Supergirl has done more than its share of bringing characters from Superman’s world into the fold. For starters, Jimmy Olsen is in nearly every episode, and we had an entire season with Cat Grant making Kara’s life a little bit more anxious, and another with Metropolis’ own Maggie Sawyer. The show brought Tyler Hoechlin in as Superman himself in the season two opener, which itself was loaded with Man of Steel lore and again for the brilliant Elseworlds crossover. We’ve had plenty of one-and-done villains and minor recurring characters who come right out of the pages of Superman comics, but one has cast the longest shadow…
The Luthor family is inescapable on Supergirl, with Kara’s increasingly uneasy friendship with Lena Luthor taking the spotlight during season three, and her mother Lillian Luthor spending a considerable chunk of season two giving everyone headaches. Lex Luthor has been mentioned plenty of times, one of those awesome purple and green warsuits showed up once, and we even visited his mansion late in the third season. Still, we have yet to see his bald head.
Well…that’s about to change.
Supergirl Season 4 has officially cast Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men) as Lex Luthor. Cryer has previous experience with the Luthor family, having played Lex’s dumbass nephew Lenny Luthor in the absolutely dreadful Superman IV: The Quest for Peace back in 1987.
Check out what Jon Cryer looks like as the Arrowverse Lex Luthor!
Executive Producers Robert Rovner and Jessica Queller offered in a statement when the news was announced that, “we’re beyond excited to introduce iconic villain, Lex Luthor, to Supergirl and to weave him into our story this season. We’ve talked about having Lex on the show since it’s inception and we’re excited to have him finally arrive. We can’t wait for him to shake things up in National City and watch him go toe to toe with not only Supergirl, but his sister Lena Luthor.”
Cryer will debut as Lex in season 4 episode 15, “O Brother, Where Art Thou” on March 17. Here’s the official synopsis:
Secretly furloughed from prison due to failing health, Lex Luthor (guest star Jon Cryer) visits his sister, Lena (Katie McGrath), to seek her help finding a cure. Savvy as ever, Lena is suspicious of Lex’s motives but when she’s faced with a life and death situation, she must decide how she truly feels about her brother. Meanwhile, Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) and J’onn (David Harewood) face off against Manchester Black (guest star David Ajala). James’ sister Kelly (guest star Azie Tesfai) comes to town.
Watch the trailer here…
“We are enormous fans of Jon Cryer, and he was instantly our dream actor to play the iconic role of Lex Luthor,” Rovner and Queller said in a statement (via Deadline). “Jon is a super-talent, and the fact that he played Lenny Luthor in Superman IV brings an added layer of legacy to his casting. We’re beyond thrilled to welcome Jon to the Supergirl family.”
Lex’s arrival makes perfect sense this year. Supergirl Season 4 has already introduced two characters with direct links to Superman’s greatest enemy. Rhona Mitra is Mercy Graves, familiar to Superman fans as Lex Luthor’s super strong personal bodyguard. Mercy first appeared on the indispensable Superman: The Animated Series in 1996, and has since made her into the pages of DC Comics and even on the big screen for the regrettable Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (where she was played by Tao Okamoto).
The show has also introduced Robert Baker as Otis Graves. That would be Otis, as in Gene Hackman bellowing “Otis!” in his most annoyed tones in Superman: The Movie and Superman II. That bumbling Otis, who was played by the brilliant Ned Beatty never had a last name, but Supergirl has paid tribute to the Richard Donner Superman movies every chance it gets, and you don’t name a character Otis in this world unless you mean it.
Having met Kal-El and assorted other members of the Superman supporting cast and extended family, it will be great to see what this universe’s take on Lex Luthor might be. Will he be a Michael Rosenbaum type or a Gene Hackman? Cryer will be the ninth actor to play the role in live action, and Lex has quite a screen legacy of his own.