In service to those who like DC superheroes and love to complain about casting decisions, Warner Bros. has been serving up a healthy platter of fresh outrage material with seemingly every new Batman vs. Superman casting announcement. Alongside Henry Cavill, who will reprise his role as Man of Steel‘s Clark Kent, the sequel will star Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Amazonian warrior Wonder Woman and Jesse Eisenberg as conniving businessman Lex Luthor.
Those three casting announcements have resulted in a collective 2387 comments (and counting) on Screen Rant, not all of which were expressions of excitement and satisfaction at the news. Other actors who have played the roles in the past have also been asked to comment on their successors before (see: former Wonder Woman Lynda Carter’s comments on Gadot’s casting) - including, most recently, Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey.
As the actor who most recently played Luthor on the big screen in Superman Returns, Spacey is pretty high on the list of people who were going to be asked their opinion of Eisenberg’s casting. He wasn’t at the top of the list – that honor went to Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville), who responded with a casual but confident, “Great actor, no problem with it.” In an interview with Empire, Spacey was somewhat more enthusiastic:
“I think [Jesse Eisenberg] is a remarkable actor. He’s just going to f**king own it. I think it’s a great idea and I wish him the best with it.”
Spacey is credited as an executive producer on The Social Network, but otherwise he and Eisenberg have never worked together. In the same interview he also made it clear that he’s not really interested in reprising his role as Luthor, and instead wants to “explore different terrain.” The way he’s doing this is by writing letters to directors he wants to work with to let them know he is available and interested. Spacey named Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese as just a couple of the filmmakers he hopes to collaborate with, and added that he set Allen up with a Netflix subscription, which was apparently enough to get him “on the list.”
As for Eisenberg, rumor has it that he could be playing a tattooed, street-toughened version of Lex Luthor, which could be… interesting. At the very least it might help him to move further away from the fast-talking, sarcastic nerd niche that he seems to fall into a lot.
If this pattern continues, we should be able to bring you Gene Hackman’s innermost thoughts on Jesse Eisenberg any day now. Stay tuned.
Batman vs. Superman arrives in theaters on May 6, 2016.