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Jesse Eisenberg & Jeremy Irons Are Lex Luthor & Alfred In Zack Snyder’s 'Batman Vs. Superman'

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by Kevin Jagernauth
January 31, 2014 12:52 PM
29 Comments
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Jesse Eisenberg

While the rumor mill churned with Bryan Cranston and other older, balder actors, it looks like Zack Snyder and co. have thrown a huge curve ball to fans when it comes to Lex Luthor, the long-expected villain of "Batman Vs. Superman": he's going to be much younger than you thought.

Warner Bros. has announced today that Jesse Eisenberg will play Lex Luthor in the upcoming "Man Of Steel" sequel, with Jeremy Irons also on board in the role of Bruce Wayne's butler, Alfred. The news comes out of left field, with no one predicting this turn of events, though we have to say it's pretty welcome. It will be interesting to see how Superman deals with a adversary who is basically his own age (Henry Cavill and Jesse Eisenberg are both 30), and it's a pretty nice way to tweak the canon. (Also: Eisenberg can play a great asshole.)

Now add to the mix an "older and wiser" Batman grappling with a young upstart superhero and baddie as well, and it opens the door to some interesting character opportunities. Essentially, it's a nice shorthand to show how much things may have changed from older Batman's day to the what he's seeing now in the younger superhero and villain. It's potentially fascinating stuff.

That being said, we had high hopes for "Man Of Steel" in terms of character and story, only for it to turn into a slugfest and disaster epic, so as always, proceed with caution. But we certainly like the ambition, and it's the kind of depth we don't get in the Marvel machine of movies. 

Thoughts? Hit the comments section. "Batman Vs. Superman" arrives on May 6, 2016.

Official Press Release---------

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.”

Eisenberg received Academy Award®, Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award® and BAFTA Award nominations for his starring role as Mark Zuckerberg in David Fincher’s “The Social Network.” He also starred in Woody Allen’s “To Rome with Love” and Louis Letterier’s “Now You See Me.” He next appears in “The Double” and “Night Moves.”

Irons won the Academy Award® for his portrayal of Claus von Bülow in “Reversal of Fortune.” His work in the film also garnered him a Golden Globe Award. He won an Emmy Award and a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award® for his performance in the TV miniseries “Elizabeth I,” opposite Helen Mirren, and recently starred on the small screen as Rodrigo Borgia in Neil Jordan’s highly acclaimed Showtime series “The Borgias,” for which Irons earned a Golden Globe nomination. He was recently nominated for a SAG Award® for the PBS Great Performances television miniseries “The Hollow Crown,” for his performance as Henry IV.

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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29 Comments

  • Heath | February 2, 2014 11:59 PMReply

    I think that it will be entereasting to see jesse eisenberg
    To play the role of lex because he is younger and
    Isn't bald for a change

  • Ancron | February 2, 2014 11:34 AMReply

    I have to say I like the idea for Lex. These days there are so many "kid" CEO's who have started their own companies and made it big. The idea that Lex could be one that takes things to far and fights superheroes is refreshing. After all the character Lex has changed from scientist to CEO, a new updated version could be good!

  • veeronic | February 1, 2014 5:25 PMReply

    and next we learn that superdog has a part in the movie and is played by grumpy cat

  • linda | February 1, 2014 3:29 PMReply

    if this means we get to finally see his forehead i'm all for it.

  • BOOM! | January 31, 2014 10:22 PMReply

    But we certainly like the ambition, and it's the kind of depth we don't get in the Marvel machine of movies.

    ^ EXACTLY!

  • GERARD KENNELLY | January 31, 2014 8:51 PMReply

    anyone who saw MARGIN CALL will tell you Jeremy irons should play luthor

  • Koogs | January 31, 2014 7:31 PMReply

    Jesse Eisenberg....this is a joke, right?

    Eisenberg is like, one step above Michael Cera when it comes to wooden, samey-same acting.

    And Jeremy Irons...I'm sorry, I can't see him as Alfred. I just can't.

    More and more, I'm convinced that this movie will be a spectacular failure.

    Man Of Steel barely rose to average, this one looks like it's aiming for the abyss.

    And don't even get me started on the moronic name...what was wrong with World's Finest?

  • You need to know something Kevin Jagernauth! | January 31, 2014 4:35 PMReply

    Kevin Jagernauth - Batman characters were NOT created solely by Bob Kane, they were created MOSTLY by Bill Finger. Warner Brothers is currently following the terms of an old contract by putting Created By Bob Kane on every mention of Batman that they do. YOU and other news outlets however are NOT held by that contract, and if you look at .the other publications of this story most do NOT repeat that, as it is WELL KNOWN in Comic and related circles that the Bill Finger situation is truly about the most egregious one that exists today due to practices in the old days of comics. PLEASE EDUCATE YOURSELVES on this, as it is offensive to all who know of the shameful situation and would read your articles, growing more widely known all the time with a lot of press due to the publication of Marc Tyler Nobleman's book Bill the Boy Wonder, and with the 75th anniversary of Batman. Have you heard of the Bill Finger Google Doodle campaign, google that. Thank you.

  • YOU NEED TO READ MORE CAREFULLY | January 31, 2014 5:36 PM

    Kevin didn't write that. That is the full press release added to the bottom half of the post, clearly labeled "Official Press Release."

  • Glass | January 31, 2014 4:24 PMReply

    I love Jesse and good for him, but in the hands of Zack Snyder, no performance makes it through intact. This is a way better choice than Bryan Cranston, though.

  • josh | January 31, 2014 3:43 PMReply

    More than anything regarding Batman vs Superman, I'm just wishing Snyder wasn't directing it. All the comments along the lines of "Nooo not them! Now this movie is ruined!" that have accompanied each casting announcement fail to see it ultimately won't matter. Snyder's direction means this movie's potential to be good is inherently self limited, so really it won't matter how appropriate these actors are for these roles - this movie just won't be anything above mediocre. On the plus side though nobody will have any right to be disappointed.

  • jk | January 31, 2014 2:11 PMReply

    From Reddit:
    "The casting director clearly misheard "Get me Heisenberg!""

    Lol.

  • Marvel Nuts | January 31, 2014 10:23 PM

    HAHAHA' SHUT UP

  • James | January 31, 2014 5:41 PM

    Haha, brilliant!

  • ET | January 31, 2014 2:14 PM

    HAHAHA, so good!

  • Sean | January 31, 2014 1:44 PMReply

    People keep clamming on about Cranston. I thought he seemed too expected. I thought the more inspired choice was Joaquin Phoenix.

  • That Kid | January 31, 2014 1:43 PMReply

    Wait...


    ...What?

  • jz | January 31, 2014 1:39 PMReply

    I thought that they'd hire someone like Denzel Washington or Jon Hamm as Luthor. Corporate leaders, but believable as intellectual criminals.

    Eisenberg is an interesting choice though. Could be good, could be a trainwreck.

  • Paul | January 31, 2014 1:37 PMReply

    This article makes 2 valid points for why Jesse could and should be able to pull off this character for this movie.

    1. Despite how he looks, he and Henry are exactly the same age which is roughly true to the Comics (unless you follow Smallville and count that as canon in which Lex is older).

    and

    2. He has proven more than once that he indeed can play a very believable asshole type character, which is exactly what he'll be expected to do for Lex.

    With that in mind, I say aside from my own personal want to see Bryan Cranston as the Lex of the series I think this is a great idea, and I welcome seeing Jesse take on the role.

    Let's not forget that MANY people 'poopoo'ed' if you will, Heath Ledger playing the joker as they did not feel he could pull it off..and look at the magic he left that role with..

  • Marko | January 31, 2014 1:34 PMReply

    In a weird way this almost feels too predictable. Zack Snyder proabably just watched the Social Network and thought, "Oooh, I want the guy who played the asshole billionare to play my asshole billionare!".

  • Peter | January 31, 2014 1:24 PMReply

    I'm down.

  • Sean | January 31, 2014 1:20 PMReply

    I like the idea of Jesse playing a young Lex. Now let's see if he's committed to being bald (granted that they go that direction).

  • pooper | January 31, 2014 1:14 PMReply

    no, no, no, dear god no.

  • Rick | January 31, 2014 1:07 PMReply

    I like the idea of Irons as Alfred. Not a big fan of Eisenberg as Luthor though. He's a good actor so I'm sure it'll be fine, but he is still so young looking. He looks like Jimmy Olsen

  • gerardd kennellyy | January 31, 2014 8:53 PM

    they should get Joe Pesci as Jimmy olsen

  • ASFan | January 31, 2014 1:53 PM

    Then they should get Michael Cera for Jimmy Olsen.

  • Someone | January 31, 2014 1:07 PMReply

    Bazinga! No one saw this coming. I shudder at the thought of Jesse Eisenberg's bald skull.

  • ? | January 31, 2014 1:06 PMReply

    When I read 'Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luther,' I honestly thought that that was a joke.

  • mpbstereo | January 31, 2014 1:04 PMReply

    Can't say WB isn't going large on the casting front. If it weren't a "Superman/Batman" project, the cast would be writ in bold in a lot article on this site. "Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, Diane Lane, Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Jeremy Irons, and Jesse Eisenberg."

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