James Gunn calls Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor “corny”

Jame Gunn outed Gene Hackman’s three-movie portrayal of Lex Luthor as “campy”, even though he does like the movies themselves.

James Gunn has already revealed who his favorite Lex Luthor is, telling Michael Rosenbaum on his own podcast that his portrayal of the supervillain on Smallville was the best he has seen. As for a name near the bottom of the list? Look no further than one of the greatest actors ever.

On the podcast, Rosenbaum asked James Gunn to promise him that if Lex Luthor is in the next Superman movie “he’ll have gravitas or…he’ll be Lex Luthor. He won’t be playing Lex Luthor but he’s more acting like this character…or goofy or crazy! He’s gonna be something that’s grounded and real.” Gunn gave hope, saying, “Everything’s grounded and real, yeah…everything’s grounded and real.” To which Rosenbaum defended his statement with, “I’m not saying anybody’s done that…” Gunn’s coy response: Maybe somebody’s done that.”

So, which famous Lex Luthor does James Gunn feel went over-the-top with the role? If you guess Jesse Eisenberg, you’re be wrong (in this case, at least…). Gunn, not surprisingly, took to Twitter to not only defend Eisenberg, who played Luthor in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but out Hackman as something of a wimp with too much hair.

“I was not referring to Jesse…In reading these replies, sometimes it seems like people are looking for things to get outraged about & have little sense of history. Although Donner’s Superman movies are some of my favorites, I’ve spoken out publicly before, & even written about it in EW back in the early 2000’s, perhaps unwisely, that Lex Luthor is not my favorite part of those films. The portrayal can lean campy & I wished he seemed like a greater threat & I wished he’d played it bald throughout. I regret having intimated that I didn’t like ANY Lex on Michael’s show, but there it is. For the record I think Hackman is one of the five greatest actors of the 70’s & 80’s, and he starred in some of my favorite movies, I just didn’t love him as Lex.”

Lex Luthor has been portrayed by a number of actors that also includes Kevin Spacey (Superman Returns), John Shea (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman) and Jon Cryer (Supergirl), who actually also played Luthor’s nephew, Lenny, in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. And while Rosenbaum had a completely different take on Lex Luthor, Hackman is generally considered a fan favorite…so we’re sure James Gunn will be completely free from criticism over his take!

Who is your least favorite Lex Luthor? Where does Gene Hackman rank for you? Let us know!

Source: The Independent

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Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with JoBlo.com periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.