In the latest news about the next Batman vs. Superman film bound to make fanboys scratch their heads, pound their keyboards or possibly angrily curse the universe, Jesse Eisenberg has been cast as arch villain Lex Luthor in the upcoming “Batman vs. Superman” film.
Earlier scuttlebutt had had Bryan Cranston playing the part, but that was never substantiated, and the production has chosen Eisenberg, an actor – best known for playing Mark Zuckerberg in “The Social Network“- who’s both younger and not bad.
No, this isn’t a silly Internet rumor; like the previous news of Ben Affleck as Batman and the release date postponement to 2016, the Eisenberg news came via an official press release from Warner Brothers, complete with a quote from director Zach Snyder:
“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.”
Gene Hackman played Luthor in the Christopher Reeve series of “Superman” films, while Kevin Spacey played the part in 2006’s “Superman Returns.” There was no Luthor character in last year’s “Man of Steel,” although there were subtle references to the character.
In much less inexplicable news, Jeremy Irons has been cast as Batman’s butler, Alfred, a part played in the three Christopher Nolan movies by Michael Caine. Other than Batman himself- Ben Affleck- Irons is the first announced casting from the Batman side of the story.
The release also confirmed that Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane will reprise their roles from “Man of Steel,” as Lois Lane, Perry White and Ma Kent, respectively, along with returning Superman Henry Cvill.
The release date for the film remains set as May 6, 2016.