Jesse Eisenberg and Jeremy Irons Cast as Lex Luthor and Alfred Pennyworth in ‘Man of Steel 2,’ 2016 Release Confirmed
Well we certainly didn’t see this one coming, did we? The news broke today that the roles of Lex Luthor and Aflred Pennyworth have been cast for the sequel to Man of Steel, rumored to be called Batman vs. Superman. Hit the jump to read more.
Warner Bros. announced this morning that Jesse Eisenberg would be taking on the role of Lex Luthor, while Jeremy Irons would be starring as Bruce Wayne’s legendary butler Alfred. Here’s the press release from Warner Bros.:
Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that Jesse Eisenberg has been set to star as Lex Luthor and Jeremy Irons will play Alfred in the upcoming Zack Snyder untitled Superman/Batman film. The dual announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.
Snyder stated, “Lex Luthor is often considered the most notorious of Superman’s rivals, his unsavory reputation preceding him since 1940. 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.”
The director added, “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 of the man who mentors and guides the guarded and nearly impervious façade that encapsulates Bruce Wayne.”
Eisenberg received Academy Award®, Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award® and BAFTA Award nominations for his starring role as Mark Zuckerberg in David Fincher’s “The Social Network.” He also starred in Woody Allen’s “To Rome with Love” and Louis Letterier’s “Now You See Me.” He next appears in “The Double” and “Night Moves.”
Irons won the Academy Award® for his portrayal of Claus von Bülow in “Reversal of Fortune.” His work in the film also garnered him a Golden Globe Award. He won an Emmy Award and a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award® for his performance in the TV miniseries “Elizabeth I,” opposite Helen Mirren, and recently starred on the small screen as Rodrigo Borgia in Neil Jordan’s highly acclaimed Showtime series “The Borgias,” for which Irons earned a Golden Globe nomination. He was recently nominated for a SAG Award® for the PBS Great Performances television miniseries “The Hollow Crown,” for his performance as Henry IV.
Snyder’s film stars Henry Cavill, reprising his role as Superman/Clark Kent, Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne, and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince. The film also reunites “Man of Steel” stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane.
The new film is currently being written by Chris Terrio, from a screenplay by David S. Goyer. Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder are producing, with Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Wesley Coller, David S. Goyer and Geoff Johns serving as executive producers.
The film is set to open worldwide on May 6, 2016, and is based on Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster, Batman characters created by Bob Kane, and Wonder Woman created by William Moulton Marston, appearing in comic books published by DC Entertainment.
I’m not worried about Jeremy Irons as Alfred at all, but I am a little hesitant about Eisenberg’s ability to bring the necessary arrogance and gravitas to Luthor. However, if we consider that perhaps he is playing a younger Lex that really only had some shady business dealings and didn’t truly become villainous until Superman hit the scene, I think he could pull it off.
This would also be an interesting interpretation of Lex akin to his portrayal in Superman:Birthright (a book that explicitly had influence on Man of Steel), showing us how Luthor evolved into a villain rather than having him start off the film by kicking a puppy. As always, I will wait until a trailer before casting judgment.
Equally important is that this release confirms that rumors of the film not being delayed are unfounded and the release day will indeed be May 6th, 2016 as reported.
Now that all the major casting rumors have been taken care of, perhaps the insanity will die down a bit. One can hope.