Lex Luthor in the new Superman/Batman movie: Jesse Eisenberg, of course

posted at 6:01 pm on January 31, 2014 by Allahpundit

We need a palate cleanser, but so insatiable is America’s appetite for superhero-movie drivel that I think this actually qualifies as news. People have been chatting about it on Twitter all day. And yes, that means the “Since when does Jesse Eisenberg play rich power-mad misanthropic nerds?” joke you’re working on right now has already been made. Many times.

I know I speak for all of us when I say that Fake Mark Zuckerberg versus Gigli will be a battle for the ages.

The casting decisions, announced Monday, came despite rumors that “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston would play Superman’s arch-nemesis. Eisenberg and Irons will join Henry Cavill’s Superman, Ben Affleck’s Batman and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, as well as several returning “Man of Steel” cast members…

“What’s great about Lex is that he exists beyond the confines of the stereotypical nefarious villain,” Snyder said in a statement from Warner Bros. “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.”

You can’t cast Cranston against three actors like that. They’re outclassed; he’d end up taking over the movie. The whole point of this crossover, especially the casting of Affleck, was, I thought, to nudge superhero movies back towards the campy end of the spectrum. Eisenberg seems perfect for that. To wit:

The most famous geek in movies (fine, next to Michael Cera) as a supervillain battling Superman and Batman? It’s a no-brainer. They might as well go full camp and cast Adam West to play his dad. In fact, it almost seems like a goof on Eisenberg’s most famous role. Give Zuckerberg another 10 years and he’ll probably be bald, insane, and plotting world conquest too.

But not everyone’s happy. As an exit quotation, I can’t top this:


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Perfect casting…

OmahaConservative on January 31, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Fake Mark Zuckerberg, indeed. An excellent choice for diabolical genius.

John the Libertarian on January 31, 2014 at 6:03 PM

No.

ThePrez on January 31, 2014 at 6:04 PM

Eisenberg? No no no! We meant Heisenberg!

El_Terrible on January 31, 2014 at 6:05 PM

*meh*

Cranston might have hooked me. Very little interest at this point.

RedNewEnglander on January 31, 2014 at 6:08 PM

Jesse Eisenberg would make a great Leo Sayer if there was ever a reason to make a movie about him.

Flange on January 31, 2014 at 6:10 PM

Bad choice. Wrong guy for the part.

dogsoldier on January 31, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Ben Affleck as Batman. I for one can not wait for the role to be played as a doughy middle-aged caped crusader!

It should make for some dramatic pauses when chase scenes are interrupted by Batman huffing and puffing “I—gotta—get—back—to—the—batgym!”

Happy Nomad on January 31, 2014 at 6:16 PM

Flange on January 31, 2014 at 6:10 PM

This alone deserves a movie.

…yeah, I remember when that was new.

cozmo on January 31, 2014 at 6:18 PM

The most famous geek in movies (fine, next to Michael Cera) as a supervillain battling Superman and Batman?

A-hem:

Cera = Dork

Eisenberg = Nerd

Jeff Goldblum = Geek

Robert_Paulson on January 31, 2014 at 6:21 PM

Him again? Enough already.

Same old, same old!

Get someone new.

bluegill on January 31, 2014 at 6:23 PM

Wow, that sounds… that sounds awful. I hope the resentful, homely, and conniving Lex Luthor steals his diabolical plot from the Winklevoss twins.

Punchenko on January 31, 2014 at 6:25 PM

Ben Affleck is Batman??? What? There wasn’t anyone else?

Not wasting my time on this rehash.

bluegill on January 31, 2014 at 6:26 PM

cozmo on January 31, 2014 at 6:18 PM

Nice. I think we’ve got the right actor for the part. But as far Lex Luther goes, I wouldn’t have minded seeing Gene Hackman do it. No reason Lex has to be young.

Flange on January 31, 2014 at 6:26 PM

bluegill on January 31, 2014 at 6:26 PM

I’m sure the world is crushed at your pronouncement.

How’s your comrade doing? Are y’all going to treat us with a tag team meltdown?

cozmo on January 31, 2014 at 6:27 PM

Three words: Lena Dunham Catwoman.

Christien on January 31, 2014 at 6:27 PM

Jesse Eisenberg would make a great Leo Sayer if there was ever a reason to make a movie about him.

Flange on January 31, 2014 at 6:10 PM

Oh! I think there would be a market for a movie about Richard Simmons doppelganger going back in time!

Happy Nomad on January 31, 2014 at 6:27 PM

Three words: Lena Dunham Catwoman.

Christien on January 31, 2014 at 6:27 PM

She wouldn’t be interested in having to wear the spandex catsuit.

Happy Nomad on January 31, 2014 at 6:29 PM

Flange on January 31, 2014 at 6:26 PM

Heck I dunno’. The only thing that interests me is how they present Wonder Woman.

Keeping up with Cathy Lee Crosby and Lynda Carter is gonna’ be tough.

cozmo on January 31, 2014 at 6:30 PM

Christien on January 31, 2014 at 6:27 PM

Man, you are a buzzkill.

cozmo on January 31, 2014 at 6:30 PM

cozmo on January 31, 2014 at 6:30 PM

Being from the area, my interest is while they’re filming it in Detroit I keep expecting to see the headline Superman Mugged, Batman seen Crying.

Flange on January 31, 2014 at 6:33 PM

…Starring JEsse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, if Lex Luthor were a furtive, stoop-shouldered, nebbishie, New Yorker.

Warner Todd Huston on January 31, 2014 at 6:35 PM

Oh! I think there would be a market for a movie about Richard Simmons doppelganger going back in time!

Happy Nomad on January 31, 2014 at 6:27 PM

I was thinking a movie like American Psycho where Leo Sayer is actually a serial killer. Leo Slayer starring Jesse Eisenberg.

Flange on January 31, 2014 at 6:36 PM

Being from the area, my interest is while they’re filming it in Detroit I keep expecting to see the headline Superman Mugged, Batman seen Crying.

Flange on January 31, 2014 at 6:33 PM

They’re filming in Detroit? Isn’t that horning in on Robocop’s turf?

Happy Nomad on January 31, 2014 at 6:36 PM

Val Kilmer and George Clooney ruined Batman for me for a decade until Bale got the part. The simple announcement that Ban Hackleck playing Batman has done it again. Zack Schneider ruins movie franchise like no one else can.

jawkneemusic on January 31, 2014 at 6:37 PM

Gene Hackman was the best Lex Luthor.

portlandon on January 31, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Ben Affleck is Batman??? What? There wasn’t anyone else?

Not wasting my time on this rehash.

bluegill on January 31, 2014 at 6:26 PM

Word has it it’s an origins story…..again.

jawkneemusic on January 31, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Three words: Lena Dunham CatwomanThe Penguin.

Christien on January 31, 2014 at 6:27 PM

jawkneemusic on January 31, 2014 at 6:39 PM

Three Four words: Lena Dunham CatwomanThe Penguin.

Christien on January 31, 2014 at 6:27 PM

jawkneemusic on January 31, 2014 at 6:39 PM

jawkneemusic on January 31, 2014 at 6:40 PM

Val Kilmer and George Clooney ruined Batman for me for a decade until Bale got the part. The simple announcement that Ban Hackleck playing Batman has done it again. Zack Schneider ruins movie franchise like no one else can.
jawkneemusic on January 31, 2014 at 6:37 PM

No kidding.

bluegill on January 31, 2014 at 6:40 PM

They’re filming in Detroit? Isn’t that horning in on Robocop’s turf?

Happy Nomad on January 31, 2014 at 6:36 PM

They may be filming up in Pontiac, but the Detroit area. They’re getting some of that government money to shoot there. I don’t know if the new Robocop is going to cash in also, but the original ones were filmed in Dallas. A film crew wouldn’t have lasted five minutes in Detroit in the 80′s.

Flange on January 31, 2014 at 6:40 PM

Flange on January 31, 2014 at 6:33 PM

They’re filming in Detroit? Isn’t that horning in on Robocop’s turf?

Happy Nomad on January 31, 2014 at 6:36 PM

I watched some of the filming of the original Robocop.

Seeing Reunion Tower in Detroit always cracked me up. Though adding a hundred stories to city hall was kind of neat.

As left as Dallas is drifting, I no longer see it as turning into the Detroit of the south. Maybe Atlanta will do that.

cozmo on January 31, 2014 at 6:42 PM

jawkneemusic on January 31, 2014 at 6:40 PM

Now, that would be purrrfect!

Christien on January 31, 2014 at 6:44 PM

They may be filming up in Pontiac, but the Detroit area. They’re getting some of that government money to shoot there. I don’t know if the new Robocop is going to cash in also, but the original ones were filmed in Dallas. A film crew wouldn’t have lasted five minutes in Detroit in the 80′s.

Flange on January 31, 2014 at 6:40 PM

Yeah Michigan is generous with those tax credits. Never understood why. Snyder came into office promising to curb the Michigan Film Office. I guess that one slipped by.

Happy Nomad on January 31, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Who the hell is Jesse Eisenberg? I’m dead serious and I see about 10 movies in theaters and many times that many on home video or Netflix per year. It would be nice if this post were to say something like “Jesse Eisenberg who previously starred in [whatever-heck-he-starred-in]. Whoever this guy is I think Bryan Cranston would be better though he should worry about being typecast.

Long Legged MacDaddy on January 31, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Christien on January 31, 2014 at 6:27 PM

jawkneemusic on January 31, 2014 at 6:39 PM

Don’t you think Dunham is going to be tied up filming the bio-pic about Sandra Fluke?

Happy Nomad on January 31, 2014 at 6:56 PM

Yeah Michigan is generous with those tax credits. Never understood why. Snyder came into office promising to curb the Michigan Film Office. I guess that one slipped by.

Happy Nomad on January 31, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Snyder cut back on how much the state would pay. I don’t recall how much though, obviously some big time productions are still scooping it up.

Flange on January 31, 2014 at 7:04 PM

Should’ve been Mark Strong.

IR-MN on January 31, 2014 at 7:06 PM

My choice for Lex Luther: Mike Meyers.

HiJack on January 31, 2014 at 7:15 PM

This movie is shaping up to be a disaster. Why the hell couldn’t they just do a simple Superman sequel? Man of Steel was merely ok, but the ending did seem to lead into what I hoped would be a much better(and more traditional) Superman flick. Instead we’re getting a half-assed attempt at a Justice League movie by shoehorning a bunch of DC superheroes into the sequel and to make matters worse, the casting decisions have been dreadful.

BTW, the other casting news today was that Jeremy Irons is set to play Alfred. Irons can be a great actor, but he’s completely wrong for that part. Alfred is a kind, fatherly figure whereas Irons usually comes off as cold and commanding.

Doughboy on January 31, 2014 at 7:16 PM

Who the hell is Jesse Eisenberg?

Long Legged MacDaddy on January 31, 2014 at 6:55 PM

He killed Bill Murray in Zombieland.

RickB on January 31, 2014 at 7:16 PM

Should’ve been Mark Strong.

IR-MN on January 31, 2014 at 7:06 PM

WB never would’ve cast him. He was Sinestro in Green Lantern which tanked, so they probably feared putting him in another DC franchise.

Doughboy on January 31, 2014 at 7:20 PM

Money loser. Big time. They never learn. Maybe it will go straight to dvd. At least for me it will.

HiJack on January 31, 2014 at 7:23 PM

They should have picked Bryan Cranston. I just can’t see Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. He’s just way too young and geeky looking. Lex Luthor shouldn’t look like some frat guy.

SoulGlo on January 31, 2014 at 7:24 PM

They already made the movie a joke by casting Affleck as Batman, it doesnt really matter who they cast around him. The film will have a “train wreck” viability, because who doesnt want to see the moment Affleck destroys a superhero franchise single handedly.

When the smoke clears, I think we are talking Star Wars prequel level of carnage.

alecj on January 31, 2014 at 7:34 PM

Doughboy on January 31, 2014 at 7:20 PM

Except Mark Strong is tailor made for the part. I more blame Ryan Reynolds. He’s had a few bombs now. Mark Strong is usually considered a serious actor.

IR-MN on January 31, 2014 at 7:40 PM

They already made the movie a joke by casting Affleck as Batman, it doesnt really matter who they cast around him. The film will have a “train wreck” viability, because who doesnt want to see the moment Affleck destroys a superhero franchise single handedly.

When the smoke clears, I think we are talking Star Wars prequel level of carnage.

alecj on January 31, 2014 at 7:34 PM

I get the whole destroy a franchise thing but I think Affleck’s casting is akin to Pearl Harbor. Ben was supposed to carry that particular trainwreck.

Happy Nomad on January 31, 2014 at 7:44 PM

IR-MN on January 31, 2014 at 7:40 PM

He would be good. I don’t know how previous roles affect casting decisions like doughboy suggests, but he played a good crime boss in Kick-Ass.

Flange on January 31, 2014 at 7:45 PM

I would have paid to see Cranston and Cranston alone. Oh well. More money in my pocket.

You can’t cast Cranston against three actors like that. They’re outclassed; he’d end up taking over the movie.

That’s about it.

The whole point of this crossover, especially the casting of Affleck, was, I thought, to nudge superhero movies back towards the campy end of the spectrum.

Anyone else looking forward to Christopher Nolan’s next movie?

kim roy on January 31, 2014 at 7:55 PM

Three words: Lena Dunham Catwoman.

Christien on January 31, 2014 at 6:27 PM

O_o

:D

At least we’ve be guaranteed bad haircuts and clothing choices.

kim roy on January 31, 2014 at 7:57 PM

Anyone see these comments by Ben Affleck on the rare species that are Republican actors? I freaking put up with the 99% of actors that are liberals in movies and he can’t put up the with 1%…what a sad man he is

http://www.humanevents.com/2014/01/30/ben-affleck-big-republican-actors-are-hard-to-watch/

Democratic fundraiser/actor Ben Affleck — and the next big-screen “Batman” — recently gave an interview to Playboy. His own bias against Republicans, he admits, prevents him from fully enjoying a Republican actor’s performance. “It’s … hard,” said Affleck, “to get people to suspend disbelief.”

Affleck said: “When I watch a guy I know is a big Republican, part of me thinks, I probably wouldn’t like this person if I met him, or we would have different opinions. That (bleep) fogs the mind when you should be paying attention and be swept into the illusion.”

sadsushi on January 31, 2014 at 7:59 PM

He would be good. I don’t know how previous roles affect casting decisions like doughboy suggests, but he played a good crime boss in Kick-Ass.

Flange on January 31, 2014 at 7:45 PM

He was also spooky in the first Sherlock Holmes. Good actor, but they don’t really want good actors for this particular series.

Now I’m sad they didn’t cast Dunham as Catwoman.

Maybe Cranston said no. Wouldn’t blame him at all if that’s the case.

kim roy on January 31, 2014 at 8:02 PM

Whatev’. You’re still gonna fork over $25 for a ticket, AllahP, so what difference, at this point, does it make?

Jeddite on January 31, 2014 at 8:16 PM

I fart in the general direction of this movie.

M240H on January 31, 2014 at 8:36 PM

The producers of this latest Superman project felt that the only actor who could credibly play the role of Lex Luthor was Wally Cox.

But since Wally Cox currently has another long-term commitment (i.e., pushing up daisies), he wasn’t available.

It was much the same sad story with the character of Batman. They had to settle for Ben Affleck when they really wanted Paul Lynde.

FlameWarrior on January 31, 2014 at 8:37 PM

Really, guys? Not one word in favor of Kevin Spacey. I thought he was wonderfully vicious as L.L.

princetrumpet on January 31, 2014 at 8:37 PM

Oh.

Yay.

You know who’d make a great Lex Luthor?

Vin Diesel.

Skywise on January 31, 2014 at 8:40 PM

…hmmmmm…NOPE!

KOOLAID2 on January 31, 2014 at 8:49 PM

WB never would’ve cast him. He was Sinestro in Green Lantern which tanked, so they probably feared putting him in another DC franchise.

Doughboy on January 31, 2014 at 7:20 PM

Strong was up for it when the sequel was going to be a straight-up Superman sequel, sans Batman.

WB panicked and decided to cross the two, then stuntcast the F out of this.

It’s a long, torrid story, but it all boils down to a new regime at WB whose scared crapless about not being able to match Disney/Marvel’s output, and the chance they were going to lose Affleck after Argo.

The movie is being made in a tornado of fear and anxiety. It’s destined to be a mega-money maker people like or despise. No one will love this.

budfox on January 31, 2014 at 8:55 PM

How far has the country fallen when it cannot even get a comic book movie right?

I’ll stay home and watch Heath’s tour de force for the 99th time, and it will still be 10 times better than Affleck dreck.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 31, 2014 at 9:09 PM

Sorry, but Lex Luthor is supposed to be a genius. Eisenberg has always looked kind of stupid to me. And then he speaks…..

Count Mahdrof on February 1, 2014 at 10:21 AM

Just watched “Man of Steel” and found it thoroughly underwhelming. It was a soulless, special effects laden monstrosity that managed to be both boring and manic at the same time. If you haven’t seen “Man of Steel” yet don’t bother. Watch Richard Donner’s “Superman”. Much better score, pacing, screenplay and acting.

Mike Honcho on February 1, 2014 at 11:37 PM

Mike Honcho on February 1, 2014 at 11:37 PM

I absolutely agree. Wish I had seen this review last week. I like Amy Adams and if her role was just a reporter she did good, but you need to be a little Margot Kidder crazy to be Lois.

Flange on February 1, 2014 at 11:44 PM