With Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice headed to theaters next year, marketing for the film is underway with a new viral campaign finding its way to Fortune. This new piece of marketing reveals some key information about Lex Luthor and the position of LexCorp in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU).
When Jesse Eisenberg was cast as Lex Luthor, the decision received mixed reactions from fans, as the actor did not resemble the big, commanding figure that’s prominent in DC’s comic books and animated TV shows. Along with the news that this Luthor was more of a tech genius (similar to Eisenberg’s role as Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network), it would seem the character would be undergoing some significant changes.
In keeping with his tech image, though, BvS has opened a Twitter account for Luthor, who tweeted out the Fortune article and included a new photo of the character as well as the LexCorp logo:
— Lex Luthor (@alexanderluthor) October 5, 2015
The viral content is focused on giving readers some information about the character's backstory. As a paid content article on Fortune, "Lex Luthor Jr.: Not Just His Father’s LexCorp" reveals that Eisenberg’s Luthor transformed the company into what it is today after his father died. Most interesting is how the article glosses over the fate of Luthor Sr., briefly referring to him as the "East German émigré, who passed away unexpectedly in 2000."
The article takes a moment to focus on the elder Luthor's accomplishments, mentioning how the company he built was focused more on "oil" and "heavy machinery" -- which is meant to be a stark contrast to what his son has turned the company into. On a personal level, however, there seems to be a lack of emotion in young Lex's words, as he describes his father as a “complicated guy” before discussing his motivations:
“He came from a country where the government, in the guise of protector, had absolute control over the citizens. That drove him. I get it. Heck, I’d hate to see that sort of thing happen over here.”
It's not too hard to imagine who Lex might be talking about, using the phrase "in the guise of protector," which should give the audience a clue as to how he's going to view a character like Superman arriving on the scene. Before too long, though, the article's focus shifts back to Lex and his role of CEO of LexCorp:
“Partly, the success of this young company comes from Luthor’s willingness to go where Wayne fears to tread. Wayne Enterprises has shied away from military contracts in the last decade.”
With military contracts and suspicion of over-powered protectors, Lex Luthor seems ready to rise into his position as Superman’s ultimate foe -- if not necessarily a cut-and-dried villain. It will be interesting to see not only how Eisenberg portrays the tech genius onscreen, but also how his role as antagonist unfolds. After the destruction of Metropolis, brought about by Superman's brouhaha with Zod and the other Kryptonians, it makes sense for someone like Luthor to capitalize on the planet's very justifiable fear of unstoppable aliens swooping by to level a few cities on their tour of the galaxy.
Given the overt comparison to Wayne Enterprises in the viral piece, it would seem the film could possibly set Luthor's intentions as something not unlike Batman's -- that is, he wants to find a way to keep what happened to Metropolis from happening again. Then again, Lex may see the power that Superman wields and think it should ultimately rest in the hands of someone more deserving. Someone named one of "the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders," perhaps? At any rate, we've only a few months to wait in order to find out.
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.