San Diego Comic-Con is an exciting time for movie fans, as several of the industry's biggest studios are typically on hand to discuss and show off footage of their most anticipated projects. There are several words that can be used to describe the atmosphere in Hall H, but "calm" is certainly not one of them. That doesn't seem to bother the attendees, as thousands of them will line up days in advance to gain access to a coveted panel.
However, the whirlwind of insanity can take a toll on the actors who are part of these films. Anyone who has a role in an upcoming comic book movie is going to be subject to a crazy amount of scrutiny, and Comic-Con is usually when that reaches a fever pitch. One can only imagine what it must be like to be on the stage, with a plethora of fans carefully dissecting every quote you say, every frame of footage that's shown. And it's something that the new Lex Luthor struggled with.
Jesse Eisenberg, who plays Lex in the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, spoke to the Associated Press about his Comic-Con experience. Eisenberg didn't mince words to describe his reaction to the whole affair. In fact, he made a rather startling comparison:
“It is like being screamed at by thousands of people. I don’t know what the experience is throughout history, probably some kind of genocide. I can’t think of anything that’s equivalent.”
It's understandable if Eisenberg had an unpleasant time in San Diego, but even those who sympathize with him have to admit that's a bit of a dark joke to make. Genocide is the mass murdering of an entire nationality or group of people. That's a little different than having DC Comics fans yell during a panel.
Eisenberg later clarified his original comparison between SDCC and 'genocide':
"Maybe on some cellular memory level, that's the only thing that seems like an equivalent social experience. Even if they're saying nice things, just being shouted at by thousands of people, it's horrifying."
It goes to show that different actors are going to have different reactions to the scene in Hall H. Guys like Robert Downey, Jr. and Hugh Jackman are natural born showmen and know how to work a crowd with their charisma and charm. On the other hand, Eisenberg seems like a more reserved individual, and it appears as if he was somewhat overwhelmed by Comic-Con. That's nothing against his talents as a thespian or his ability to play the Luthor part, it's just that maybe he's not the best fit for this type of event.
Eisenberg admitted as much, but he didn't exactly have a shining take on those who feel otherwise:
"Yeah, it's a mob. Yeah. They were one torch away from burning me. I'm a normal person with like normal reactions to things, so of course it's going to be terrifying. If you like that kind of thing and feed off of it in some way, you must have a miserable life."
When you look at Eisenberg's words, though, he does make an interesting point in regards to the relationship between the fans and the talent. Especially for someone who is not used to something the size of Comic-Con, it can be a daunting process (In addition to the panel, Eisenberg also took part in an autograph session on the show floor, which was likely no less unnerving.) Eisenberg nonetheless seemed a little glad that the Batman v Superman footage that was shown went over well:
"You know, but it's such an honor to be a part of the film. No, I mean everybody liked the movie. That was the important thing. The screaming was terrifying. ... We were on the kind of scary end of it."
As for those who're not so impressed by Eisenberg's attitude here: people are supposed to hate Lex Luthor, so a little built-in animosity isn't the worst thing in the world, in this case.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will be in theaters on March 25th, 2016; Suicide Squad on August 5th, 2016; Wonder Woman – June 23rd, 2017; Justice League – November 17th, 2017; The Flash – March 23rd, 2018; Aquaman – July 27th, 2018; Shazam – April 5th, 2019; Justice League 2 – June 14th, 2019; Cyborg – April 3rd, 2020; Green Lantern – June 19th, 2020.
Source: Associated Press