Alexander Joseph 'Lex' Luthor isn't just Superman's arch nemesis, he's one of the most iconic villains in the history of popular culture. Debuting in Action Comics #40 during the Silver Age, Luthor was originally envisioned as a power-mad scientist with genius level intellect. He became hell-bent on destroying Superman after losing his hair in a lab accident the hero unwittingly caused. The character was later reimagined as a Machiavellian industrialist, who hides his evil intentions beneath a philanthropic façade. This particular incarnation went on to become president of the United States in the DC Universe, before being deposed by the Justice League.
Chances of inclusion: Given that Luthor has had a hand in almost Superman plotline ever conceived, and consistently appeared opposite the Man of Steel in countless film, television and early radio series, his involvement in Snyder's reboot is almost a given. However, since that the helmer has promised us hand-to-hand fights, we'd put good money on another villain lining up alongside him.
Chances of inclusion: If rumour and speculation is to be believed, Zod is the front runner to line up alongside Lex Luthor in the film. He certainly fits in with the "other people might refer to as Superman" description, and would no provide us with some devastating fistfights. Viggo Mortensen was previously link with the role, before Snyder dismissed such reports. Perhaps this is the part Edgar Ramirez is being lined up to play?
One method of creating an effective comic book villain is to deliver a dark mirror image of the hero, and in dreaming up Bizarro, writer Otto Binder and artist George Papp took this literally. The anti-Superman came to be when Lex Luthor exposed Kal-El to a duplication ray in another Silver Age story. Since the Crisis On Infinite Earths event reshaped the DC Universe, two alternate incarnations of the character have emerged - one a flawed clone created by Luthor, the other the result of a bargain between the Joker and the reality-bending imp Mister Mxyzptlk.
Chances of inclusion: In a recent interview with Jake Hamilton, Snyder said "There could be a character in the movie that other people might refer to as Superman". While Bizarro could very well be described this way, he isn't the only character that fits the bill. That said, the alternate Man of Steel is an ideal candidate to appear alongside Luthor, given the role that Superman's nemesis played in his creation (well, in two versions of it at least). Boardwalk Empire's Michael Shannon - who was recently linked with the project - could be a great fit for this role.
Chances of inclusion: As Brainiac is something of a fan favourite and one of Superman's deadliest threats, he makes a strong case for inclusion in the upcoming movie, especially considering he's yet to appear in a live action film. Perhaps Watchmen's Billy Crudup would be a good choice for this role given his connection to Snyder and the tenuous similarities between Brainiac and Doctor Manhattan?
A god-like alien warlord from the planet Apokolips, Darkseid is a force to be reckoned with. This immortal possesses powers to rival Superman's, in addition to various psionic abilities and the devastating Omega Effect. The character was created by comic book legend Jack Kirby, who is said to have modelled his physical appearance on actor Jack Palance. Darkseid has played a major role in many of the events that have shaped the modern DC Universe, including Final Crisis and Batman RIP, and serves as the antagonist in the final season of Smallville.
Chances of inclusion: As Darkseid more or less matches the Man of Steel physically, his inclusion in the film would give us the brawler Snyder has pledged to deliver. However, there are more obvious choices to get the franchise up and running again, so perhaps he best saved for a future sequel.
Chances of inclusion: As much as we'd like to see Snyder's take on this behemoth, Doomsday is almost certainly one for a future sequel. When the time comes for his cinematic debut, though, we can probably expect a CGI effort that divides fans down the middle.
Hank Henshaw was an astronaut who died during a doomed mission on board a space shuttle. Reduced to a formless entity, Henshaw blamed Superman for his demised and vowed revenge from beyond the grave. This only posed a problem for the Last Son of Krypton when his essence began to inhabit mechanical bodies. The character's best-known incarnation is the Cyborg, who rose to prominence during the Return Of Superman plotline, masquerading as a resurrected version of Kal-El. The villain is currently a member of the Sinestro Corps, and still bears the Superman emblem to this day.
Chances of inclusion: Since the Cyborg's roots only stretch back to 1990, a number of other villains make a stronger case for inclusion in the film. Moreover, his most notable contribution to the Superman universe came during the Return era - a chapter of the series' history that is probably best left alone for the time being.
Chances of inclusion: Stranger things have happened. Metallo has already appeared in Smallville, The New Adventures of Superman and various animated series. He isn't the most obvious choice, but consider him a viable outsider.
A reality-bending imp from the fifth dimension, Mister Mxyzptlk is one of the more ridiculous Superman villains. This cosmic trickster is well known for tormenting the Last Son of Krypton with his powers simply for his own amusement. The only way to defeat him is to track him into saying his name backwards. Early plotlines featuring the character were usually heavy on comic relief, but he later became an integral part of the DC Universe, appearing in Crisis On Infinite Earths, Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow?, and Secret Origin.
Chances of inclusion: Slim. Although Mister Mxyzptlk has played a part in a number of key Superman plotlines, he is unlikely to fit in with the tone of Snyder's reboot.
Chances of inclusion: None whatsoever... we hope.
Which villains would you like to see in Zack Snyder's Superman? Write a comment in the space below.