After all of the hubbub surrounding Warner Bros.' decision to move their new Superman flick from 2015 to 2016, the studio decided to drop this bomb on us as well.
For months now, the film community has speculated on who will play Lex Luthor in the upcoming Superman and Batman film. There were rumors that Joaquin Phoenix would take on the role. That seemed to be the most plausible casting choice as Phoenix had worked with Warner Bros. before on Her and the upcoming crime comedy Inherent Vice. But that ended up being a false lead, and Phoenix didn't get the role. Another actor who was rumored to play Luthor was Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston. Like Phoenix, Cranston has worked with Warner Bros. frequently on projects such as Argo and the upcoming flick Godzilla. In addition, Cranston already had gone bald for a role and had seen his fame rise since the end of Breaking Bad. However, Cranston didn't get the role either. The role of Lex Luthor actually went to an actor who nobody was even thinking of. Today, Warner Bros. announced that Jesse Eisenberg will be taking on the role of Lex Luthor in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel.
Eisenberg isn't an obvious choice. And while I have minimal interest in Batman vs. Superman, I do think that casting Eisenberg is a great move. At this point, I think that we can certify that Luthor isn't going to be the only villain in the film. He's just not a physical threat to Batman or Superman. But I think that Eisenberg can play the devious, menacing genius very well. It seems to be the only role that Eisenberg plays. However, he is a good actor and I thought that his performance was very good in The Social Network. This has been the only bit of casting news that has actually excited me about this film, so that's a good sign. People are already bashing this, but just remember, people bashed Heath Ledger as well. And we all know that his performance as The Joker was superb.
Warner Bros. also announced today that Jeremy Irons will be portraying Alfred in the film. That's solid casting. I really don't have any strong feelings about it. Irons is a good actor and I think that he'll do a great job. There's just one problem with it. And that is the fact that Michael Caine is permanently embedded into my mind as Alfred. He is my generation's Alfred. I can't change that. I know that Warner Bros. and Snyder are trying to differentiate from the Nolan films as much as possible, but I think that bringing back Michael Caine for this film wouldn't have been an awful thing. Anyways, that's just my opinion.
Let me know what you think about this casting in the comments below. I'm sure we haven't heard the last of Batman vs. Superman. An official title for the film would be nice.