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Looks like we are back at it talking about the ongoing development of upcoming Superman/Batman movie (now moved back to 2016). We should just make this movie a regular feature here at The Culture Cast.
Anyway, news hit earlier today of two big bits of casting for the film. Jesse Eisenberg is going to portray arch-villain Lex Luthor while Jeremy Irons will follow in Michael Caine’s footsteps as Alfred Pennyworth. Of course, the ever-rational fanboy community has been vocal with its opinion over this news. It seems that people are cool with the idea of Irons as Alfred, but there is an uproar over Eisenberg as Lex Luther. As of this writing, it was starting to reach Batfleck levels.
I’ll admit, when I think of Lex Luthor, Jessie Eisenberg would not be the first actor to spring to mind. I’ll also admit that I am not really a fan of the actor. Or rather, at least the characters he plays. He tends to deliver smug performances and line deliveries which position him to make him seem arrogant, obnoxious, and smarter than he actually is. I kind of find that to be grating, and it tends to be roles he continually gets (at least in the wake of The Social Network).
And that’s exactly describes how Lex Luthor has typically been portrayed in the comics for decades.
Eisenberg’s casting is really brilliant in that sort of way. This movie needs to have a modern take on the classic villain. Zack and I were texting back and forth about this today, and he commented that Eisenberg’s casting is completely outside of the box. It is, and in some ways I am still trying to wrap my head around it. The brilliant thing about casting outside of the box is that it gives the movie an unknown quantity. If the producers cast someone like the rumored Mark Strong, audiences probably would have known what they were getting into. Eisenberg is so unexpected that you can go pretty much anywhere with his Luthor. A really good comparison would be Heath Ledger as the Joker.
This movie might be terrific or a complete mess. Either way, it gets more and more interesting to me, and I, whether good or bad, I know it will at least be entertaining to watch. In the meantime, the fanboy outrage is getting pretty ridiculous at this point. They all know they are going to see this opening weekend. Let’s just cut the crap.
But if they even dare to cast someone other than Jonah Hill as Otis, I so so boycotting this movie!