Kevin Spacey has been cast as the villainous Lex Luthor in director Bryan Singer's Superman. The Warner Bros. tentpole will begin production at Fox Studios Sydney on March 3rd.
Spacey's deal was inked as the studio is in the midst of trying to complete a deal with Kate Bosworth to play Lois Lane for the long-in-the-works feature. Bosworth played Sandra Dee to Spacey's Bobby Darin in Beyond the Sea, which Spacey directed, co-wrote and produced.
Actors will join newcomer Brandon Routh, who was chosen in October to play Superman.
Tentpole pic is Warner Bros.' second resuscitation of a DC Comics franchise. Though Catwoman proved to be kitty litter, WB previously re-birthed its Caped Crusader franchise and will open the Christopher Nolan-directed Batman Returns on June 17th.
Given Routh's neophyte stature, star-casting the villain was a priority for the studio. Singer said that when he and scribes Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris hatched the idea for the film, Spacey was always the template for Luthor.
Singer, who directed Spacey to his first Oscar in The Usual Suspects, was able to entice the actor by presenting a schedule that allows the thesp to live up to his primary allegiance to the London stage, where he is artistic director of the Old Vic. While Singer begins production in March, Spacey won't join until summer.
Superman Returns was released June 28th, 2006 and stars Brandon Routh, Kate Bosworth, Kevin Spacey, James Marsden, Parker Posey, Frank Langella, Sam Huntington, Eva Marie Saint. The film is directed by Bryan Singer.