Zack Snyder's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice will be the first time live-action versions of the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel have shared the big screen. As fans wonder how the battle between the two iconic heroes - Batman (Ben Affleck) and Superman (Henry Cavill) - will play out, much of Lex Luthor's (Jessie Eisenberg) role has remained a mystery. The actor has spoken a bit about the role, saying his character is "quite nasty" and condescending, and Warner Bros. is giving the classic villain's company, LexCorp, a big viral push - "LexCorp" even offered free Wi-Fi at New York Comic-Con 2015!
The Batman V Superman teaser trailer and San Diego Comic-Con 2015 trailer provided some hints about Lex Luthor's role. Fans know he's a villain and his presence is sure to be felt in the film, but to what degree? His name wasn't in BvS' first official synopsis, after all. Now, some new information hints at the obvious, but it's sure to keep fans speculating about the role Superman's arch nemesis will serve in DC and WB's next comic book movie.
Over on Odeon Cinemas' website, a new synopsis for Snyder's Batman v Superman has been posted. The company in the United Kingdom shared the synopsis which highlights the conflict between Batman and Superman, but it also points out that Lex Luthor will indeed be manipulating both of them "for his own twisted ends":
"At long last, see Batman and Superman square off against each other in 'Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice', an epic superhero showdown which will change both their lives forever.
Clark Kent doesn't trust Gotham's mysterious masked vigilante. Bruce Wayne doesn't trust the alien who nearly destroyed Metropolis. And Lex Luthor, who hates Superman more than anyone, is manipulating both of them for his own twisted ends.
Choose your side: the Man of Steel or the Dark Knight? Learn the answer to the age-old question - who would win? - in 'Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice'."
Obviously, Eisenberg's Luthor holding onto his character's manipulative nature is "no duh" news to many. No one is expecting Lex to be the good guy in BvS (although it wouldn't be odd for him to think he's the good guy), but knowing he's manipulating not only Superman, but also Batman - the world's greatest detective - is intriguing. How far will Luthor go to deceive the two? Is he pitting them against one another, or does he have separate plans for both? And why does he set his sights on Superman?
Luthor's hatred for Superman can change from version to version, but thanks to the teaser trailer and the viral marketing, some hints about the villain's motivation in Batman V Superman have already been released. In Lex Luthor's "interview" with Fortune Magazine, it's revealed that Lex's father is from Germany, and this could have made Lex skeptical about anyone who weilds great power and claims they're using it for the greater good. In the article, Lex states his father "came from a country where the government, in the guise of protector, had absolute control over the citizens" and adds that he'd "hate to see that sort of thing happen over here."
After the devastating final battle in Man of Steel, the videos - released so far, that is - for BvS show that humanity is divided on Superman. Some worship and admire him while others fear and hate him. The teaser trailer makes it clear that Luthor wants to turn humanity against Superman - a powerful being who claims to be a protector - when he states, "We know better now, don't we? The devils don't come from the Hell beneath us. No, they come from the sky." Is Luthor jealous that Superman's great power is something natural and not earned, unlike how hard his father worked to build their company? Does he believe Superman will eventually lash out against humanity and they need to be prepared for it? Maybe both of those things?
Luthor owns a "world-famous collection of meteorite crystals" and it's confirmed Kryptonite will play a role in Batman's fight with Superman. Meanwhile, the SDCC '15 trailer shows Batman fighting several gunmen, as well as a building that has been attacked and there's several bullet casings - and an injured guard - on the ground; the latter shot comes right after an establishing shot of LexCorp, too. Did Batman steal Kryptonite from Lex? If so, was that all part of Lex's plan to have these two heroes - two characters who he likely views as threats - eliminate one another? The idea doesn't seem very far-fetched, based on Luthor's line in the trailer ("Black and blue; God versus man; day versus night!").
As for the shot of Luthor standing in front of a kneeling Superman (a Zod reference, perhaps?), only time will tell if that's because Luthor has found a way to gain control over Superman's mind (brainwashing is common in hero vs. hero stories), he's using Kryptonite to weaken the hero and/or manipulating him with some convincing threats. Batman v Superman has a lot of its plate - Batman and Superman's dynamic, a hidden villain, Wonder Woman's introduction, an Aquaman cameo, further establishing a bigger universe - but one thing is apparent: Luthor is going to be deceptive and he's sure to be a thorn in Superman's - as well as Batman's - side.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25, 2016, followed by Suicide Squad on August 5, 2016; Wonder Woman on June 23, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17, 2017; The Flash on March 23, 2018; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League Part Two on June 14, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern on June 19, 2020. The Superman and Batman solo films have release dates TBD.
Source: Odeon Cinemas