What?! Jesse Eisenberg Will Be Lex Luthor in 'Batman vs. Superman'

January 31, 2014

Lex Luthor / Jesse Eisenberg

Out of nowhere this afternoon, Warner Bros. Pictures has announced two new cast members for the recently delayed 2016 release of Batman vs. Superman, or whatever the sequel to last summer's Man of Steel will be called, and they are surprising to say the least. First off, The Social Network and The Double star Jessie Eisenberg has been set to play Superman's arch nemesis Lex Luthor and Die Hard with a Vengeance bad guy Jeremy Irons has been slated to play Bruce Wayne's trusty butler Alfred in the film from director Zack Snyder. These casting choices are out of left field, and neither name has been rumored for either role.

As for Lex Luthor's casting, Snyder made this statement:

“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.”

Meanwhile, for the casting of Ben Affleck's Batman mentor, the director says:

“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.”

Eisenberg and Irons are certainly surprising additions to a cast that includes Henry Cavill returning as Superman and Ben Affleck as an old, grizzled Batman. In addition, Gal Gadot of the Fast & Furious franchise will pay Wonder Woman (aka Diana Prince) and Man of Steel stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane will all be back as well. Eisenberg has the potential to make a great Lex Luthor when you consider his cold personality in The Social Network and Jeremy Irons is great in anything. With the delay of the film to May 6th, 2016, we're wondering if the rumors of shooting this Man of Steel sequel and a Justice League follow-up back-to-back are true, but hopefully we'll find out soon enough. Thoughts?

Find more posts: Casting, DC Movies, Development, Movie News



This is interesting. I'm guessing he'll act like a bald Zuckerberg. I can kind of see it.

Rick on Jan 31, 2014


I would imagine that young Lex isn't bald...much like young Professor X.

TheOct8pus on Jan 31, 2014


This is uh. Wow. I like Jesse a lot but wtf.

Chiroptera Exsanguination on Jan 31, 2014


April fool's joke I hope...

qweqwu on Jan 31, 2014


Oh come on are you kidding me right! They cast Jeremy Irons but not as Lex Luthor and instead they get this whiny awkward talking actor actor Eisenberg!? Irons is born to play villains not Eisenberg! This is the biggest mix-up casting ever. I just can't process this, seriously nothing is going to surprise me anymore. Come on WB announce Adam Sandler as Mister Myxlplyx or something else crazy. This is just ridiculous I am close to boycotting this film and I have never been close with a movie being released so far ahead. WB better bring out all they got with their other casting choices or this is going to be a disaster. Jesse Eisenberg....why do they feel they need to make everything seem so "this generation" and "hip" these days. I usually don't brag about casting choices, but this is incredibly ridiculous!

Damon King on Jan 31, 2014


You SHOULD boycott the movie. People will really care.

3241234234 on Jan 31, 2014


Just when you thought Gal Gadot fresh off the Fast and Furious franchise as Wonder Woman couldn't get any worse, it just did.

Damon King on Jan 31, 2014


And that's why I love Zack Snyder: He knows how to cast his movies. Bravo!

DavideCoppola on Jan 31, 2014


Not a choice I expected but I'm open to it. Too early to judge.

Neuromancer on Jan 31, 2014


I guess I can see it.

OfficialJab on Jan 31, 2014


Because when I think of Lex Luthor the first thing that comes to mind is an underfed, nebbish, nervous guy that's always unsure of himself. I like Eisenberg enough, but couldn't he have played Jimmy instead? I'm guessing Snyder is planning quite a transformation, let's hope it takes.

cuckoozey on Jan 31, 2014


You're thinking of Eisenberg in term of his roles in Zombieland and Adventureland where he played the character described. But like the post says, he can play a cold, emotional person, like in The Social Network and Like Crazy . This decision is certainly baffling but for some reason I'm hoping that Synder makes us all eat our words.

Akwasi Asabere on Jan 31, 2014


I suppose he had a bit of understated menace in Social Network, maybe that's where Snyder got the idea. But I've been watching Eisenberg since Rodger Dodger and he's never really veered much for that persona. Guess we'll see...

cuckoozey on Jan 31, 2014


ummmmm. LOLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!

/r/bI on Jan 31, 2014


You have got to be fucking kidding me!?!?!!! This whole thing is turning into a bigger turd day after day, a turd that needs a serious flush down the fucking toilet!! Seriously fuck this joke, I don't care from here on out, totally fucking stupid!! Dumbasses.

Angry Larry on Jan 31, 2014


So this means you're only going to see it twice?

97point6 on Jan 31, 2014


When we talk about Famous Iconic Heroes , We need GREAT VILLAINS either. And Luther is not my favorite villain for such Huge Superhero movies. I think Kevin Spacey is a great choice for superman returns , but main problem with that movie was the Luther himself. Luther definitely cant defeat Superman or Batman , and that's obvious. This Obviousity blurs my thoughts and that's not coming deliberately. Anyway we have fun luthor with Eisenberg i think.

Ehsan Davodi on Jan 31, 2014


Happy to hear Jeremy Irons will be in this (just watched him in Kingdom of Heaven: Director's Cut last night and that was a great film, plus he was fantastic in Margin Call as well), but Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor? That's a unique casting choice, but a potentially troubling one (I personally don't see him as Lex whatsoever), I would have preferred having Joaquin Phoenix as Lex.

thejon93rd on Jan 31, 2014


i said i wanted young lex luthor. "wish for" cliches are now smacking around the little voice in my head. Eisenberg displayed a confident arrogance in Now You See Me. maybe that's the angle they are going for? beyond that i am just confused.

mgazo on Jan 31, 2014


I just realized that this film could actually be a complete disaster.

Nielsen700 on Jan 31, 2014


Only just? 🙂

Outlaw on Jan 31, 2014


*in slightly high voice* "So uh... I guess uhh... we'll uh... have to kill Superman?". *quizzical look*

lewinston on Jan 31, 2014


People wanted Cranston, well they got Eisenberg instead (wink, wink)

Gus Ledesma on Jan 31, 2014


Well played.

97point6 on Jan 31, 2014


Mr. Gus, you are A1!

antony galardo on Feb 1, 2014



Zak Coleman on Jan 31, 2014


Jessie certainly is a versatile actor. We'd have to wait and see how he does under the pressure of playing Lex. Everyone needs to calm down tho. I remember everyone's shit hitting the fan when they heard Heath Ledger was playing The Joker.......then look how great that turned out.

Rock n Rollllll on Jan 31, 2014


Like most casting decisions, I'll personally await judgement until I actually watch the movie. Sure, not my choice, but that doesn't mean it's a bad choice.

Quanah on Jan 31, 2014


Like your attitude, sir!

Rock n Rollllll on Jan 31, 2014


Thanks Rock. Doesn't make much sense for me to get upset over something like a casting decision. I think we've all seen in the past casting decisions we thought were bad, and turn out great. I can also say we've seen casting decisions we thought were great, turn out horrendous. What makes this fun is seeing if the process will make doubters have a change of heart. Either way, I'm sure the film will be entertaining. Looking forward to the finished product.

Quanah on Jan 31, 2014


Indeed, buddy. I understand Jessie was not everyone's first choice (even came as my surprise) but Jesus, just give the guy a chance. People forget that he was Oscar nominated which means the man's acting skills are suitable for this challenging role. I bet he'll hit the nail on the head as Lex and besides, now since the movie is taking place in 2016 and not 2015, he'll have plenty of time to learn all there is to know about embodying the role of the great Lex Luthor.

Rock n Rollllll on Feb 1, 2014


"Like most casting decisions, I'll personally await judgement until I actually watch the movie." Way to be bold. Like you said it's a process and nowadays it's fun to judge movies before they come out. It's not like people actually make a final decision on the movie before it comes out, as you mentioned, sometimes people have a a change of heart. If people didn't want to voice their opinions on movies before they came out we would have 🙂 (That would be funny if had a poll on every article judging the movie 1-10 and see how it changed through the course of production, after every news story.That could actually be a really good idea, although I don't know how much effort it would take. At the end, we could check out the ebb and flow of the movie for the last 2 or 3 years.)

si1ver on Jan 31, 2014


I like it.

Xerxexx on Jan 31, 2014


I think the idea of a young Lex Luthor is not bad at all, Impulsive, greed, strong, ambitious, sounds nice, my problem here is that i don't consider Eisenberg as a great actor. And Zack Snyder have serious problem directing actors. I predict a very cartoonish villain. Jeremy Irons as Alfred is a must see. suddenly the role of Batman's butler and mentor becomes big and important (in movies) since, Michael Caine's interpretation.

toonfed on Jan 31, 2014


How can you have a young Lex Luthor and an old Batman?! I don't get it...

Jezper on Jan 31, 2014


For diversity? Why must all of the major players be in the same age group. Eisenberg is nearly 30 by now isn't he? Heck, he might be over 30 already, hardly that 'young'...and it's not as if Batman will be in his 60s, he's going to be in his 40s. They clearly have advantages in signing someone younger...they can mold Lex into the more modern 'young billionaire' type of mold, instead of making him another stuffy 'old rich evil guy'. Beyond THAT, I'm sure they have a lot of long term plans they are thinking about, I bet Eisenberg has signed a multi-film deal that COULD have him playing Lex for years to come.

Chris Groves on Jan 31, 2014


Makes sense, considering they were looking at Phoenix. They have some similar qualities.

VVS on Jan 31, 2014


All they need to do is announce Bryan Cranston as Commissioner Gordon and I'll be over the moon.

Chris Groves on Jan 31, 2014


I love the idea of Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. Take that power hungry twisted little twerp from The Social Network, put him a few feet to the left until he's in the "evil" category and BOOM you have a great young Lex Luthor.

Kento on Jan 31, 2014


Yeesh... the casting... it burns...

avconsumer2 on Jan 31, 2014


Lex in 2016!

Tim Cleary on Jan 31, 2014


I could see him as young lex, but do we need to see lex as a kid?

Michael DeVore on Jan 31, 2014


I love how so many people are just jumping in to defend this ridiculous casting choice. There are over a hundred better choices WB could have made and you can't deny that. You seriously think Jesse Eisenberg going head to toe with Superman would look serious at all (Despite both him and Cavill the same age surprisingly). It's like they pulled this choice out of a hat. I'm fine with them wanting a young Lex Luthor but Eisenberg isn't that threatening or imposing Luthor material at all. The End.

Damon King on Jan 31, 2014


Eisenberg WILL be a physical juxtaposition to Superman though, which could be played with in the film in a lot of cool ways. You have perfect, shredded, Superman, and shrimpy, but shrewd and smart Lex. Superman is morally pure in a lot of ways, and Lex could be just the opposite, not afraid to do some outright weaselly sh!t to get the upper hand. It CAN be good and interesting, that doesn't mean it WILL be. But I'm kind of relieved that they aren't just doing what Singer did and trying to fill the roles with the best knock-offs of the previous actors/characters.

Chris Groves on Jan 31, 2014


2 paper clips and... a cupcake would be better casting.

JJ King on Jan 31, 2014


Actually, I don't know, we have to wait to see if they're the right choices. The good thing is that they both are great actors.

Miguel Garay Boszeta on Jan 31, 2014


Really who cares? As long as the same director from MoS is attached to this, its going to be another mediocre film. Really, i cant see any decent movie nerd watching MoS and say "this was awesome". It had its moments, mostly the more subtle ones were the best (young superman). But the entire last 45 mins were just lazy, dumb and loud movie making. But god forgive for voicing a negative opinion. Heh, if you loved it, you will enjoy this next outing. So you win! 🙂

Buzzfunk on Jan 31, 2014


Oh yeah, everyone loves someone who is so condescending. 'I can't see any decent movie nerd watching MoS and say "this was awesome." But hey, if YOU loved it, you'll enjoy the next one, so you win. Smiley face' You know, I'm sure there is a special term for someone who seems to have equal parts of hate and obsession with anything. "They bitch about things they claim to hate yet can't stop discussing."

Chris Groves on Jan 31, 2014


Knee jerk reaction: wtf! 1 minute later: this won't make or break my love for the cinema, let's see what they can do until 2016.

mooreworthy on Jan 31, 2014


But Zach Snyder's still directing........sooooooo

speedracer on Jan 31, 2014


Are they remaking Smallville?

adam lamonica on Jan 31, 2014


it has seemed like that since man of steel had a lot of smallville elements. mos was just "artier"

Bob on Jan 31, 2014


I'm just glad this is taking the heat off Spidey II ...

97point6 on Jan 31, 2014


I love the way Snyder and Nolan keep shaking the stale dust of Superman with their casting choices. No one can do smug like Eisenberg; which is the essence of Lex Luthor. Cavill, Affleck, Eisenberg and Irons. Brilliant

Jason on Jan 31, 2014


you sir...get a thumbs down. It is bad casting

Have Hope on Jan 31, 2014


you sir have a father who should have worn a condom

Boomboom on Feb 1, 2014


As soon as I heard Eisenberg was cast I immediately thought of The Social Network. He can pull this off.

kuzosake on Feb 2, 2014


I still think Eisenberg going to come off as too young, this isn't Smallville afterall. It's funny though no one would complain if he was Jimmy Olsen, and hardly any would care if he was playing Toy Maker.

JG on Feb 4, 2014


Great in anything, you say?

Maxx on Jan 31, 2014


Don't get me wrong. I love Irons. He might very well be the best part of this film but I just don't know about it as a whole. Didn't much care for MoS. Hope it works out for those who have positive spirits about it!

Maxx on Jan 31, 2014


Irons is good when he is good. Otherwise....don't forget Dungeons & Dragons.

kuzosake on Feb 2, 2014


Well, I hate Eisenburg as Luthor, but I hated Ledger as Joker, before I saw it. I'm sure it won't reach that caliber of performance, but I'll keep an open mind. Although I feel like Irons would have been a more sensible choice.

grimjob on Jan 31, 2014


He'll look really bad bald. Not buff enough. Should have went with the Black incarnation.

DAVIDPD on Jan 31, 2014


I doubt he'll be bald.

childerolandusa on Feb 1, 2014


I have faith in Snyder....

Avi on Feb 1, 2014


First Paul walker died, then Phillip Seymore Hoffman dies, then Jessie Eisenberg gets cast as Lex. why does everything bad happen to me.

Muji Fresh on Feb 2, 2014


I'm not too upset. If Eisenberg gains a little wieght and doesnt look like hes a college freshmen then i think he'll be able to pull it off. He's got the acting chops and IS the complete opposite of Cavil. As for Jeremy Irons, im not upset about it... He's decent... I am WAY more satisfied with this then AFFLECK, i have more faith in Eisenberg then Ben.

Franklin Carpio on Feb 3, 2014


This gave me more faith.

Franklin Carpio on Feb 3, 2014

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