Zach Snyder, the director of the upcoming Batman vs. Superman movie, has made the interesting choice of Jesse Eisenberg as the next actor to play Lex Luthor, Superman’s most formidable enemy, a choice that has caused controversy among comics fans.
Eisenberg, known most for playing Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg in the Oscar winning movie, The Social Network, but he is not known for the sort of commanding presence on screen that fans might have been expecting.
In fact, one of the amusing retorts to the choice of Eisenberg is “Heisenberg, not Eisenberg,” an allusion to the pseudonym that actor Bryan Cranston used during his campaign of lawbreaking in the AMC series Breaking Bad.
Apparently some fans also feel that Jesse Eisenberg might be a timid choice for the role of Superman’s most malevolent enemy. Others, however, feel it is a bold choice and will give the young actor a chance to really stretch his abilities.
While introducing his new Luthor, Director Snyder said, “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.”
Snyder also announced the addition of Jeremy Irons to the film. Veteran actor Irons will be taking the role of Batman’s important supporting character and butler, Alfred Pennyworth.
Calling the Alfred character “an absolutely critical element in the intricate infrastructure that allows Bruce Wayne to transform himself into Batman,” Snyder went on saying, “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 facade that encapsulates Bruce Wayne.”
The film, scheduled for a 2016 release, will see a return of the cast from 2013’s Man of Steel, including Henry Cavill as Superman, and will also feature Gail Gadot as Wonder Woman.
Director Snyder has also confirmed that he is using as his main inspiration the famed Frank Miller-helmed comic series, The Dark Knight Returns, where Batman and Superman had an epic battle with Batman coming out the winner. But Snyder has also said that he is not making a direct adaptation of that book and will create an original story with elements of the Miller comic.
It is also expected that this film will serve as a gateway to a Justice League film, a prospect that has comics fans salivating.