Jesse Eisenberg will star as Lex Luthor with Jeremy Irons as Alfred in Zack Snyder’s untitled Man Of Steel sequel, according to Warner Bros. Pictures, who announced the news today.
Eisenberg and Irons join the cast of what’s been referred to as Batman vs. Superman, which will have Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince, and Henry Cavill reprising his role as Superman/Clark Kent, with other returning stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, and Diane Lane.
Along with the new casting announcement, director Zack Snyder released the following statement:
Snyder stated, “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.”
The director added, “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.”
[Jesse Eisenberg at left, Jeremy Irons at right]
While Irons seems a perfect choice for Alfred, it’s likely that fans will have some strong opinions about Eisenberg. The 30-year-old actor is best known for his quirky indie roles in films like Adventureland and received more notice after starring with Woody Harrelson in the 2009 horror comedy Zombieland, but his break out role was really as Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg in David Fincher’s Oscar-nominated 2010 film The Social Network, for which he earned several award nominations. But, is he right for the role Lex Luthor? Warner Bros. seems to be taking some real bold risks in their casting choices, not fearing the wrath of superhero fans, who went ballistic (and still are behaving that way) over Affleck being Batman and Gadot as Wonder Woman.
Batman vs. Superman, which is currently being written by Chris Terrio from a screenplay by David S. Goyer, is scheduled for a worldwide theatrical release on May 6, 2016. It was originally set for a July 17, 2015 release, but earlier this month, WB announced the move to the following Summer to allow “the filmmakers time to realize fully their vision, given the complex visual nature of the story.”