'Supergirl': Jon Cryer Says Playing Lex Luthor Is His Chance to Improve on 'Superman IV'

During a screening of Sunday's Supergirl episode and a Q&A with showrunners and actor Jon Cryer, Warner Bros. Television revealed that the season four finale will be titled "The Quest For Peace." Longtime fans who haven't scrubbed it from their memories with bleach will remember that as the subtitle to 1987's Superman IV. For added impact, Superman IV starred Cryer -- who will debut on Sunday as Supergirl's Lex Luthor -- as Lenny Luthor, Lex's nephew. The humor of that was not lost on Cryer, who actually learned the finale title during the screening along with the reporters who had come to talk to him.

It was inevitable that within the first few minutes, somebody would ask him about playing another Luthor -- and Cryer was as self-effacing as you might imagine about his role in the Superaman mythos before now.

“I had a certain amount of familiarity,” Cryer joked. “I was very excited about working with Katie McGrath, and I loved the whole story that they’ve set up for this season. I felt like Lenny was a branch on the family tree that fell off pretty early and was rotting on the ground for a long while. So I feel like this was my chance to sort of reclaim it and do it a little more justice — or injustice, as it were.”

Lenny was a comic relief character -- something that had become increasingly important as the Superman movie franchise aged. After Superman II, the third movie featured Richard Pryor and a lot of broad comedy...then Cryer, best known at that point for playing Duckie in Pretty In Pink, carried on the tradition.

After Superman IV: The Quest For Peace, the franchise wrapped up. No Superman movie made it to theaters until 2006's Superman Returns, which was positioned as a direct sequel to Superman II, making the unusual decision to both revisit a decades-old franchise and retroactively remove two of that franchise's movies from continuity.

Fans can get their first look at Cryer's second Luthor this Sunday on Supergirl, which airs at 8 p.m. ET/PT, before episodes of Charmed on The CW.

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