Since Michael Rosenbaum portrayed Lex Luthor in Smallville, two cinematic iterations (Kevin Spacey in 2006’s Superman Returns and Jesse Eisenberg in 2016’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice) have appeared. Still, it must be said that Smallville‘s Luthor has been superior to both on every level.
While Spacey’s interpretation is a mixed bag due to the actor never being terrible in any role and the film’s script being its biggest fault, Eisenberg’s is certainly more controversial and divisive. Whether he was supposed to be Junior or the real Luthor is another story, but we’re going with the fact that he’s the DCEU’s adaptation of Superman’s greatest nemesis. Even so, he didn’t exactly win many people over with his off-center and peculiar performance as the primary antagonist of the film.
Ultimately, Rosenbaum showed us everything that we wanted from a deep, complex character such as the genius billionaire. He showed kindness, cruelty, and the transformation that took him from being one of Clark’s best friends to his biggest threat. There was a depth and evolution to him that hasn’t been explored in the big screen versions yet.