Jesse Eisenberg Cast As Lex Luthor For Some Reason, Jeremy Irons To Play Alfred Because Britishness
Get ready for a younger, thinner, but perhaps less wind-resistant Lex Luthor.
Batman vs. Superman director Zack Snyder has confirmed that noted mop-top Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) will play Superman's nemesis in the new film, quashing rumors that the role would go to Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston or any of the other actors who have been rumored for the role (As CA Senior Editor Andy Khouri noted, maybe someone mistakenly heard "Heisenberg" instead of "Eisenberg"). In another addition, Oscar winner (for the 1990 film Reversal of Fortune) Jeremy Irons will be the Alfred to Ben Affleck's Batman.
Here's what Snyder had to say about the choices:
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.
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.
In leiu of Michael Caine, Irons seems like a no-brainer for the role of Bruce Wayne's trusted butler, but Eisenberg seems like a more off-the-wall, and perhaps inspired pick. Certainly he has proven he can play a megalomaniacal genius, but it'll be interesting to see how threatening he'll prove to be.
One factor will definitely be his age. Eisenberg is actually the same age as Henry Cavill, who plays Clark Kent/Superman in the Man of Steel series (they're both 30), but he tends to come across as younger, still often playing roles in which he's college or even high-school age. Ben Affleck is 42.
Perhaps that'll be part of the story. Maybe it'll go the Smallville route and have Lex and Clark grow up together. (Though that would make it odd that we didn't see hide nor hair of him in the first film.) Maybe Lionel Luthor will be involved. Maybe Eisenberg will shave his head and instantly look a decade older.
The Man of Steel sequel, which has also been referred to as Batman vs. Superman, but still has no official title yet, is scheduled to hit theaters in May 2016.