When Batman V Superman was first announced at San Diego Comic-Con 2013, few fans would have predicted the sheer amount of controversial casting decisions that would follow. In spite of successful performances from Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, and Jesse Eisenberg in the past, fans flipped when Warner Bros. unveiled the casting of Batman, Wonder Woman, and Lex Luthor, respectively - and many remain unconvinced, to this day, that Snyder already doomed the DC Extended Universe before it ever got off the ground. A lot of future ticket buyers have slowly warmed up to Ben Affleck suited up as Batman (and Bruce Wayne) and new footage of Gal Gadot saving the day in Batman V Superman's "Doomsday" trailer went a long way in convincing moviegoers that the former Fast and Furious actress is going to deliver as Wonder Woman (and Diana Prince); yet, Eisenberg's Lex Luthor remains a question mark - one that, according to Snyder himself, is much scarier than the shots featured in the marketing thus far.
Everyone involved in the production claim that the Luthor of Batman V Superman is more nuanced, and deadlier, than the twisted Mark Zuckerberg-riff that "loves bringing people together." As the film draws closer, it won't be that much longer before we know whether this unconventional take on Superman's arch-enemy works or not; however, in the meantime, fans might be interested to hear that Eisenberg didn't originally audition for Luthor, he was up for an entirely different Dawn of Justice character first.
Tucked away in today's LA Times report, in which Snyder teased Eisenberg's "super-scary" supervillain, the Batman V Superman director also revealed The Social Network actor had passed on playing a different character in the film. It wasn't until Snyder returned to Eisenberg with the idea of playing Luthor that the actor joined Batman V Superman.
Check out an excerpt from the interview below:
Despite Eisenberg's empathetic connection to Luthor, "Batman v Superman" director Zack Snyder originally approached the actor for another part in the film. Snyder won't reveal that character. "Let's call it a secret, but nevertheless it was the exact opposite of Lex Luthor," Snyder said, taking a break on the phone from drawing "Justice League" Aquaman in his storyboards. After Eisenberg declined, Snyder went back and offered him something "cooler," the role of Luthor.
Who exactly was this secret character? A character that is both "cooler" and the "exact opposite" of Lex Luthor? Given the sheer amount of cast members in Batman V Superman (as it lays the groundwork for Justice League) coupled with Snyder's vague description, it's hard to know for sure - especially since we're still waiting on official confirmation of who several well-known actors will be playing.
Since the character is the "opposite" of Luthor, it's safe to assume that Eisenberg was up for one of Batman V Superman's more virtuous players and the suggestion that the actor wasn't interested in the original role (one that, by comparison, wasn't as "cool" as Luthor) means it's unlikely that Eisenberg was offered a part as big or iconic as The Flash. Those two parameters narrow the list of possibilities down to the characters played by Scoot McNairy, Callan Mulvey, or Jena Malone - depending on who those remaining three actors are actually playing.