Weekly Top Ten- #33
Ten African American Actors Who Could Play Lex Luthor
I want to first apologize for my shocking delay of weekly top ten lists. I feel bad for putting them off for this long, sometimes other things grab my attention for this blog, plus this time of year is busy anyway and getting to a computer is tough. I feel really bad and I going to get some mad catching up done this week. So why not start now?
The casting for Lex Luthor in the upcoming "Batman/Superman" movie goes up and down like a roller coaster and last week it was up again. We knew that actors like Bryan Cranston, Mark Strong and "Lost's" Terry O'Quinn have been thrown in the mix, but nothing has stuck. Now, this week we've learned that Zack Snyder isn't shying away from talking to African American actors for the role.
I don't think a character has be the exact same ethnicity as their source material in order to work. Perry White of the Daily Planet had always been white in the comics, but Lawrence Fishburne did great work as the character in "Man of Steel," so why not have an African American Lex Luthor? So far, Denzel Washington and Idris Elba were both pursued for the role, but nothing materialized for either actor. Since race isn't a factor, I have offered up a list of ten African American actors who I feel could do this villain justice! No pun intended!
10. Keith David
Known for his villain roles and featuring a commanding voice, David may not have the prestige as Washington or Elba, but he certainly could pull off the role. He's got a sly malice and intimidating stature that could be very beneficial for the role, plus he's supremely talented.
Well, he's already comfortable bald, so that's a plus. Common is possibly the best rapper-turned-actor working today, and this is coming from a guy who loves Ice Cube and Ice T. Common has played a believable badass so far, and I am wondering if he can be challenged to be an intellectual badass. I say yes.
8. Barry Shabaka Henley
Out of all the actors on this list, Henley will possibly be the only actor you recognize by the face and not the name. That, to me, is a shame. A titan in several supporting roles for both film and television, Henley should be a lot more well-known than he is. Nothing like a popular villain role in a high-profile superhero film to turn that around...
7. Chi McBride
Seriously, where has McBride been for the last few years? He's got the talent, he needs a big role to put him back on the map again!
6. Eddie Murphy
Now I know you all think I've lost my credibility just now, but hear me out okay? Remember Murphy before he played 6 roles in one film? Remember Murphy before all the crazy make-up and antics, when he not only did comedy but serious stuff too? Remember 48 Hrs. and Beverly Hills Cop? Murphy had a stern coldness that was undeniable in some of his early work. We saw life of that in 2006's "Dreamgirls," and I know he still has it in him. Believe in Murphy again, ladies and gentlemen, he may surprise you.
5. Giancarlo Esposito
Rewatch all of "Breaking Bad" and try to convince me he isn't perfect for Lex Luthor.
4. Dennis Haysbert
I know what your thinking...the guy from all the All-State commericals. Don't let those fool you, Haysbert is a gifted actor with many merits to his resume. Did you ever watch "24?" Did you ever see the movie "Heat?" The guy has incredible talent and especially in serious, stricken, political-esque roles.
3. Jeffrey Wright
Wright is a guy who can do pretty much anything, buts its his hefty, serious stuff that really allows him to shine. Mostly, Wright would be new to villain territory, but that's not a bad thing. He'd own the part if given the chance, he'd bring unsuspected wit and style to the roll.
2. Chiwetel Ejiofor
Coming off the reels of "12 Years A Slave," it maybe tough to imagine Ejiofor coming close to getting somebody like Lex Luthor right, but it can be done. Take your pick at anything else in his filmography to prove it. Ejiofor can be snarky, Ejiofor can be buisness-like, Ejiofor can be a douche. He proved this year that he can hold a film on his own, and now he's ready to shine.
1. Forest Whitaker
If they are pursuing Denzel Washington, then Forest Whitaker can be too far behind. He's an Academy Award Winner himself, has had a dense career with great range, and he's proven he can handle roles similar to Lex Luthor. With Washington and Elba out of the count, I'm willing to bet big money Whitaker will get thrown in the mix eventually. I certainly hope he gets the gig, because he'll rock all our socks off!
So who do you think would be a good Lex Luthor?