While we continue to wait with bated breath for some official casting news concerning the new STAR WARS film, Warner Bros. has just dropped a bomb by announcing the casting of both Lex Luthor and Alfred in director Zack Snyder’s Batman-infused follow-up to MAN OF STEEL. The incredibly talented Jesse Eisenberg will be playing the villainous Luthor in the untitled Batman vs. Superman film, while Jeremy Irons will be assuming the role of Batman’s trusted companion Alfred.
Though Warner Bros. recently pushed the release date of BATMAN VS SUPERMAN from July 2015 to May 2016, production is still aiming to get underway in the next couple of months, and Snyder has now filled two big roles in the sequel. Academy Award nominee Jesse Eisenberg will play nemesis Lex Luthor to Henry Cavill’s Superman, while Oscar winner Jeremy Irons will fill the role of Alfred opposite Ben Affleck’s Batman. The younger-skewing casting of 30-year-old Eisenberg is a bit surprising seeing as how many were dream-casting the role with older actors like Bryan Cranston (novel idea: the actor doesn’t have to be bald to play Lex Luthor), but it makes sense given the age of Cavill and I think it’s an inspired choice; Luthor is cerebral and cunning, and I can see Eisenberg absolutely nailing the role.
Snyder had this to say about Eisenberg tackling his first franchise film:
“Lex Luthor is often considered the most notorious of Superman’s rivals, his unsavory reputation preceding him since 1940. What’s great about Lex is that he exists beyond the confines of the stereotypical nefarious villain. He’s a complicated and sophisticated character whose intellect, wealth and prominence position him as one of the few mortals able to challenge the incredible might of Superman. Having Jesse in the role allows us to explore that interesting dynamic, and also take the character in some new and unexpected directions.”
As for the role of Alfred, an older actor makes sense given that Affleck’s incarnation of Batman is planned as a seasoned veteran rather than another origin story. Snyder said the following with regards to Irons taking on the iconic role:
“As everyone knows, Alfred is Bruce Wayne’s most trusted friend, ally and mentor, a noble guardian and father figure. He is an absolutely critical element in the intricate infrastructure that allows Bruce Wayne to transform himself into Batman. It is an honor to have such an amazingly seasoned and gifted actor as Jeremy taking on the important role of the man who mentors and guides the guarded and nearly impervious façade that encapsulates Bruce Wayne.”
Affleck’s Oscar-winning ARGO scribe Chris Terrio is currently rewriting the screenplay for the untitled superhero pic based on an original draft from David S. Goyer, and with the casting of Eisenberg and Irons in addition to Affleck, Cavill, and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, it would appear that the bulk of the main roles in the highly anticipated DC movie have been filled. We still have quite a while to wait before we see any footage though, as the sequel will arrive in theaters on May 6, 2016.