By Niall Cinneide
Early reviews of Superman Returns, the latest in the Superman film franchise directed by Bryan Singer, have picked out Kevin Spacey’s Lex Luther as the pick of the performances.
“Kevin Spacey delivered a sadistic, vengeful, remorseless Lex Luthor that evokes nearly every previous incarnation of the character in some form or another, and then takes them all one villainous step further. A couple of hours after watching the film, and really internalizing who Luthor was in this movie, I'm inclined to think the setup might be there to deliver the audience a Luthor in future films the likes of which we've never specifically seen before in any medium” said Justin at bluetights.net.
Spacey enjoyed playing Luther, and taking him in a darker direction than Gene Hackman had previously. “You know, I had a blast. It's such an iconic part” said Spacey. When director Singer gave Spacey a preview of the script he realized that Luther was going to be less cartoonish than previous incarnations.
Superman Returns saw Spacey team up with Singer again – they had previously worked together on The Usual Suspects when Spacey won an Academy Award. Suspects was undoubtedly a highpoint in Spacey’s career which started in 1986 with Heartburn. Becoming known as a character actor, he came more to the public’s attention with performances in such high-profile films as Glengarry Glen Ross and Swimming With Sharks before Suspects.
The Oscar moved him to the role of headliner and his performances in Se7en and L.A. Confidential culminated in another Oscar, this time for Best Actor, in American Beauty.
If his performance as Lex Luther appeals to the Academy as much as it has the critics so far, Kevin Spacey may be in line for more accolades.
Superman Returns (2006)
Beyond the Sea (2004)
The Life of David Gale (2003)
The United States of Leland (2003)
Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)
The Tower of Babble (2002) (voice)
The Shipping News (2001)
Pay It Forward (2000)
Ordinary Decent Criminal (2000)
The Big Kahuna (1999)
American Beauty (1999)
It's Tough to Be a Bug (1999) (voice)
A Bug's Life (1998) (voice)
The Negotiator (1998)
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997)
L.A. Confidential (1997)A Time to Kill (1996)
The Usual Suspects (1995)
Swimming with Sharks (1994)
The Ref (1994)
Iron Will (1994)
Consenting Adults (1992)
Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
Henry & June (1990)
A Show of Force (1990)
See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989)
Unsub (1988) TV
Working Girl (1988)
Rocket Gibraltar (1988)