Jesse Eisenberg Cast as Lex Luthor in ‘Batman vs. Superman,’ Jeremy Irons to Play Alfred

Jesse Eisenberg Cast as Lex Luthor in 'Batman vs. Superman,' Jeremy Irons to Play Alfred

Zack Snyder is directing the superhero movie, which stars Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill

Jesse Eisenberg will play mad genius Lex Luthor in WB's untitled “Batman vs. Superman” movie, while Jeremy Irons will play Bruce Wayne's butler Alfred, the studio announced Friday.

Zack Snyder is directing the superhero movie, which stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman.

“Lex Luthor is often considered the most notorious of Superman's rivals, his unsavory reputation preceding him since 1940,” Snyder said in the studio's statement. “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.”

Also read: Warner Bros. Pushes ‘Batman vs. Superman’ Back 10 Months to ‘Fully Realize Vision’

The new film, being written by Chris Terrio, from a screenplay by David S. Goyer, was originally supposed to come out next summer, but Warner Bros. pushed it to 2016 to “fully realize the vision,” the studio announced earlier this month.

Irons, who won an Oscar for his lead role in ”Reversal of Fortune,” takes over the role that Michael Caine inhabited for Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy. He most recently starred on the Showtime series “The Borgias.”

Also read: Ben Affleck's Batman Casting Bolsters Warner Bros. Relationship – Despite Jeff Robinov Exit

“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,” the director added.

Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder are producing, with Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Wesley Coller, Geoff Johns and Goyer serving as executive producers.

Also read: Jason Segel to Play David Foster Wallace Opposite Jesse Eisenberg in ‘The End of the Tour’ (Exclusive)

Eisenberg received an Oscar nomination for his turn as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in David Fincher's “The Social Network.” He next stars in Richard Ayoade's “The Double” and Kelly Reichardt's “Night Moves,” and will soon begin filming “The End of the Tour” with Jason Segel.

Warner Bros. will release the film worldwide on May 6, 2016.

  • Haris Polichronopoulos

    WTF??????????????? Eisenberg as Lex Luthor????? From bad casting decision to bad casting decision. Jeremy Irons on the other hand fits as Alfred

  • soupherman

    I'm actually more interested in the movie now that I can officially resolve in my head that this won't be the Superman movie I'd always imagined, but some entirely different take on this superhero's mythos. Jesse Eisenberg – sure why not? I'd quite like to see Superman unable to haphazardly Hulk smash his way into heroism with a more cerebral foe.

  • Cyclops

    I guess they can put Eisenberg in a skull cap, or shave his head for LL; but this is getting freaky: a middle-aged {“older”) Batman, a 30-something (nearing 40) Superman, and a YOUNG Lex Luthor??? Oh, and a small busomed Wonder Woman. After Affleck's casting I thought that I would be missing this movie. So far these casting decisions seem to bearing that out.

    • BC

      FYI. Henry Cavill is 30.

      • JustLurkin

        Exactly right.

    • JustLurkin

      Cavill and Eisenberg are exactly 5 months to the day separated in age (5 May vs 5 Oct – 1983). Lighting and makeup should take care of JE's baby faced features.

      BTW, Affleck was born in 1972 so 11 years older. He just seems much older than the others because you've been aware of him for so much longer. Meanwhile, Irons was born in 1948, making Alfred 24 years older than Bruce Wayne.

      Then again, actual ages of actors are nearly meaningless in movies. One can always find examples of 20-somethings portraying high schoolers and actors separated by 7 or 8 years playing parents and their offspring.

      • JG

        True, but can Eisenberg sound menacing. His voice sounds so high pitched I'm afraid he's going to come off as Toy Maker or an evil Jimmy Olsen.

        • JustLurkin

          Yeah, that could be an issue. It might have been better to save him to portray Mr. Mxyzptlk. But short [no pun intended - he's about 5'7" barefoot while Cavill slips past 6' so a stare-down is unlikely] of him getting hit by a bus, he is likely gonna be the guy. Maybe he could channel Christian Bale's gravel-throated Batman? Or Snyder could pull a Darth Vader and have Eisenberg do the acting while someone with more gravitas supplies the voice? That could be a lot of looping. But if this is an introductory part and not The Main Villain, then it could be manageable. It's all smoke and mirrors, anyway. Those Hollywood types will figure something out.

          • JG

            I doubt he'll do Bale's smoker bat-voice, or dubbing.

          • JustLurkin

            You're right, of course. I was just BSing before someone else posted something similar in seriousness. Just like I almost wrote that Snyder probably hired Eisenberg to try to take some heat off Affleck… give the fans and the media something new to bitch about. Honestly, after the Gadot hire for Wonder Woman, I gave up on Snyder making any smart casting choices (although Irons could work out well). No matter what anyone says about Gadot, there simply HAD to be better overall choices in terms of acting chops combined with the appropriate physical stature/physique who were available for the part. Yeah, yeah, she said that she was going exercise and change her diet to bulk up. Sorry but what Gal is missing to be the quintessential Amazon you can't get by way of a personal trainer. Her only options are surgery or the world's greatest VFX team.

          • JG

            When she was announce I wondered if she was that much better of an actress than her Fast 6 costar Gina Carano. I warmed up to her though when I actually saw Fast & Furious 6 and saw this

            All she needs to do is bulk up at least ten pounds and have some weapons and fight training. Now what if Jesse Eisenberg is actually playing Jimmy Olsen and they just said he was Luthor to generate buzz until they actually have someone else?

          • JustLurkin

            Artwork is all well and good. But it's no more reality than any image of the Hulk. Truthfully, I'm willing to wait for the movie to make a final judgment. But at this point, I remain unconvinced.

            As with your concerns regarding Eisenberg's voice… he may be able to act the part but can he voice the part? Acting skills are only part of what conveys the complete character. Likewise, Wonder Woman has an imposing stature that Gadot woefully lacks. No amount of acting skills can make up for that. Seeing actual photos of Gadot lead me to pray for a top-notch VFX team to come to her rescue. Hey, in “Man of Steel” Zod's Krytonian armor was 100% CGI. Who knows? In another two years perhaps the technology will exist to turn Gadot into Wonder Woman.

          • JustLurkin

            Yikers! I have no idea why there are so many replications of the two images that I attempted to upload. Further, I can find no way to delete them. “Edit” does not seem to offer that option. Sorry.

  • Heisenberg

    Zack Snyder: We are giving the fans what they want! Jesse Eisenberg! The Fans: No, dumbass… We wanted the guy who played HEISENBERG! Zack Snyder: Oh….

  • disgusted

    I've gone from little interest in this film to no interest whatsoever based on this latest announcement. Who is making these casting decisions?? What a shame. Bad enough that Hollywood is fresh out of ideas but politics added to the mix…I'm sure this will sell since there are no other options for movie goers but wow…I mean, wow. Eisenberg and Affleck. Kill me…

  • Steve Dodds

    DC will never be able to compete with Marvel studios, if they keep letting morons make their movies. I think its time for DC to take over the movie projects like marvel does.

  • Marcus

    Jesse better get his neck ready. Oh Henry.