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.
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