Movie News

Jesse Eisenberg is Lex Luthor in Batman vs. Superman

Jeremy Irons also onboard “Man of Steel” sequel, playing Bruce Wayne’s butler Alfred

Warner Bros issued quite the surprise package today, announcing who’ll be playing both Superman’s nemesis and Batman’s butler, respectively, in the upcoming “Man of Steel” sequel.

To the big one, first.

Jesse Eisenberg has been cast as Lex Luthor.

The surprising casting announcement comes hot on the heels of a flurry of casting rumours regarding the role – everyone from Denzel Washington to and had been rumoured; more recently, the trades suggested Joaquin Phoenix was the leading candidate for the part – but none came close to predicting the.. winner.

Young Eisenberg, known for his roles in such films as “The Social Network”, “Zombieland”, “The Squid & the Whale”, “Now You See Me” and “AdventureLand”, takes on a role previously played by the [diverse] likes of Gene Hackman, Kevin Spacey and Michael Rosenbaum.

If “Man of Steel” didn’t already suggest that the new ‘Superman’ series ‘isn’t your Grandpa’s Superman’, and that Warner were ready to do something different with the rebooted franchise, then the casting of someone so young, someone with so much hair on top of their head, and someone not thought to be so ‘Luthor’ like (in fact, Eisenberg’s such an out-and-out good guy in most of his movies) supports the claim.

Without even checking Twitter, I’m already predicting a backlash against the casting – premature, unnecessary backlash. Think about it. Would the Lex Luthor of today really be a hulking, bald snarling bad-guy? No, he’d be a sneaky, brainy, manipulative man-boy charmer. Tell me Eisenberg couldn’t play that?

In addition, Warners have announced that the always-fab Jeremy Irons has been cast as Bruce Wayne’s butler, Alfred.

Surely, you can’t knock that casting choice!?

Here’s the official press release :

BURBANK, CA, January 31, 2014 – Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that Jesse Eisenberg has been set to star as Lex Luthor and Jeremy Irons will play Alfred in the upcoming Zack Snyder untitled Superman/Batman film. The dual announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

Snyder stated, “Lex Luthor is often considered the most notorious of Superman’s rivals, his unsavory reputation preceding him since 1940. What’s great about Lex is that he exists beyond the confines of the stereotypical nefarious villain. He’s a complicated and sophisticated character whose intellect, wealth and prominence position him as one of the few mortals able to challenge the incredible might of Superman. Having Jesse in the role allows us to explore that interesting dynamic, and also take the character in some new and unexpected directions.”

The director added, “As everyone knows, Alfred is Bruce Wayne’s most trusted friend, ally and mentor, a noble guardian and father figure. He is an absolutely critical element in the intricate infrastructure that allows Bruce Wayne to transform himself into Batman. It is an honor to have such an amazingly seasoned and gifted actor as Jeremy taking on the important role of the man who mentors and guides the guarded and nearly impervious façade that encapsulates Bruce Wayne.”

Snyder’s film stars Henry Cavill, reprising his role as Superman/Clark Kent, Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne, and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince. The film also reunites “Man of Steel” stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane.

The new film is currently being written by Chris Terrio, from a screenplay by David S. Goyer. Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder are producing, with Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Wesley Coller, David S. Goyer and Geoff Johns serving as executive producers.

The film is set to open worldwide on May 6, 2016, and is based on Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster, Batman characters created by Bob Kane, and Wonder Woman created by William Moulton Marston, appearing in comic books published by DC Entertainment.

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