‘Batman vs. Superman’: Jesse Eisenberg is Lex Luthor, Jeremy Irons is Alfred

Published 1 year ago by , Updated May 14th, 2014 at 12:51 pm,

batman superman jesse eisenberg lex luthor jeremy irons alfred Batman vs. Superman: Jesse Eisenberg is Lex Luthor, Jeremy Irons is Alfred

It seems that every major casting announcement made so far where it concerns the Man of Steel sequel – a.k.a. Batman vs. Superman, Man of Steel 2, and/or Zack Snyder’s Untitled Superman/Batman movie – has come out of left field, starting with Ben Affleck as Batman and going onto Gal Gadot (Fast & Furious 6) landing the role of Wonder Woman. The same holds true for some of the casting rumors, with lauded thespians like Joaquin Phoenix and Denzel Washington being name-dropped as possibilities (either somewhat plausible or completely far-fetched) to play Lex Luthor in the film.

Well, today we have a pair of legitimate (as in, official) casting announcement, after two months (we know, it felt longer than that) of increasingly wild Batman vs. Superman rumors, since Gadot was confirmed… and like those before it, we suspect a lot of people will be left pulling their jaws off the ground after first hearing these casting confirmations (well, except for maybe the guy who made this fake BvS trailer).

Warner Bros. has issued a press release that confirms not only Oscar-nominee Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) as Lex Luthor, but also Oscar-winner Jeremy Irons (Beautiful Creatures) as Bruce Wayne’s loyal butler, Alfred. Here is the official statement from Snyder, on the casting choices:

Snyder stated, “Lex Luthor is often considered the most notorious of Superman’s rivals, his unsavory reputation preceding him since 1940. What’s great about Lex is that he exists beyond the confines of the stereotypical nefarious villain. 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.”

The director added, “As everyone knows, Alfred is Bruce Wayne’s most trusted friend, ally and mentor, a noble guardian and father figure. He is an absolutely critical element in the intricate infrastructure that allows Bruce Wayne to transform himself into Batman. It is an honor to have such an amazingly seasoned and gifted actor as Jeremy taking on the important role of the man who mentors and guides the guarded and nearly impervious façade that encapsulates Bruce Wayne.”

Batman vs Superman Delayed to 2016 570x294 Batman vs. Superman: Jesse Eisenberg is Lex Luthor, Jeremy Irons is Alfred

The casting of Eisenberg as Luthor does make a certain amount of sense, when you step back and look at the bigger picture. While many fans were cheering for Bryan Cranston to land the role and bring some of his Heisenberg menace to the diabolical billionaire, it wasn’t just his age that made him a questionable selection – considering that Luthor will serve as the anti-thesis to Henry Cavill’s young Superman, by positioning himself as Earth’s savior to the destructive alien visitor in red and blue. Rather, to quote our own Kofi Outlaw, Cranston’s pronounced bi-polar shifts of Mr. White/Heisenberg” seem ill-fitting for the subdued, hyper-intelligent, charming and yet sociopathic Luthor – someone closer to the version of Mark Zuckerberg that Eisenberg played so well in The Social Network (to mention nothing of his fine work elsewhere).

As for Irons as Alfred, that’ll probably be an easier pill to swallow for many fans, since he’s proven himself as a solid mentor/sidekick type even in lackluster films (see: Eragon, Beautiful Creatures) – again, watch him “play” Alfred in the aforementioned fake Batman vs. Superman trailer. In all honesty, I’d be more concerned if Irons had been cast as Luthor, since the actor can be quite dignified yet threatening (see: Die Hard: With a Vengeance, etc.), but he’s also capable of hamming it up like there’s no tomorrow while playing the villain (see: Dungeons & Dragons).

[poll id="758"]


Batman vs. Superman is currently scheduled for theatrical release on May 6th, 2016.

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


1 2 3 14

Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Whoa that’s interesting

  2. Oh. My. God.

    …..and first.

    • youre second btw….

  3. The casting of this film is starting to become more interesting than the final product. Irons is a wonderful choice, Im on the fence about Jesse, but what the hell, if Gal Gadot can be cast, why not get an actual actor to play Luthor? Congrats WB! I cant wait.

    • Re: Jesse – get the feeling that he was the 2nd choice (after Phoenix, perhaps). However, I think he’ll be awesome.

      • personally, i would have much preferred if joaquin phoenix was lex luthor. but whats done is done and im sure jesse can be just as evil as luthor is.

  4. Wow… I did not see this one coming at all. I’m trying not to be negative, but it’s really hard to picture Jesse Eisenberg as Lex… Well, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt until the first trailer hits. Let’s hope they know what they’re doing.

    • Keep in mind that everybody felt the same way when it was announced that Heath Ledger was going to play the Joker and look how that turned out.

  5. This is probably one of the most hilarious and left field castings I’ve heard of in a long while. I honestly don’t know how to feel about this.

  6. lol. i love this guy, i think hes a great actor but as lex? lol… didnt see it coming. wasnt even in my mind

    • the guy is really nerdy but he doesnt have a mean look in him… who knows, maybe thats what they are going for. but he is small, skinny and looks young. he doesnt seem to be the one to go against superman. i cant even see him in the suit. i just wanna know how they are gonna use him now.

  7. WHo in the blue Hell is the casting director for this movie??! Seriously… Jesse is a great actor and all butt mann, this is defiantly came out of left field. Bad choice. Wayyy too young, even though he is 30. He still has that baby face.

    As for Alfred, I can dig it.

    • He’s 30????? He looks 19. I don’t like the way he comes off as such a smug little jerk in movies like Now You See Me and The Social Network but I’m sure he’ll do something different in this. Still wish Joaquin Phoenix was cast though.

    • That’s kind of my thoughts. I like Eisenberg as an actor, but I would think they’d want someone a bit more mature for the role of Lex Luthor. I don’t see how he makes sense given he’s supposed to be the head of a huge conglomerate and all that. I’m not completely against it because I’ve liked just about everything he’s been in, but really odd choice for the role. I think there should be a third option in the poll of “reserving judgement”.

  8. At this point, they are just throw in popular actors than taking the time to find the best actor for the part. Eisenberg as luthor? How is his awkward personality going to fit in with the cold and harsh demeanour of lex luthor.

    • I hardly think they are casting likeable actors lol, every casting choice they have made has been met with extreme negativity! Jeremy Irons as Alfred is the first time I’ve seen first commentors posting nice things.

  9. He proved he was a very likeable a-hole in the ‘Social Network’. I hope they buff him out big time, but whatever. We’ll see what happens. I can’t picture him being bald, though. . .

    • Wasn’t he more like passive-aggressive, bordering on autistic in The Social Network? The whole concept of getting back at his ex by putting up facebook screams infantile, puerile, butthurt to me. And he was undoubtedly the perfect choice to portray such a character.

      But he simply lacks the mysterious menace often diluted by silver-tongued promises Luthor is and should be known for. I can see Gadot braching out into wrestling sooner than Eisenberg losing his awkward demeanor and stuttering disposition.

      • Yeah, and it definitely was a “character” because Zuckerberg creating Facebook had absolutely nothing to do with getting back at an ex-girlfriend. In fact, there never was an ex-girlfriend. That was all made up. And it was more like borderline Asperger’s syndrome.

  10. You guys are blind, I saw this coming months ago. ;)

    • What do you see next so I can start preparing? LOL

      • Seriously lol

  11. Oh wow! This news actually gets me super excited for this movie. Eisenberg is a great young actor who definitely can be sophisticated mogul and think awesome evil genius. And Jeremy irons. That’s all I need to say. Lol. Can’t believe great news about the sequel and it already was one my most anticipated movies ever

  12. That’s him on the left? Isn’t he…..a kid? I thought he should at least be 10 years older than supes…

    Joaquin Phoenix for Commissioner Gordon.

  13. No judgment either way, but…

  14. Awaits inevitable s#!+storm of “terrible casting, money-grabbing, overcrowded, terrible prequel” from Marvel fanboys, people paid by Marvel, or people from SC trying to inflate hits because of comments…

    And here we go…

    • You play Starcraft too?

    • Sean P!!!!!!!!!

  15. Warner Brothers.

    I was with ya on Ben.
    I was, and am still, willing to give Gal a shot.
    But Jesse Eisenberg?

    At this point I think they are just doing everything in their power to be atypical. Could work, could backfire. We shall see.
    Make this work Warner Brothers.

  16. Michael Cain has done a ton of movies for the money. (He even jokes about it) I’m sure they could have got him for this.

    • The Dark Knight Trilogy is over.

      Let it go. Just enjoy the Blu-Rays.

      • And the truth shall set you free! :)

  17. I guess they’re gonna make Lex a kid prodigy.

  18. I dont know how i feel about Jesse playing Lex..

  19. You have got to be kidding me.

  20. OMG are you kidding me? I love Eisenberg in roles he can actually do justice to (even though “Now you see me” meant a departure from his trademark awkwardness, he managed to make that role his own as well) but I seriously doubt that he can fill these big, conniving, charismatic and ruthless shoes by any stretch of the imagination. I’m officially concerned about the quality of this cinematographic product.

    Irons is a magnificent choice though. I guess Snyder took a cue from soylentbrak1′s wonderful fantrailer but somehow overlooked Cranston (or Tucci). Although those haven been quite a few words, I’m speechless.

  21. Jesse Eisenberg is a curious choice although I’m not a the biggest fan of Jeremy Irons but he does have a cool voice so that might work out.

  22. Just when you think it couldn’t get any worse… I think this movie is going to be inadvertanly comedic.

  23. hmmm…this caught me off guard, he looks younger then Supes…i need time to process this with the Borg collective..

    • That’s what I was thinking. It’s a clever subversion if it works. A younger, prodigal Lex with a huge ego and a gargantuan sense of entitlement. Hates “the alien” because he’s better. ect. ect.

      • “younger, prodigal Lex with a huge ego and a gargantuan sense of entitlement. Hates “the alien” because he’s better. ect. ect.” …Exactly my thoughts well for millions is an obvious thing. Also he can play LEX for at least 3 films, that was the plan to cast a young actor which I`m OK with it. (A Nerdy LEX LUTHER)…like the sound of that !

  24. This is a very interesting move. I love Eisenberg but as Lex? I just don’t see it unless they plan on aging that baby face of his(even though the guy is 30). It does give run though to the rumor that Phoenix was the first choice but they had a “second choice that is going to be very unexpected”. I see Eisenberg as being very unexpected. Well, at least the guys have 2 years to get everyone on board. Maybe a teaser trailer around Superbowl of next year should help

  25. Im am laughing my ass off as i type this. This casting news is funnier then all of iron man 3.

    • I honestly thought it was april fools.

  26. I have not seen Eisenberg in anything so I have no idea what I could expect. But if he is a good actor like others suggest, I don’t see why he couldn’t “act” like Luthor convincingly. I’m sure he will be hitting the gym and adjusting his diet to fill out, just like Gadot.

    I am familiar with Irons and I like his casting.

  27. Ter-rib-le

  28. Ok, after initial kneejerk reaction, Eisenberg can be cold, calculating and arrogant. We’ll see I guess…

  29. this surprised the hell out of me but i am looking foward to see the trailer and if it looks good. i will see the movie. it all comes down to the final product. lets cross our fingers

1 2 3 14