FEATURE: Five Actors Who Should Be Considered to Play Brainiac in the DC Extended Universe

Arguably one of DC Comics’ greatest villains is Brainiac, a frequent enemy of Superman and sometimes the rest of the Justice League. This alien android, who collects data, cities and even planets throughout the universe, is a formidable foe in the DC Universe, making it a surprise that he has yet to be adapted to the big screen.

Last year, Brainiac was rumored to be the main villain of 2017’s Justice League Part One, and recently, director Zack Snyder confirmed that the character is indeed coming “down the road” for the DC Extended Universe. If Brainiac is indeed making his movie debut in Justice League, then casting should be announced within the next few months, especially with production beginning early next year. Below, I’ve listed five actors who I would love to see in the role of Brainiac in the DCEU.

#5 – Cillian Murphy
Of course, Cillian Murphy has already played a DC villain on the big screen, as he portrayed Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow in all three parts of The Dark Knight Trilogy. In addition, the actor has appeared in other recent Warner Bros. films, such as Inception, Transcendence and the upcoming In the Heart of the Sea, making him a favorite of the studio’s. 
So, even though Murphy’s already been part of one DC franchise, he can still play a totally different character in another. For example, Tom Hardy played Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, but he was very close to joining the DCEU as Rick Flagg in Suicide Squad. He has since dropped out of that role, but he is planning to do something DC related with WB again. 
Additionally, Murphy is a very talented actor. He does a stellar job playing intimidating, substantial villains, and Brainiac is a villain who needs to be intimidating and substantial. Also, it’s easy to imagine Murphy wearing the Brainiac mo-cap and/or makeup. And Brainiac is a different enough character from Scarecrow to not feel like a retread for Murphy. 
#4 – Djimon Hounsou
Djimon Hounsou is another terrific actor, but he has yet to have a truly significant presence in a comic book movie. He voiced Black Panther in an animated series starring the Marvel character, and he played a minor supporting role in the studio’s Guardians of the Galaxy. However, it would be interesting to see Hounsou in a meatier CBM role, particularly as a main villain. Enter Brainiac.
Hounsou has the acting chops, the voice and the physicality necessary for a role such as Brainiac. With the proper writing and direction, he can easily hold his own against other characters. Hounsou has sci-fi experience after Guardians, and he appears in two of WB’s tentpoles next summer: Tarzan and Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur. So, the actor is certainly qualified to play Brainiac, or a similar character in the DCEU.
Not to mention, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, who also had a minor supporting role in a Marvel movie (Kurse in Thor: The Dark World), is now playing Killer Croc in Suicide Squad. Maybe a similar path for Hounsou can be forged.
#3 – Zachary Quinto
Zachary Quinto is best known for playing Spock in the current Star Trek film series. The actor also has experience playing villains – his character on Heroes, for example. Both his history with most villainous roles and his experience with sci-fi make him an ideal choice to play DC’s Brainiac.
Fans have suggested Quinto for many comic book roles over the years, most frequently Marvel’s Namor. However, Brainiac would also be a very good role for the actor; Quinto can play frightening, intelligent and vicious, all of which are appropriate characteristics for Brainiac. Imagine Quinto’s Spock, but even more knowledgeable and evil. Yeah, that would be a fascinating Brainiac.
Also, Quinto’s Star Trek co-star, Chris Pine, recently signed on to play Steve Trevor in Wonder Woman and other DCEU films. It would be great to see Quinto join this franchise as well.

#2 – John Noble
John Noble actually voiced Brainiac in the animated film Superman: Unbound, and he did an amazing job doing so. He also voiced Scarecrow in the Batman: Arkham Knight video game. So, the actor – who does both live action and voiceover work – has experience with the DC Universe. It would be ideal to see Noble play a live action character in the DCEU, and what better role than one he is already familiar with?
In Superman: Unbound, Noble’s voice was a flawless fit for Brainiac, stealing the show. The villain had some excellent dialogue too. If this Brainiac would be any indication of the DCEU’s upcoming iteration, we’re in for a treat. 
Noble is a great actor who has the chops to portray a DC villain on the big screen, and Brainiac may be the best choice for him, even if it is a bit obvious.
#1 – Eric Bana
And now, we have my personal favorite pick for the role of Brainiac. Eric Bana starred in 2003’s Hulk, before playing the villainous Nero in 2009’s Star Trek. Again, the actor has experience with both the comic book movie and the sci-fi genres, but it was his latter role that convinced me that Bana would make a brilliant Brainiac.

In Star Trek, Bana was a brutal antagonist who stole every other scene he was in. He truly disappeared into the role; I barely recognized Bana. If he can bring that same sort of commitment to Brainiac, he could be a truly fantastic character. Sure, both Nero and Brainiac are sci-fi villains, but the two are still very different characters – for example, Nero was more of a sympathetic villain, while Brainiac is not. Also, Bana has a relationship with Warner Bros. following Troy and the upcoming Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur, and he is another Star Trek alum fit for playing Brainiac.

Bana succeeds in portraying intelligent, forceful villains. He deserves another shot at a comic book movie role after the forgettable Hulk film, and I believe Brainiac is the best one for him.

Which actor would you like to see play Brainiac in the DC Extended Universe?

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of WOBAM! Entertainment.

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