Re: Gene Hackman or Kevin Spacey?
According to Spacey he wasn't playing Hackman's Lex. He was playing Singer's Lex.
With the cinema’s Luthor most famously portrayed by Gene Hackman, Spacey left it up to Bryan Singer to guide his own portrayal. “I didn't watch them, in terms of the respect for the Donner movies. I figured Bryan was going to take care of that completely, because he does so admire it, and he has such respect for the genre. I mean, Bryan unlike me grew up loving the comic book and stuff, and I never was into that when I was a kid. But I sort of avoided seeing it. Also, I accepted the movie before I saw the script and that's because I trust Bryan completely. But he'd given me a sort of shape and idea, and the thing he kept saying was, ‘This is going to be a much darker, a much more bitter, a much more seeking revenge Lex Luthor than we've seen before.’ And so I thought, ‘Well, it's probably best I don't get another performance in my head,’ so I just kind of avoided seeing it.”