Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Gaspar Noé's List of 10 Favorite Films Makes Perfect, Terrifying Sense Gaspar Noé's List of 10 Favorite Films Makes Perfect, Terrifying Sense Jon Hamm Wants You to Know There's Hope for Don Draper After 'Mad Men' Jon Hamm Wants You to Know There's Hope for Don Draper After 'Mad Men' Women Fight Back at Cannes, From Megan Ellison to Emily Blunt Women Fight Back at Cannes, From Megan Ellison to Emily Blunt Of Time & Life: How 'Mad Men' Remade Television Of Time & Life: How 'Mad Men' Remade Television Nikki Finke Returns Nikki Finke Returns Cannes Goes Crazy for Jeremy Saulnier's Gruesome Neo-Nazis vs. Punks Horror 'Green Room' Cannes Goes Crazy for Jeremy Saulnier's Gruesome Neo-Nazis vs. Punks Horror 'Green Room' Cannes Festival Is Dominated by Two Hollywood Masters Cannes Festival Is Dominated by Two Hollywood Masters Top Ten Takeaways: Sequels Rule as Women Boost 'Pitch Perfect 2,' 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Also Strong Top Ten Takeaways: Sequels Rule as Women Boost 'Pitch Perfect 2,' 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Also Strong Cannes: Directors from Fincher to Scorsese Revisit Truffaut's Famous Interview with Hitchcock Cannes: Directors from Fincher to Scorsese Revisit Truffaut's Famous Interview with Hitchcock 'Pitch Perfect 2' Outperforms 'Mad Max: Fury Road'; 'Ultron' Is Now Top 2015 Release 'Pitch Perfect 2' Outperforms 'Mad Max: Fury Road'; 'Ultron' Is Now Top 2015 Release Kristen Stewart Re-Teams with Her 'Sils Maria' Director for Ghost Story Set in Fashion World Kristen Stewart Re-Teams with Her 'Sils Maria' Director for Ghost Story Set in Fashion World Watch: Netflix's Ted Sarandos Heckled at Cannes, Gets Weinstein on His Feet During Heated Debate (VIDEO) Watch: Netflix's Ted Sarandos Heckled at Cannes, Gets Weinstein on His Feet During Heated Debate (VIDEO) George Miller and DP John Seale Go Inside 'Mad Max: Fury Road': "It Was Like Being in a Video Game" George Miller and DP John Seale Go Inside 'Mad Max: Fury Road': "It Was Like Being in a Video Game" Natalie Portman's Passion Project 'Tale of Love and Darkness' Splits Cannes Critics Natalie Portman's Passion Project 'Tale of Love and Darkness' Splits Cannes Critics Cannes: 'Dogtooth' Director Yorgos Lanthimos Scores with Surreal, Macabre 'The Lobster' (Review and Roundup) Cannes: 'Dogtooth' Director Yorgos Lanthimos Scores with Surreal, Macabre 'The Lobster' (Review and Roundup) Weinstein Co. Offers Strong Slate at Cannes Weinstein Co. Offers Strong Slate at Cannes 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Auteur George Miller Does It His Way, No Matter How Long It Takes 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Auteur George Miller Does It His Way, No Matter How Long It Takes The Top 20 Episodes of 'Mad Men' The Top 20 Episodes of 'Mad Men' How the 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Score Paid Homage to Hitchcock's 'Vertigo' How the 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Score Paid Homage to Hitchcock's 'Vertigo' Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A)

Will Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor in 'Batman vs. Superman' Invigorate the Franchise?

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood January 31, 2014 at 5:16PM

I have no problem with this morning's news that Jesse Eisenberg is set to play Lex Luthor in Zack Snyder's "Batman vs. Superman," and Jeremy Irons will take over fellow senior Brit Michael Caine's role as Bat butler Alfred. At least--as the vociferous Twitter reaction indicates--Eisenberg represents a change-up in the next "Superman" movie.
16
Jesse Eisenberg at Sundance 2014
Jesse Eisenberg at Sundance 2014
Jeremy Irons
Jeremy Irons

I have no problem with this morning's news that Jesse Eisenberg is set to play Lex Luthor in Zack Snyder's "Batman vs. Superman," and Jeremy Irons will take over fellow senior Brit Michael Caine's role as Bat butler Alfred.

At least--as the vociferous Twitter reaction indicates--Eisenberg represents a change-up in the next "Superman" movie. If we must return to this all-too familiar villain--played by a bald Kevin Spacey in Bryan Singer's much-criticized 2006 "Superman Returns"-- at least let it be a radical interpretation. Eisenberg can thank his chilly brainiac roles in "The Social Network" and "Now You See Me" for landing this one.

I'd like to think that Warner Bros. will improve on Zack Snyder and David Goyer's last by the numbers "Superman" outing, "Man of Steel" ($630 million worldwide is not as much as it sounds for a $225-million-plus production) which veered too far toward jam-packed action, but I remain skeptical. Adding Ben Affleck as Batman is a sign that they recognize that they need to add heft to young Superman Henry Cavill. 

Should we bank on Affleck's professed admiration for this script? He tells Playboy:

"I don't want to give away too much, but the idea for the new Batman is to redefine him in a way that doesn't compete with the Bale and Chris Nolan Batman but still exists within the Batman canon. It will be an older and wiser version, particularly as he relates to Henry Cavill's Superman character. It was a unique take on Batman that was still consistent with the mythology. It made me excited. All of a sudden I had a reading of the character. When people see it, it will make more sense than it does now or even than it did to me initially... If I thought the result would be another 'Daredevil,' I'd be out there picketing myself. Why would I make the movie if I didn't think it was going to be good and that I could be good in it?"

Wisely, the new Warners team has pushed the release date back to May 6, 2016. No need to rush on this one. Get it right.

This article is related to: News, Batman, Zack Snyder, Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons


E-Mail Updates






Festivals on TOH