a fan of the show!) so who can blame him for leaving?

  • Tomer Soiker

    No, it didn’t. Prof. Hamilton was played by Joe Morton (Eureka), Gen. Swanwick was played by Harry Lennix (Dollhouse).

  • Erech

    Wait, my choices are guy from awful Superman soap opera that ran too long or one of the better actors going today from one of the most critically acclaimed shows of all time? Err, sorry nerds, going with Walt with my “vote”

  • Falcon-1

    While they truly missed an inspired casting choice my overlooking Chris Meoli to play Lex; I’m still holding out for Bruce Willis. If you’ve ever seen “The Jackal” you’d know he can play dark and cold and murderous very well and those are three prerequisites for ANYONE to play Lex Luthor in this new Nolan / Snyder universe. Rosenbaum would have step up his game considerably from what he did in “Smallville” to pull it off. I’m not saying he couldn’t, I’m just saying I haven’t seen it from him in the past.

  • mel

    The guy that played Lt. Gaeta on Battlestar Galactica was in MOS and he played Prof. Hamilton on Smallville.

  • mel

    I’ve always thought Ed Harris would be an awesome choice.

  • DC

    After how well MoS did in the box office, wouldn’t you want a chance at potentially earning a big payoff?

  • Michael Drew

    This would be A-mazing…When I close my eyes and think of Lex Luther I see Michael. Just like when I hear the Jokers voice in comics I hear Mark Hamil in my head.

  • Tomer Soiker

    Well, I haven’t watched Smallville past Season 5, but I did remember Joe Morton playing a Prof. Morton in one of the earlier seasons, so I thought kalorama credited that role to Harry Lennix. Upon checking it: Both Joe Morton and Alessandro Julliani (Lt. Gaeta on BSG) played a Prof. Hamilton on different occasions (Steven and Emil, respectively).

  • gregorioalvin

    Let him take the role of the Scarlet Speedster instead! :D

  • Jon

    Remember when he left Smallville, he couldn’t say goodbye Lex Luthor fast enough. He was going to conquer Hollywood based on his own acting talents. Guess that didn’t work out, and now he wants back in the role. It’s kind of sad.

  • joecooler2u

    He’s the perfect Lex Luthor in my eyes. He can bring the slight sarcastic touch of humor but not make it Hackman/Spacey level over-the-top stupid humor. I admit I liked those Luthors for their time (less so Superman Returns as it would have been better to play Spacey serious). I think Rosenbaum as Lex would be a serious threat as the financial/scientific genius to play mastermind behind-the-scenes or use Kryptonite to take on Superman one-on-one. Just as long as they ditch the real estate aspect of previous movies, especially since it’s an overused lousy plot. Thankfully the one thing Nolan and Snyder are really good at is playing it serious so Rosenbaum would be the perfect fit for Lex.

  • victorredman

    As good as Rosenbaum’s Luthor was on SMALLVILLE, the man just made a huge mistake — he flat-out named another actor who could be better in the role. I’d LOVE to see Cranston tackle Lex Luthor!

  • Adrian Arcega

    That’s why it was a hoot watching Alessandro Juliani in his typical Smallville expositional techspeak beside the film Hamilton.

  • Shallbecomeabat

    Hell YES!
    As much as I hated Smallville (mostly because of the absolutely unlikable Tom Welling), Rosenbaum was a GREAT Lex! He was the only thing that made me watch for a w years, until I stopped following that show altogether. Hey… I think Rosenbaum left around the time.
    Again, he was a great Lex and would be great in MoS2 (I LOVED the first one, warts and all), but I don’t see them going for him. They don’t want any ties to other Superman stuff. Still, he would be cool, but I think they’ll go for an actor with a bigger name.

  • TheEnygma

    if they ever do Black Canary, Abbie Cornish from sucker punch would be perfect

  • Shallbecomeabat

    Because the show turned to shit. Even I didn’t finished watching it and I am a HUGE Superman fan. I left after season 8 and never looked back.
    God, do I hate Tom Welling.

  • Dick Jones

    He gave up his job on the show as Lex so he could move onto “better things”. This is a sad excuse for a cash grab. That and Smallville is CRAP!

  • Michael Wood

    God, I hope not. SMALLVILLE should be forgotten entirely.

  • JillS155

    I vote he plays the Flash in the Justice League movie. Let us see someone who did the voice be the character in live action. Plus, it would be nice to see him with hair for once

  • Happily LS

    How about no. He’s a soap opera actor with the charisma of drywall. And he’s completely out of touch with reality if he thinks he’ll ever be in a Superman movie.

  • Spiderrob

    He could play Wally West AKA Flash, in a Flash movie, leading to Justice League, most people know his cartoon Flash voice. Just saying

  • Erik

    you’re dreaming if you think DC/WB will have Wally be the Flash in a Flash Movie… they won’t even let Wally exist in the comics…

  • Alex H

    Given that all evidence points to WB barely caring whether the Flash or anyone outside the Batman/Superman family of characters exists or not, it’s more likely down to the writers and directors than WB or DC.

  • Grey Gargoyle

    Is this guy serious, they need a John Hurt or a Ben Kinsley not a pantomime artist. Sheesh.


    i still feel it shoulda been welling and rosenbaum in the movie version it had the universe set up perfectly i dunno warner bros didn’t put it together and do it.

  • nLane

    You must have really hated him by staying for 8 seasons.

  • Manuel Lopez

    Nah, they need a great actor, and not an old man either.

  • Liam

    It should have been Tom and Mike. I’m sorry but the Brit sucked a$$ as Supes. His portrayal was pathetic and hokey. 10 Seasons of ground work laid for naught. WB dropped the ball and will see no more of my dollars on this series.

  • Alicia Mccauley

    heck yes Michael would be an amazing lex luthor for the man of steel sequal i mean he was amazing on smallville so ya their is no doubt in my mind that Michael rosenbaum should play lex luthor

  • JusticeBringer

    Correct, he played Officer Sekowsky.

  • ChewbaccaMalacca

    New is new. Old is old.

  • Boiling Man

    I wouldn’t mind seeing him reprise his role, he was great as Lex in the show.

  • George Doukas

    I could get behind this idea, he was a good Lex even though the writing on Smallville was mostly terrible and we waited ten years to see the suit in action for a total of maybe 11 minutes MAX! It would be welcomed in the sequel to see him and Laura Vandervoort (Kara Jor El) reprise their roles!

  • jon

    dont do luthor do DOOMSDAY

  • Chucklenuts

    NEIN! NEIN! NEIN! NEIN! I don’t want one of superman’s greatest arch nemesis looking like a scrawny defensless buddist monk…I rather see other actors take on the role such as bruce willis since lex luthor kinda looked like him in the game Injustice…hell even a well built African American male would be good for the role

  • Chucklenuts

    NOPE…this guy to me was a randomly casted Buddhist monk on smallville…doesn’t have a menacing look to him that I always saw in luthor…also why not Bruce Willis since he kinda looked like luthor in the video game Injustice…I also would prefer to see a well built African American male to be given the role.

  • XSpectreGreyX

    Rosembaum’s Lex had a tragic fall to villainy. I don’t know if they’re going that route again, but if they do, Rosembaum would be an excellent choice.

  • Hypestyles

    Leave Luthor and kryptonite alone for now, until the Justice League movie.

  • David Grant Lloyd

    Michael Rosenbaum was the only reason I ever watched Smallville

  • Immanuel

    He would have made a great Peter Quill for the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. But I guess he might have wanted too much money.

  • hobx

    No no no. My little fanboy mind was already blown by having Dr Hamilton from Smallville playing a different character in the same as the MOS Dr Hamilton.

  • Jakmac

    I agree with Jon’s comment below that Rosenbaum couldn’t get out of Smallville fast enough. I enjoyed the show although I’ve always considered it Superman Lite. I think Rosenbaum can’t carry the role on a big screen (Neither could Welling, which is why they’re forever locked in TV-Land). Ed Harris, Kevin Spacey and Bruce Willis would all make great Luthor’s but I think they’re all getting a bit long in the tooth. The films need a really sharp, brilliant, techno geek – an evil Tony Stark type. Young, egotistical and evil.

  • penguintruth

    No. I don’t want to associate this new series with that awful teen drama version of Superman.

  • EpicKickboxer

    I like Rosenbaum, but given Nolan as the producer, I’d be surprised if Tom Hardy didn’t get to play Lex Luthor..I think he’d be good.

    Cranston would be good, but having Luthor be around Superman’s age would be an interesting dynamic.

  • Dark Kent

    Let’s think outside the box; step into the new millennium, please. Rosenbaum is not going to work. Why does Marvel’s big-screen efforts (mostly) rock? Because they think. Outside. The. Box. Not only is Nick Fury black, it’s Samuel L. Jackson, the ultimate character actor. He’d be, well, fantastic as Luthor. Yes, he’s this/close to the Fury character. But still. I could go on. And on. About creativity, race, etc., in comics. But later for that. DC: think outside the box. Please!

  • Guest

    Season 4 Episode 17?

  • Humanism is balance

    They should have made a smallville universe superman movie by now, but I hope more comes of Mr. Rosenbaum! He really got me into Smallville and here after all 10 seasons I only wish he would have had the opportunity to play the part of the fully matured Lex Luthor that was Superman’s rival.

  • Godofmischief09

    Byran Cranston was already being considered. But I’d still like to see Rosembaum as Luthor.

  • Alicia

    YES, Rosenbaum should definitely play Luthor!