Your Friendly Neighborhood Movie Blog
BREAKING: Jesse Eisenberg cast as Lex Luthor, and Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth in DC’s ‘Batman vs. Superman’
Perhaps the most surprising announcement leading into a weekend of 2014 so far, today it was officially announced that Jesse Eisenberg will be playing Lex Luthor in the upcoming Batman vs. Superman (aka Man of Steel 2). In addition, veteran actor Jeremy Irons has been announced to take on the role of Alfred Pennyworth.
I’ll admit right off the bat, I had to do a double take when I read the headline from The Hollywood Reporter. I didn’t know if it was just a rumor at first glance or what, but I read further, and yes, this is actually happening.
Eisenberg, best known for his starring roles in The Social Network, Zombieland, and Now You See Me, will step into the shoes of Lex Luthor, one of Superman’s most infamous nemeses. After months of speculation that the role could go to more established and distinguished actors like Bryan Cranston or Joaquin Phoenix, this news comes as a major surprise at the end of the week. As official as it gets, here’s what the upcoming film’s director Zack Snyder had to say about it:
“Lex Luthor is often considered the most notorious of Superman’s rivals, his unsavory reputation preceding him since 1940,” Snyder said in a statement. “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.”
It took a minute or two for me to process the likelihood that DC would call on Eisenberg for the role of such a huge villain role. But then I came around and realized; why not, exactly? I’ll agree that he may not have the level of charisma that someone like Cranston may have in such a role, but understand that Snyder’s comments prove true. It’s not all about superpowers and abilities with Luthor, there’s a much broader side to his character. Plus, imagine seeing Eisenberg with a shaved head, huh? Kidding aside, I’m not nearly as up in arms as many fans are, and looking forward to seeing where they go with this choice.
Then, we have Jeremy Irons cast as Alfred Pennyworth, the main supporter, friend and butler of Bruce Wayne/Batman. This actually makes a bit more sense at first sight, and makes a lot more sense. I’m glad we finally have a new face to match to the beloved Alfred character. Here’s what Snyder had to say about the casting of Irons:
“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.”
Recently, the untitled Batman/Superman epic was bumped from July 17th, 2015 to May 6th, 2016, in order to allow the creators to “full realize their vision”. For now, I’ll switch on and off calling it Batman vs. Superman and Man of Steel 2. It was also announced in December that Gal Gadot would play Wonder Woman, another questionable casting choice.
So what do you think of the interesting choice of Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, and Jeremy Irons as Alfred?
Batman vs. Superman is set to hit theaters May 6th, 2016, directed Zack Snyder, and starring Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jesse Eisenberg, and Jeremy Irons.
Written by Josh Sazin on January 31st, 2014, with a link to The Hollywood Reporter.