The grassroots movement to pressure Warner Bros. into casting Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston as Lex Luthor in their upcoming Man of Steel sequel had gained enormous traction in recent months, but in the end, Warner Bros. didn’t bite. The Social Network star Jessie Eisenberg has been cast in the role instead.
Director Zack Snyder broke the news earlier today.
“Lex Luthor is often considered the most notorious of Superman’s rivals, his unsavory reputation preceding him since 1940,”; Snyder said in a 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.”;
Although he may seem a bit young for the role, Eisenberg is an inspired choice. As his performances in The Social Network and Now You See Me more than demonstrate, the 30-year-old actor is very good at playing smug, emotionally remote geniuses.
Snyder also revealed that Jeremy Irons will take over the role of Alfred, Bruce Wayne’s loyal butler, from Michael Caine.
“It is an honour to have such an amazingly seasoned and gifted actor as Jeremy taking on the important role of the man who mentors and guides the guarded and nearly impervious façade that encapsulates Bruce Wayne,”; said Snyder.
The film is scheduled for release on May 6, 2016.