Oh boy, more casting news for the upcoming Superman/Batman film: Jesse Eisenberg will be Lex Luthor, and Jeremy Irons will play Alfred, according to Variety. They'll join Ben Affleck (ha ha ha!) as Batman and Henry Cavill as Superman. The film's release date was recently pushed back to May 2016.
Anytime anyone is cast in a superhero film, the internet ends up having Very Strong Opinions about it. In this case, many were surprised to see anyone other than Bryan Cranston, who spent quite a lot of time with a shaved head for Breaking Bad, to get the role (even though Cranston himself basically said he'd heard nothing about it).
Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor is a pretty brilliant idea, I have to admit.— Will Leitch (@williamfleitch) January 31, 2014
There are also a lot of jokes about "The Social Network," the film that made Eisenberg famous:
"Drop the 'The.' Just 'Superman.' It's cleaner." - Justin Timberlake— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) January 31, 2014
Lex Luthor's master plan will involve sending Kal-El Candy Crush requests until the Man Of Steel admits defeat. #Eisenberg— Ryan McGee (@TVMcGee) January 31, 2014
I like the Jesse Eisenberg casting. Think about it -- Lex Luthor today would be more Mark Zuckerberg, less Bill Gates.— Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm) January 31, 2014
Jessie Eisenberg cast as Lex Luthor: Killing Superman isn't cool. Killing Superman AND Batman? That's cool.— Logan Hill (@loganhill33) January 31, 2014
Jesse Eisenberg playing Lex Luthor in Superman vs. Batman purely because, as we all know, Mark Zuckerberg is the irl Lex Luthor.— joke peralta (@exitseraphim) January 31, 2014
So is Lex Luthor gonna be a libertarian billionaire startup bro now?— Brian Hiatt (@hiattb) January 31, 2014
And one that's actually a pretty good assessment of why he might just work out in the role:
It's a shame Jesse Eisenberg doesn't have a history of playing a driven, arrogant genius driven by his resentment of privileged jocks...— Zack Stentz (@MuseZack) January 31, 2014
In addition to Irons, Eisenberg, Affleck, and Cavill, the "Man of Steel" sequel has also cast Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, and Laurence Fishburne will reprise his Man of Steel role as Perry White.