A new rumor details that Warner Bros. is considering developing a Lex Luthor solo film without Superman after the success of Joker.
The rumor comes from Mikey Sutton and his Geekosity Facebook group.
Sutton writes, “Warner Bros. is considering a Lex Luthor film. No Man of Steel; he’s pure fiction in this alternate universe.”
As for what the plot of the movie would be, it would follow the rise of Luthor from an “awkward intellectual kid to corrupt wealthy businessman to president of the United States.” Sutton adds, “Slap on an R rating and leave the comic books behind but perhaps put a twist on the myth such as making Lois Lane his First Lady, but also the reporter who brings him down.”
He adds this potential project is being heavily influenced by the success of Joker.
“It’s a political tragedy that screams Oscar bait, which WB is desiring heavily with Joker. While Luthor doesn’t have the flash and manic colors of the Joker, WB sees this as a project that can reap accolades and huge BO from adults with the right writer ad director actors.”
Sutton speculates the right actor could be Bryan Cranston.
This isn’t the first time a solo Lex Luthor film has been rumored. Back in June, a rumor surfaced from 4Chan that Ryan Gosling would be teaming up with the director and co-writer of Darkest Hour Joe Wright for a Lex Luthor film.
As for the potential a plot, the story about a corrupt businessman is no stranger to Hollywood. Leonardo DiCaprio played Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street back in 2013. Michael Douglas played Gordon Gekko in Wall Street and its sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. It’s not too hard to imagine it with a political drama bent similar to Netflix’s House of Cards.
And it would fit in with Lex Luthor’s comic book background. Luthor was originally created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and first appeared in Action Comics #23 back in 1940. While Lex was first introduced as a mad scientist, he’s evolved into a wealthy businessman, engineer, genius, and philanthropist.
He would turn to politics in the early 2000s in the Public Enemies story arc written by Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness. In that story he successfully becomes President. However, he would be opposed by Batman, Lois, and Superman. Nevertheless, Luthor attempts to use deception, murder, and the manipulation of world events to undo his opponents even going so far as to frame Bruce Wayne and Batman for murder and letting the Imperiex destroy Topeka, Kansas.
The storyline has actually already been adapted to film albeit an animated one by director Sam Liu titled Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. It’s quite possible DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. could find inspiration from that storyline and have it more grounded without the superhero antics of Batman and Superman.
My biggest concern about this type of film, is it seems like it would be too overtly based on our real world politics with Luthor being a stand-in for Donald Trump and the film would turn into a lecture. Now, given we are talking about Hollywood, they love their lectures and it’s quite possible it could win an Oscar based on that effect alone, but I have a feeling audiences might not accept it like they’ve done with Joker.
What do you make of this rumor about a Lex Luthor solo film that details his rise to the President? Would you be interested in Luthor film without Superman?