Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Lex Luthor in Zack Snyder’s Justice League has inspired a new debate amongst DC fans debating over who was the best actor to ever play the iconic supervillain. The chatter has generated so much attention on social media that Lex Luthor actors Jon Cryer and Michael Rosenbaum even got in on the debate.
Serving as one of Superman’s biggest foes in the comic books, Lex Luthor has been featured in a vast variety of movies, television shows, and animated projects. When it was released last week, the Snyder Cut gave fans more of Eisenberg’s take on Lex, and it’s sparked some very mixed reactions online. Though it’s not without its criticism, there are some fans who say that Eisenberg’s portrayal is underrated and that it’s more accurate to the original comic book character than people give it credit for.
“Once y’all start realizing that Jesse’s Lex Luthor is based on young Lex from Superman: Secret Origins then you’ll be able to understand that’s it’s not bad casting,” argues one Eisenberg fan. “He’s still playing a comic accurate version of the character. It’s just not version you like.”
“I’m tired of the slander on Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor, he was perfect,” says another fan of the actor.
Eisenberg may have his fans, but the same can be said for many other Lex Luthor actors. One of the most popular names is Michael Rosenbaum, who spent a decade playing Lex on the Superman prequel series Smallville. Posting a photo of Rosenbaum’s Lex, one fan tweets: “The best casting for Lex Luthor. I said what I said.”
“Apparently Lex Luthor is trending and I just want to again affirm that @michaelrosenbum is still the best Lex,” agrees another fan.
Even Rosenbaum himself has noticed the attention the character is getting online and couldn’t be prouder. The Smaillville star tweeted: “Lex Luthor is trending. That’s nice to see.”
Jon Cryer who plays Lex Luthor in Supergirl and other Arrowverse shows, then jumped into the debate. From his point of view, the greatest of all time is a toss-up between Rosenbaum and legendary actor Gene Hackman, who previously played Lex in the classic Superman movies with Christopher Reeve. Though Cryer also played Lex’s nephew alongside Hackman in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, he’s still having trouble deciding between his former co-star and Rosenbaum.
“As far as I’m concerned, there are dueling #LexLuthor GOATS. And these are them,” Cryer tweeted, posting photos of Gene Hackman and Michael Rosenbaum side by side.
Many other fans are also arguing for Hackman to be named as the best Lex Luthor actor ever. One fan posted photos of Hackman’s Lex and tweeted: “Y’all talking about Lex Luthor performances but every one of ya forgot the goat.”
Meanwhile, there are just as many DC fans who feel the animated Lex Luthors should also be getting more love. This includes voice portrayals of the supervillain by Clancy Brown in Superman: The Animated Series and Giancarlo Esposito in Harley Quinn. Following Cryer and Rosenbaum, Brown also responded to the attention on Lex Luthor with a tweet of his own. The actor writes, “So many opinions flying around about #LexLuthor Looks like #Lex figured out how to infiltrate #twitter right under the aliens nose.”
In any case, everyone seems to have their own favorite when it comes to naming the greatest Lex Luthor of all time, so it’s difficult to determine a clear winner. You can get in on the debate by naming your favorite Lex on social media using the hashtag #LexLuthor.