When Titans returns for its fourth season on HBO Max this November, it'll have some extra supervillain firepower in the form of Lex Luthor, the iconic billionaire supervillain best known as an archenemy of Superman. Many actors have taken on the character over the years, from Clancy Brown in the DC Animated Universe to Jon Cryer on Supergirl. Now, it's Titus Welliver's turn.
Welliver, who many fans know from his starring role on the long-running crime drama Bosch, will step into Luthor's shoes this fall with his own take on the legendary villain, and according to Titans showrunner Greg Walker, it didn't take much convincing to get Welliver to tackle the role.
"You usually have to do this whole dog-and-pony show to get an actor to do the show," Walker told Entertainment Weekly. "But when I called to kind of lure him in, I could barely get a word in. We were talking on the phone and he was just walking through his library, telling me about all his Wolfman/Perez Titans editions. He's a giant, giant fan. He'd watched every episode of the show, and could tell me about certain stories, certain shots. It was the most unexpected call I've ever had."
In the exclusive photo released on Entertainment Weekly's website, you can see that Welliver has taken on Luthor's iconic bald head, but with the addition of a thick beard to add an extra imposing layer to the character. As for what kind of performance we can expect, Walker explained that Welliver's version of Luthor leans heavily on the character's intellect and humanity.
"He has a very sensitive, thoughtful approach to evil and power," Walker explained. "You know what he's done, what he's capable of doing, except like many of those people, he's personable. He doesn't have a cat on his lap. Yeah. He's curious, which I think is very interesting about his character. He wants to know about people and what makes them tick, and how they're different from him. He sees the world through the lens both of his own power and his own inadequacy, and tries to compensate for both."
As for what Luthor wants and how far he'll go in the new season of Titans...well, we'll have to wait to find that out, but his presence certainly raises some interesting questions for the title team. One of the most interesting, as far as Walker is concerned, is what Superboy (Joshua Orpin) will do when confronted with the man who provided half of the DNA that created him.
"We're really going deeper in all these characters and shaking them up," Walker said. "What shakes Conner up is an identity story. He's explored his Superman self, but he has not really explored his Lex self. What does that mean when you do? What happens when you give that self the keys to the car? Does it start driving the wrong way at rush hour 100 miles an hour?"
Titans returns in November on HBO Max.
Looking for some sci-fi fun and adventure? Check out Battlestar Galactica, Heroes, Warehouse 13, Eureka, SYFY's Resident Alien, Sliders, Intergalactic and more on Peacock now.