Smallville's Lex Luthor Actor Loses Role In Upcoming DC Show

By Pierre Chanliau Updated:
Lex Luthor Michael Rosenbaum, Batman signal

Smallville actor Michael Rosenbaum, last seen as Martinex in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, revealed how he lost a role in an upcoming DC show.

Rosenbaum is most known to DC fans as either Smallville's Lex Luthor or the voice of various incarnations of The Flash. By far his most prominent portrayal of the speedster was Wally West in Bruce Timm's Justice League. One episode of the sequel series, Justice League: Unlimited, was even a giant in-joke with Rosenbaum playing Luthor again but trapped in the body of Flash.

Timm is one of several executive producers for the upcoming Batman: Caped Crusader animated series set to release on Amazon Prime. However, who will voice the titular character is still unknown, especially with the tragic passing of prolific voice actor Kevin Conroy.

How The Flash Was Almost Batman

Batman Caped Crusader

On Michael Rosenbaum's podcast Inside of You, he landed on the topic of voice acting and how he's been in a bit of a slump getting voice roles. One show he mentioned auditioning for was Batman: Caped Crusader.

He addressed his co-host, Ryan Tellez, about how "we had another [audition]" for Caped Crusader and the titular superhero role. Rosenbaum was proud of his Batman and that "they were really happy" with it too, but "[he] could tell" they weren't as pleased with his Bruce Wayne:

“We had another [audition], remember? The Batman series… It was JJ Abrams and Bruce Timm who created Justice League: Unlimited. It got just axed, but I remember going for a callback with him and everybody. And you know, I think my Batman was really good. I think they were really happy with Batman, but the Bruce Wayne, I don’t think they were happy with. I could tell.”

So whoever will be voicing The Dark Knight will have to pull off two distinct performances as the hero and alter-ego.

What Kind of Caped Crusader Was DC Looking For?

Most of Michael Rosenbaum's voiced roles relating to DC have been incarnations of the Flash, but he has voiced various minor roles as other DC characters like Deadman, Scarecrow, Seth the Dark One, and more. Rosenbaum typically has a more youthful cadence but can also pull out gruff performances like Scarecrow.

He likely employed that one for Batman, but perhaps the producers weren't keen on his lighter delivery as Bruce or he sounded too much like Barry Allen for Bruce Timm's liking, which could be jarring for older audiences who lived through that performance already.

Additionally, this series is supposedly meant to be "evocative of Batman’s noir roots," so maybe Rosenbaum's take on the character of Wayne didn't exactly reach that description. It'll be curious to see who Timm and the rest of the producers end up hiring in the end.

Batman: Caped Crusader has yet to set a release window for its premiere on Amazon Prime.

- About The Author: Pierre Chanliau
Pierre Chanliau began as a news & feature writer for The Direct at the site's launch in 2020. As a longtime reader of superhero comic books, Pierre's knowledge of Marvel and DC is extensive, informing his reporting and editorial pieces regarding the MCU and DCU.