American actor Bryan Cranston, who is famous for his role as Walter White in the popular television series Breaking Bad, has reportedly been cast as Lex Luthor in the sequel to this summer's Man of Steel.
According to Cosmic Book News, the 57-year-old has signed a massive six-film deal with Warner Bros and the DC Comics franchise. The studio is expected to make a formal announcement after the conclusion of the final season of Breaking Bad, on 29 September. A source told the website: "Cranston truly is a dream casting for Luthor."
Cranston succeeds Kevin Spacey as the bald-headed villain; Spacey played Luthor in 2006's Superman Returns, which featured Brandon Routh as the Son of Krypton.
Henry Cavill will retain his role as Superman.
Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that Argo director Ben Affleck will play the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman in the forthcoming sequel. The high-octane Man of Steel 2 has also been dubbed Superman vs Batman after it was revealed that the 2015 film will feature two of the world's most iconic superheroes going head to head.
Affleck emerged the successor to the hugely popular and critically acclaimed Christian Bale, who played Gotham City's saviour across three Christopher Nolan-directed films, ending with The Dark Knight Rises (2012), co-starring Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Gary Oldman.
However, not everybody is pleased with the choice of Affleck as Batman. Online petitions have been raised against the 41-year-old, who has few fans in the superhero films space after a lacklustre performance as Daredevil in 2003.
The petitions claim that Affleck's "acting skill is not even close to being believable as Bruce Wayne and he won't do the role justice" and continue: "He's not intimidating enough for the role of Batman. Batman is someone that strikes fear in the hearts of men. His portrayal of Daredevil was atrocious and he's not remotely close to an action star or a superhero. Please find someone else and deliver to the fans what they want."