Less than a week after Ben Affleck was announced as the next Batman, it looks like Bryan Cranston has signed on to play supervillain Lex Luthor in the planned sequel to Man of Steel. And although Warner Bros. has kept their lips sealed on the exact details of Cranston’s role, it is believed that the actor could be on board for at least six films.
Cranston has proven himself to be well qualified for the villainous role, having played Breaking Bad’s teacher-turned-drug kingpin Walter White for the past six years. Cranston, who was once primarily known for his comedic acting chops in Malcolm in the Middle, seems thrilled to take on another role as menacing antagonist.
“I like Lex Luthor. I think he’s misunderstood,” he told Metro.us earlier this year. “He’s a loveable, sweet man.”
Perhaps more surprising than the recent castings of Affleck and Cranston are the possible terms of their contracts. According to Cosmic Book News Affleck has agreed to an unheard-of 13-appearance deal as Batman, while Cranston’s appearances as Lex Luthor could top out at a whopping 10 films.
These massive multi-film contracts are all part of DC Entertainment’s concerted effort to create a vast and interconnected universe of superhero films designed specifically for large ensemble casts and cameos. Skeptics of DC’s aggressive plan to dip into its well of superhero blockbusters should consider that competitor Marvel Entertainment has already raked in over $1.5 billion at the box office for 2012’s Marvel’s The Avengers. It is the third-highest grossing film in movie history, behind Avatar and Titanic.
The specifics of Cranston’s deal are expected to be revealed in the coming weeks. Filming for the Man of Steel sequel is slated for next year and will likely hit theaters in the summer of 2015.