The Flickering Myth writing team sit down to discuss Jesse Eisenberg’s casting as Lex Luthor in Batman vs. Superman…
Let’s be honest, who saw this one coming? Jesse Eisenberg is playing Lex Luthor is Zack Snyder’s Batman vs. Superman, set for release in 2016, while Jeremy Irons will play Alfred Pennyworth.
But what do our writers think? Here’s the latest Flickering Myth reaction on Eisenberg’s casting…
Chris Cooper: Well bloody hell.
Scott J Davis: Get the Irons thing, that’s great casting. Eisenberg is a train wreck casting. Then again, same was said of Ledger… The real “villain” of the piece is Snyder in my book. Dude couldn’t direct a Yellow Pages advert…
Helen Murdoch: Eisenberg is the same in everything! Wasn’t going to watch this anyway, but wow!
Anthony Donovan Stokes: Thank God they got a good actor
Gary Collinson: I just can’t see how I’ll enjoy his cocky performance as Lex Luthor, or buy him in the role. He’s got about as much physical presence as Gal Gadot.
Anthony Donovan Stokes: But he doesn’t need physical presence unlike Gal Gadot, all he needs to do is pull off being intelligent.
Thomas Harris: He’s a fine actor with enough charisma to carry the role. However, Snyder isn’t exactly the greatest director of actors and Eisenberg has never played a genuinely interesting, multidimensional character.
Gary Collinson: I think Luthor needs some physical presence about him. He’s going to be dwarfed by Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck. But obviously they’re going for a different take on the role. I’m not really criticising Eisenberg’s acting ability, although he’s only really got the one character and it’s not really the way I’d like to see Luthor portrayed. Who knows though, maybe he’ll surprise me.
Anthony Donovan Stokes: I loved him in The Social Network if Gal can be Wonder Woman, then he can be Lex. I’m more worried about Goyer still being attached then Jesse being cast. He got 5-6 Oscar caliber actors and ultimately they were wasted due to the failings of the script
Scott J Davis: I agree, I think Luther needs a physical presence and Eisenberg doesn’t have that. He’s a decent actor, but I have always found he is more adept as a loveable loser rather than this type of character, a big one at that. Similar things were said about Ledger, but I always felt he had that command to make the Joker work, even before we saw it. Irons is great casting though, but I’m like Martin Deer and others in that the biggest problem this film has is Snyder.
Anthony Donovan Stokes: I’m still concerned with Goyer. Would anybody call the performances in Man of Steel or Watchmen bad? I think the shortcomings of the script is what ruined Man Of Steel for a lot of people.
Gary Collinson: Off-topic, but Chris Terrio has rewritten the script, which I think could be a wise move.
Anthony Donovan Stokes: Goyer is a great story by guy he should be in charge of the outline and that’s it.
Kris Wall: Disappointed, was really hoping for Michael Cera to play Lex Luthor.
Luke Owen: Do you know I like about this movie so far? It’s ballsy casting choices. Affleck as Batman, Gadot as Wonder Woman, Eisenberg as Luthor. These are bold choices that will either go tits up or make people go, “boy were we wrong to pre-judge”. I like Eisenberg a lot and he could play a power hungry, megalomaniacal Luthor really well. Hell, he just needs to do an overblown version of Mark Zuckerberg.
Either that or Synder was looking to cast Heisenberg and got confused.
Chris Cooper: Well. That is quite something. Eisenberg can definitely do ‘smartest guy in the room’ and ‘smug prick’. My only issue is lack of physical stature. But not everyone needs to be 6 foot plus and barrel chested.
Irons? Well he’s English? I guess. I like him enough to again give him the benefit of the doubt for now. Very much in wait and see mode.
Matt Spencer-Skeen: Not a fan of Eisenberg, but Luke is right in that it is ballsy casting. I guess this comes down to how they’re going to use him in this clear JLA set up. Is he the main villain or is he pulling the strings in the background? I think if they go for the latter it could add the air of menace that makes this work.
Simon Columb: I think its a great casting – and clearly he can appear in many, many sequels …
Chris Cooper: We have ‘Batfleck’. Now we have ‘Lexenberg’.
Rohan Morbey: If there’s one thing worse than Zack Snyder directing, then surely it’s Zack Synder directing Jesse Eisenberg.
J-P Wooding: I don’t see this as a problem. Eisenberg is capable of delivering Luthor. The real question is what will Snyder want Eisenberg’s portrayal to be? From a physical point of view, with Supes and The Bat, perhaps Luthor needs to have minimal presence? Otherwise it may be a case of wrecking most of a state rather than just Gotham. Although would be a good twist if Wayne was ultimately responsible for it’s downfall!
Helen Murdoch: I’m not looking forward to the movie anyway but Eisenberg is just wrong in my mind. Hopefully he turns out to be brilliant and I’m proved wrong but I’m not holding my breath.
Martin Deer: I do think it’s funny a conversation about casting yet again turns to Goyer and Snyder hate. But anyway, I just hate this casting in every way. I laugh and judge those who flip out about castings, because it’s the end result that matters, but this I’m just enraged about. Nothing about him says Lex and nothing about him says to me he can do it. I was hoping for an interpretation that showed Lex as the peak of human intellect but also physicality, striving to the best in all aspects. Unfortunately it looks like we might get a snotty kid version. I just don’t get it. But then, what about this film is making any sense to anyone
Who am I kidding, I just can’t stand the blokes face.
Anthony Donovan Stokes: For me I brought it up because people forget that actors can only do so much with bad material. All the actors in Man Of Steel did great with what they had, but I thought they were held back by bad dialogue and weak character arcs.
Villordsutch: Remove Snyder and I’m happy. He’s the Schumacher/Bay/Emmerich thorn in my side.
Gary Collinson: Apart from Sucker Punch, I haven’t really got much against Snyder. I’ve liked all of his other films, and I think he could do a good job on a Justice League movie, which Batman vs. Superman is kind of shaping up to be anyway.
Thomas Harris: I’m yet to be impressed by anything Snyder has done. Nothing more than a pornographer with a budget.
Andrew Naylor: He’s Lex? Realy? What do I know, Ledger turned out to be awesome.
Anthony Donovan Stokes: While I don’t think using Heath Ledger’s joker as an example to excuse any backlash for casting, I think it applies here since Eisenberg is a good actor
Kris Wall: I just don’t like Snyder as a director, apart from Dawn of the Dead which I really like and some parts of Watchmen, as he’s just another Michael Bay and every decision he’s made outside of Ben Affleck for this film has been nigh on ridiculous. However, if I’m proven wrong Ill be more than happy to eat my hat while embarking upon a Snyder film marathon.
Alice Mary Rush: I see someone has already nabbed my Heisenberg joke. Dang it. In all seriousness, yes I do think it’s an odd choice, but nothing about this movie thus far has been totally predictable. I’m trying to reserve my judgement because I do think he’s a good actor, but I do have a slight feeling of unease that I can’t really put my finger on. I reckon he could pull off a power hungry, sarcastic, dry villain, but I have to say I was hoping for something more sinister with Luthor in this film and I’m unsure of whether Eisenberg can rise to that challenge. Guess we’ll see.
Matt Spencer-Skeen: Yeah I saw the Heisenberg joke and was annoyed I hadn’t thought of that, I do feel Cranston would have fit the role well if it was written with an older Luthor.
Sadé Green: I cannot believe Eisenberg is Lex Luthor! I like him enough but I just can’t see him as one of the most infamous villains to have ever existed. He doesn’t seem maniacal enough. I think this role could make or break him, if he screws it up, he won’t be doing anything decent for a while. As for Irons, okay casting, but Alfred is like your favourite Grandad – I don’t get that feeling from Irons at all.
Anghus Houvouras: Eisenberg is a fine actor, but let’s face it, he lacks malevolence. He’s more Igor than Frankenstein. It’s an interesting bit of casting if nothing else. However, there was a load of interesting casting in Man of Steel that ended up going nowhere. Russell Crowe was an inspired choice for Jor-El and he was dull as dishwater. Michael Shannon was an inspired choice for Zod until he chewed all the scenery and came across like a bad cartoon character. Lawrence Fishburne as Perry White: inspired but totally useless. Fishburne was sleepwalking through the movie. Diane Lane…. zzzzzzzzzzzzz. Costner was the only one who seemed to have any level of dimension to his part. It doesn’t matter who they cast, it’s still Snyder behind the camera which means sleepy, one-note performances. Eisenberg has been consistently interesting throughout his career, but he seems more henchman the head honcho.
David Bishop: I like both casting choices. I’m hoping Eisenberg would want to do something completely different to his Zuckerberg performance, but we shall see. Irons as Alfred is an odd choice, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. At least they’re going in completely different directions to the casting choices in the Donner/Singer/Burton/Schumacher/Nolan films.
Oliver Davis: I like the Eisenberg casting. I’ve always been a fan, and his mumbling style could be a rather nice fit. Strangely, it’s the Jeremy Irons role I’m a bit apprehensive about. He doesn’t feel old enough for me. Christian Bale and Michael Caine had a 40 year gap between them. Ben Affleck and Irons only have 24.
J-P Wooding: I agree with Oliver about Irons; unless there’s more to this interpretation of Alfred’s role, I can’t see why you’d pick him over others of a more “appropriate” age. Perhaps he’s an older Batman from future-parallel-days-gone by-past or something! He will be brought back by Superman at the end, by just spinning the Earth backwards.
So there you have it. Not quite a 50/50 split down the room, but there are some who are in support of this “unique” casting.
What did you make of Jesse Eisenberg’s casting as Lex Luthor? Let us know in the comments below…