After so much fan speculation, rumours and petitions, it would seem that Warner Bros. has finally cast two key roles in 2016’s upcoming Man of Steel sequel, informally referred to by many fans as Batman vs. Superman.
The casting may surprise you on both counts too!
Despite several older actors rumoured for and lobbying for the role, including Bryan Cranston, Mark Strong and Joaquin Phoenix, the role of Superman’s arch-nemesis, Lex Luthor will be played by… Jesse Eisenberg. Yes, that Jesse Eisenberg. The one from Zombieland, The Social Network and Now You See Me.
To say that this is a left-field choice is an understatement. Jesse Eisenberg is a young and often boyish actor who likely isn’t who anyone imagines playing the role of one of the most cunning and ruthless minds in the DC Universe, as well as the vastly wealthy and powerful head of one of its most mighty corporations.
On the other hand however, if you’ve seen Eisenberg in The Social Network, then his casting makes a bit more sense. Eisenberg demonstrated that he can play a powerful, influential and vaguely sociopathic personality with aplomb in that film, and considering that he’s aged several years since, it’s not a stretch to imagine that he could expand and refine that performance to embody Lex Luthor.
Another distinct possibility is that the character is being re-imagined in a younger, overhauled incarnation, no doubt with some important bearing on the greenhorn Superman played by Henry Cavill, and the tired, world-weary Batman played by Ben Affleck. In any case, it should lead to another exciting new direction for a villain we previously thought we understood, and hopefully to another effective modernization of a pivotal Superman character.
Speaking of Ben Affleck’s Batman, he’ll officially have a caretaker in Jeremy Irons, playing the role of Bruce Wayne’s faithful butler, Alfred Pennyworth. This would perhaps indicate that Alfred may be a more imposing personality in the Man of Steel sequel, in contrast to the more warm and supportive performances of Michael Gough and Michael Caine in the former feature films starring Batman.
Irons is a very experienced character actor in any case, which should make him a natural fit for a blockbuster movie like this. He’s played high-profile roles such as Scar in Disney’s The Lion King and Simon Gruber in Die Hard: With a Vengeance. Also, for what it’s worth, he provided the moviegoing community with many a meme and giggle in his infamously over-the-top villain performance in the Dungeons & Dragons movie.
Many questions still remain about the top-secret plot of the Man of Steel sequel, but how do you feel about this casting? Are you excited? Disappointed? Indifferent? Your comments are welcome below.
Eggplante will continue to fly you news related to Man of Steel and the DC Cinematic Universe, as it unmasks itself.