Movie Star Brothers Alexander And Bill Skarsgard Could Battle It Out To Play James Gunn's Lex Luthor


On the heels of a catastrophic 72 percent second-weekend drop for Andy Muschietti's "The Flash," a $250-million four-quadrant tentpole that is on pace to be one of the biggest superhero bombs in recent memory, Warner Bros. and DC would like to, if you don't mind, change the subject.

Earlier this year, the new minders of the DC Universe store, James Gunn and Peter Safran, announced their ambitious plans for a top-down reboot of the studio's valuable comic book properties, and though Gunn bears a bit of blame for hyping "The Flash" as "one of the best superhero movies I've ever seen" (a sentiment echoed by embattled Warner Bros. Discovery honcho David Zaslav), he didn't greenlight the movie, nor did he sign off on failures like "Black Adam" and "Shazam! Fury of the Gods." Unless Zaslav panics after a rough shareholders call, Gunn will at least get to make "Superman: Legacy" without studio interference.

Gunn's stewardship of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's "Guardians of the Galaxy" franchise has earned him loads of goodwill, and he's evidently looking to hit the big-hearted sweet spot with his "All-Star Superman"-influenced take on the Man of Steel. Today, The Hollywood Reporter's Borys Kit revealed that Nicholas Hoult, Rachel Brosnahan, Tom Brittney, Phoebe Dynevor, David Corenswet, and Emma Mackey tested for the lead roles of Clark Kent and Lois Lane. But read a few paragraphs into Kit's story, and you'll learn that the hunt for criminal mastermind Lex Luthor is underway, and Gunn is apparently pitting Skarsgård vs. Skarsgård.

A Swedish civil war of comic-book villainy

How do you like your Lex Luthor? Bald, obviously. Beyond that, would you prefer him to be a charismatic narcissist (à la Gene Hackman in Richard Donner's "Superman") or a sociopath who tries to get Holly Hunter to drink urine (see Jesse Eisenberg's bizarro rendition from Zack Snyder's blessedly dead DCEU run)?

I ask because all Skarsgårds are not created equal. According to Kit, Gunn is eying Alexander Skarsgård (that tall drink of aquavit from "True Blood," "The Legend of Tarzan" and "The Northman") and his brother Bill (the creep-out machine from "It," "Barbarian" and "John Wick: Chapter 4"), and my only issue here is that you're going to get radically different performances here. This suggests you're fussing about with tone when you should probably know precisely what you want — especially since the DCEU was a morass of tonal indecision.

I haven't read the script, but, from what I know of this material, Alexander would be my preferred Luthor. You should enjoy Lex on some level. He shouldn't make your skin crawl at every second, which is very much Bill's forte.

Gunn isn't set to start showing "Superman: Legacy" until early 2024, so we've probably got time to debate this casting conundrum. So choose your Skarsgård!