Jesse Eisenberg is Lex Luthor

What? No. Your kidding right? Is this an April Fools Day joke or something? We have the babbling, shy, afraid of his own shadow kid from Zombieland playing arguably DC Comics biggest villains in the increasingly polarizing Batman vs. Superman film. I assure you, it is not an April Fools Day joke, nor is it a marketing ploy to continuously get headlines for a film that is still over two years away from being released. Oh wait, it could after all still just be that. The casting department on the film has continued to confuse us fans. First they dangled the likes of Josh Brolin in front of us for a month, which most fans began to actually buy and then they pulled the rug out from underneath of us by casting Ben Affleck in the role. It is a bit perplexing, but in the end I still believe he will actually be a good Batman. Then they did the same thing with the likes of the Wonder Woman character only to then cast a relative unknown actress in Gal Gadot then fueled much more outrage, maybe a bit unfairly based solely on her looks as opposed to her actual acting ability. Now with all of this media attention on the film, they continue to surprise us with the likes of casting Jesse Eisenberg in the role of Lex Luthor. I am stunned that I am writing that, and I know the devil's advocate in everyone will say, "Hey, everyone hated the idea of Heath Ledger playing the Joker." But really, is that going to be the fallback to any questionable casting choice? Eisenberg is a fine actor, I think he could channel some of Luthor's character but he does not have certain things you think of when you think of Lex Luthor.

Lex Luthor is a character that exudes confidence, ego, arrogance while also being one of the most complex villains in all of DC Comics. He is a genius in every meaning of the word and is always the biggest man in a room because of that. He frequently thinks multiple steps ahead of anyone due to his inferiority complex as he cannot stand being lesser then anyone else. Thus, in comes Superman. His arch-nemesis. The one man that belittles anything that Lex can do. Superman is a beacon of hope for the people of Earth, which Lex simply cannot be as he is after all just a man. In a way, the two need each other. As cliche of a line as it, every great hero needs an equally great villain. Lex was always just that for Superman. He challenged him in every way possible, albeit it usually ended in Lex's defeat but give the man a cookie at least for always trying. Now, can we really see Jesse Eisenberg being able to pull off all of these characteristics of such an iconic villain? Some of his past work leads me to believe that he can, but his youth may just be the downfall of how the character is received.

In films such as The Social Network and Now You See Me, Eisbenberg throws away his usual shy guy routine for a much more cool, calm and powerful presence. Playing the part of Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, he frequently showed how he was constantly one step ahead of everyone but his biggest downfall was just how great his ego was. He truly believed that he was better then everyone else and he was very good in the role. Now, he fit the role so well due to his age fitting the character as well. He played a guy who was so smart and so ahead of the curb and once he hit gold he treated everyone around him like they were beneath him. With that being said, I think it is fair to say this will not be the Lex Luthor we are used to seeing. Man of Steel was an origin film where Superman came to be and learned his place among others. This next film could very much be just that for Lex. He could be a young hot shot coming up under the wings of his father and while he is a genius with an ego even higher then his IQ, he is still coming to be the man that we all know Lex Luthor to be. I'll admit I am a little disappointed to not see the likes of Bryan Cranston in the role of Lex Luthor like it was once rumored before. However, if that were the case, it would be a very familiar Lex that we have become accustomed to. Thus, now, we have Eisenberg and not Heisenberg.

More by this Author


Comments 13 comments

Jayfort 2 years ago

So Warner/DC Entertainment is pulling out all stops to ensure they NEVER get another red cent from me for Superman. Don't get me wrong, Jesse's a pretty good actor and I'm a fan of a number of his films. But Lex Luthor??? It seems like the inmates are running the W/DC Entertainment asylum!


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 2 years ago from Columbia, MD Author

It is perplexing for sure. I was really confused when I first heard the news but I will hold my final judgement until I at least I see a trailer, much less the movie. People have a tendency to overreact a bit too early in the casting process of iconic characters.

Thank you for your comment though Jayfort.


rjbatty profile image

rjbatty 2 years ago from Irvine

I read an article that stated Eisenberg and Henry Cavill are actually the same age. That's hard to believe, but I guess we can check the IMDB. Initially, I thought casting Eisenberg was a Bizzaro-world choice -- sort of like casting Richard Pryor to be a nemesis to Christopher Reeve's Superman.

But, nothing is conventional anymore. The last glimpse we'll ever see of Superman in a conventional role was in "Superman Returns."

The studios seem to be willing to put themselves on a limb. They've been doing that since the strange success of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy. I'm still not sure that the trilogy was the Batman we deserved to see, but it's the one we got, and most people were thrilled. So now, anything goes.

After "Man of Steel," I learned to control/temper my impulses. I originally thought the film was going to be a farce, but it turned out to be a lot more fun and imaginative than I expected.

We sure have a long wait to perfect our sense of patience and anticipation.


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 2 years ago from Columbia, MD Author

You are completely right. The knee jerk reaction to these casting choices are to get upset. We all love these characters and view them a certain way, but if you continue to portray them in that way...It will run stale. That was the case with Superman Returns. I think Man of Steel was a great start to what could be a launching point for the DC Cinematic Universe and they absolutely nailed the casting of the biggest of all heroes.

Jesse Eisenberg is a good actor, no one can really say otherwise, but when I look at him I still see a shy and timid little kid. Maybe this is the role that breaks him out of that mold.


Jayfort 2 years ago

Since DC implemented its New 52, they have ruined Superman and the other DC characters for me. At one point, I was spending close to $75 a month on comics, now I spend virtually nothing. I no longer enjoy reading comics, except for the occasional DC Showcase Presents reprint from the 60s or 70s. DC has done something that 53 years of life and over 45 years of comic book reading couldn't do: drive me away from DC and comics!


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 2 years ago from Columbia, MD Author

I am deeply sorry to hear all of that.


rjbatty profile image

rjbatty 2 years ago from Irvine

Jayfort: I totally understand. Some years ago when they killed off Superman, I came back to reading comics -- since a hiatus from the 70's. I couldn't understand what the industry was doing, so I bought some DC and Marvel, but primarily I bought comics that were produced by independent publishers -- as I thought they were putting out material that far out-stripped the DC/Marvel soap opera line. I spent closer to $150.00 per month (ridiculous, I know). Worse, I spent addition hundreds via Ebay -- not for collectible Silver Age comics of any worth but mostly trash from the 80's. I wanted to get a thread on what was happening to the industry. When my boxes reached up to the ceiling and my financial situation changed, I stopped buying. I came up with the conclusion that the main publishers were doing anything and everything they could to promote sales -- regardless of the integrity of the characters. And so it goes on today. I was originally a Silver Age reader. I once possessed all the firsts produced by Marvel (because they were different and introduced characters who evolved (not to the extent we see today). The sad conclusion is that the publishers are scrambling to get market share at the expense of continuity or integrity of the characters we once embraced.


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 2 years ago from Columbia, MD Author

I didn't read comic a whole lot, but I was really sick back in high school and my dad came home with a bunch of boxes of comics that he bought from a yard sale. It was maybe over 400 comics, mostly Batman, Superman and X-Men. I read through as much as I could and enjoyed them. I learned a lot about the characters and I believe they were comics from the 70s, so I truly enjoyed them. I never stuck with them, but from the sounds of it coming from you guys...I take it that was a good thing.


Jayfort 2 years ago

The last of the writers/artists/editors who started in the 40s were pretty much forced out by the mid-80s. This was the generation that actually created the Golden and Silver Age characters and felt a responsibility for what they created. The latest generation of "creators" (as they are currently called) are anything but creators. They are writers and artists who feel no responsibility towards the characters themselves, who trash the characters, and use decompressed storytelling to spread what they do out over months and congratulate themselves on their "creativity." Siegel, Shuster, Kirby, Simon, Kane, Robinson, and so many others were CREATORS. Today's lot are not.


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 2 years ago from Columbia, MD Author

Now again I don't read comics but the only one writer I know of now from DC is Geoff Johns. I know he works on the show Arrow as well, seems like he does a good job


Hady Chahine profile image

Hady Chahine 2 years ago from Manhattan Beach

Agreed, Jesse Eisenberg is an "A list" actor. However, casting him as Lex Luthor is a bit of a stretch; meaning, I don't see the villain in his personality or appearance. But, time will tell...Hollywood does after all have a reputation for pulling off some amazing casting surprises!


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 2 years ago from Columbia, MD Author

That is exactly the general consensus on the casting choice. It is a bit strange.


rjbatty profile image

rjbatty 2 years ago from Irvine

Eisenberg was selected because he will not be like any Lex Luthor you've ever dreamed (or dared to imagine). It seems rather clear that the studio is shooting for the "nerdy" Luthor. He'll have many of the same traits we've grown so fond of over the years, but absent any gravitas. And that seems like a pretty big mistake. If we simply see a punk-faced genius combating Superman, it could be hard for our credulity to hold up. This concept of "let's make things different just for the sake of doing something different," may back-fire for Warner Bros. in a big way. Different isn't always better. In fact, in many cases it leads to a net loss, e.g., "The Lone Ranger."

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working