Eisenberg is… Lex Luthor?

Photo by Tabercil via Flickr

Chris Santiago/Contributing Writer

I’m on the bus heading to BBC Friday morning tweeting, “I wish there were more ways I could write about the Man of Steel movie sequel in my next article. But, it’s so difficult to find one that’s updated.” A few hours later, director Zack Snyder, once again, shocked the DC Comics and cinematic universe by announcing that the role of Superman’s greatest arch-nemesis, Lex Luthor, was given to critically acclaimed actor, Jesse Eisenberg.

It was like seeing Ben Affleck’s fan reaction all over again. The social media world got slammed with mostly negativity, all of which directed at both Snyder and Eisenberg. People are posting pictures, statuses and tweets saying “DC, we wanted Heisenberg, not Eisenberg!” and “Oh, Hell no! What the f***, Snyder?!”

I’m pretty sure I was one of the few people who, at the second the announcement was made, actually said, “You know what? I can see this happening.” Jesse Eisenberg is a very accredited actor who is best known for his role as Mark Zuckerberg (whom comic book fans have called the real world’s Lex Luthor) in the critically acclaimed movie The Social Network. He has also won numerous awards such as the Houston Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor, the National Board of Review Award for Best Actor and has been nominated for an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama. The only thing this guy needs is a bald head!

Everybody’s all riled up and worried that he doesn’t have the ruthlessness and looks that it takes to become the complex character that is Lex Luthor. But, the fans are forgetting that Snyder is trying to bring these comic book characters into a real-life scenario where something like this could actually happen to us tomorrow. Eisenberg, in my view, will bring a new light to the character that past portrayers Gene Hackman and Kevin Spacey didn’t because of his experience already with working on an intellectual character with that much complexity when he was becoming Mark Zuckerberg.

The running gag now is that Lex Luthor is going to bring Facebook in to LexCorp in the movie, which I actually chuckled at. This is a smart decision by Snyder though. Bringing in Eisenberg will give us a younger Lex Luthor, similar to Michael Rosenbaum’s version on the TV series, Smallville, to see on the big screen and it actually makes more sense to have it this way because, in the storyline, Superman and Lex Luthor are relatively close in age and both Cavill and Eisenberg are 30 years old. This will give it a more intense rivalry between the two characters since they are still relatively young. Besides, Cavill plays a 33-year old Superman, so why can’t Eisenberg play a 31 or 32-year old Lex Luthor?

There’s no doubt in my mind that this casting will cause anything but great things for the sequel. All of the actors are of perfect age, looks and style. Fans freak out and backlash because they desire exactly what they see in the comics, but they should know by now that’s not possible nor will it ever happen their way. Unless you have a time machine and have gone in to the future to see the sequel, then the only thing you can do right now is be patient and have hope that this movie will turn out for the best, because I’m pretty confident that Snyder will do this whole movie the justice it deserves. All hail Lex Luthor!

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