The fledgling DC Extended Universe is set to rapidly expand in 2016 with the release of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. Both of these films (scheduled to arrive in 2016) will introduce a multitude of new characters to the DC shared movie universe, rapidly setting the course for the first Justice League film to debut in 2017.
While the Suicide Squad will be examining the criminals of the universe, Batman V Superman is focused on the wider implications of superheroes in the modern world. The film will attempt to address themes like geopolitics without sacrificing the excitement inherent to these larger than life characters. Jesse Eisenberg, who will be playing Lex Luthor in BVS, has gone on the record a number of times to praise screenwriter Chris Terrio (Argo) and the film’s wide appeal.
Speaking with Vulture, Eisenberg shared some of his thoughts on the character of Lex Luthor and preparing for the role. He reiterated that prior to being cast in Batman V Superman, he hadn’t read many comic books. However, he believed this to be a good thing, as it prevented him from becoming a “obsequious comic book fan.” Plus, that gave him plenty of material to study prior to filming.
“There is this trove of stuff about this guy. A lot of it’s repetitive, like he always winds up on the roof of his building giving some faux benevolent talk about how he’s going to change the city. It’s fun to take that campy, cartoony stuff and try to put it into a real person and try to reconcile the two.”
Eisenberg went on to describe how his take on Luthor would be different than previous iterations.
“This movie is so different… It has real psychological underpinnings, and this movie character feels like a real scary person.”
Time and again, Eisenberg has indicated that this film will be a serious take on the characters. He wants his Lex Luthor to feel like a real person, somebody who could feasibly exist outside of a comic book film. Luckily, there are plenty of examples in the comics continuity where Luthor would fall in line with Eisenberg’s take on the character (Luthor by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo comes to mind).
Director Zack Snyder has indicated that Batman V Superman will offer a new look at the human aspects of Superman. There’s no better lens to examine Kal-El through than Lex Luthor himself. For all of their differences, the two share a similar goal – the betterment of the world. Examining the differences between these two characters could do a lot to build the shared DC universe and set the stage for inevitable future conflicts between their two points of view.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25th, 2016; Suicide Squad on August 5th, 2016; Wonder Woman on June 23rd, 2017; Justice League on November 17th, 2017; The Flash on March 23rd, 2018; Aquaman on July 27th, 2018; Shazam on April 5th, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14th, 2019; Cyborg on April 3rd, 2020; Green Lantern Corpson June 19th, 2020. Untitled Batman and Superman solo films will be coming at dates TBD.