For any diehard Superman fans still reeling from Jesse Eisenberg's unexpected casting as Lex Luthor in the upcoming Superman vs. Batman (vs. Seemingly Every DC Hero) film, Bryan Cranston's recent revelation on The Howard Stern Show had to be even more upsetting. When asked about the possibility of Cranston ever playing Luthor, the former Breaking Bad star revealed that he “was not involved in any of that whatsoever,” but that he "would have welcomed it.” Yep, Bryan Cranston could have been Lex Luthor if Warner Bros. had even asked him.
So Lex Luthor's out of the way, and so what? There are plenty of other comic book characters worthy of the acclaimed actor's talents. Here are just some of the heroes and villains perfectly suited to Cranston's capabilities.
Ben McKenzie's already landed this part in Fox's upcoming Bat-centric series, Gotham. The character's next big screen incarnation remains uncast, and Cranston would be the perfect guy for the job. He already voiced the character in the animated Batman: Year One film, so we know he's got the attitude down already. Considering how well he rocked a mustache in "Breaking Bad," we can safely assume he can nail the look too.
Nick Fury Sr.
As much as Samuel L. Jackson loves playing Nick Fury, the man's going to want to move on eventually. When that happens, it might be time for Marvel to introduce a film version of the original Nick Fury – in all his cigar-chomping, grey templed glory. We know that Cranston can play gruff and intimidating; Heinsenberg can run the Helicarrier.
If fans have the very specific desire to see Walter White throw down with Henry Cavill's Superman, then maybe they should turn their campaigning abilities towards casting Cranston as the Man of Steel's otherworldly foe, Brainiac. After all, we have to get a Superman film that doesn't feature Luthor or Zod as the bad guy eventually. This role might involve a lot of CG, but Cranston's steely delivery would provide the perfect voice for this mad genius.
The actors already cast in the lead roles in the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot prove that this film will be anything but predictable. While our instincts tell us that they might go for an equally young, equally sexy, possibly female Doctor Doom to go up against the young and sexy FF, nothing about this film has played to our instincts so far. Enter: Cranston. He's a generation older than the entire cast, meaning that he and Reed wouldn't be college buddies in the reboot, but he's an actor that fans rally around. However off put people were by the initial Four's casting, bringing a home run like Cranston in would instill a lot of good will.
Any Golden Age Hero
The one thing that DC Comics has that Marvel doesn't have is a sense of legacy, and bringing that into their next super hero films would establish DC's cinematic universe as different from Marvel's – in addition to the vastly different tones, that is. Cranston could hint at a much richer in-universe history by playing any number of retired heroes, from Jay Garrick to Alan Scott, thus expanding the scope of the fledgling cinematic universe at a rapid pace.