dude, Kevin Spacey as Lex was the best part of Superman Returns, I think he hit the very definition of the character, a true egomaniac in the best sense of the word, huge ego, and a definite maniac. and pretty much the ideal version of the character IMO, scheming business man first, trying to build and maintain an empire by using a few shortcuts and trying to get supes off his back. now his performance wasn't on the level of Nicholson or Ledger, but who is? all-in-all, a great entertaining performance (I did like Superman Returns, but just wanted more action to it, which I hope to see in the sequel if they manage to actually make one (seems doubtful right now, but anything can happen))
at the time I didn't know any different, but looking back, I hate what they did to Bane in Batman and Robin that pisses me off more than the pun machine Mr. Freeze, just a terrible misinterpretation of the character, who if you read Knightfall, you know kicks serious ass.
as for a new Superman villain, having watched some of the old Superman TAS recently, I would love to see Toyman, Parasite or Metallo show up, or hell, Darkseid! if they did that they could throw in cameos of many of Jack Kirby's fourth world characters, andhave the essential ones front and center (Highfather, Orion, Lightray, Mister Miracle, Big Barda for the good, Darkseid, Desaad, Granny Goodness, Glorious Godfrey, Kalibak, and Kanto for the evil, you could have a tight story with just Highfather, Orion, Mr. Miracle, Darkseid, Kalibak, and Desaad, with the others as cameos) Mongol would be amazing as a villain, Braniac seems obvious, hell, if you want it lighthearted, throw in Mr. Myxyzptlk, how about Bizarro? Superman has been around for over 70 years, has been in 5? movies, and has dealt with Lex in four of them. I am not saying Lex shouldn't be in any more movies, but the same plot gets tired after awhile. Lex breaks out of prison, or has a crazy scheme, Supes deals with the problem and in the end puts Lex back behind bars, or otherwise brings him to justice, it is lazy and unoriginal. now a movie version of Geoff Johns Superman Last Son would kick ass. How about a two part movie experience filmed at the same time with the same actors a la Kill Bill, Doomsday, and Reign of the Supermen (set up for a third part following the GL movie, call it "Paralax") how awesome would that be? Why is it, with all of the great existing storylines out there, Hollywood just recycles the same plots over and over? there is 70+ years of continuity to mine for a truly kick ass movie, why not actually use it and make the Superman movie to rival Dark Knight? its not impossible, get the right story (its out there somewhere) get the right actors (also out there) and the right script and director, and keep it true to what the character is (Darker does not equal better, I think we learned that lesson in the 90's) the defining characteristic of Superman has always been his ability to rise above the crap that drags everyone down, he is the shining knight to Batman's dark knight, as dark as Batman is as a character, Superman is the polar opposite and the paragon of the light, dark things may happen around him, but Superman is not an emo like Spiderman, he is not a sociopath like the Punnisher, and he is not paranoid like Batman, he is the big blue boy scout, and that is what sets him apart from all of the other heroes, to make him a dark tortured soul would be so out of character and wrong, that not only would I walk out of the theatre, I would demand a refund. (sorry for the rant, sometimes you just get on a roll and can't stop typing)