If you know me at all, I don’t write movie news. Ever. I think you can get the “news” portion of it elsewhere and I like my review website to remain my “review” website, and I’m fine with that, but this is something I really thought I had to put out there. By now, you have all heard the news, because this news traveled fast. Jesse Eisenberg is playing Lex Luthor in the upcoming Batman/Superman movie. Since then, there has been quite a bit of speculation as to if that is a good or bad choice. What I’ve seen mostly is everyone is seriously shocked and confused at the news, but after a smidgen of thought, a lot of people have said…”well…I’m actually okay with this” for this reason or that. I, like the rest of the world sat in shock, but also horror at the news, being a huge fan of Superman. I’ve seen every movie several times, as well as the entire series of Smallville and Lois & Clark at least twice if not more. So excuse me for not sharing my excitement for this bold casting direction. I’d rather not spread false hope.
One of the main arguments in his favor is a direct comparison to Heath Ledger as the Joker. It’s true, when he was cast, people went ballistic, but it was a good choice. I’d rather argue in defense that this outburst of complaints was more comparable to when Ben Affleck was cast as Batman – which is really confusing, but they could actually do it right if by some miracle. People complained about Daredevil, but I liked it. It was one of the first more modern views of a dark superhero and he actually did well, and he did it in a way where I can see Batman under the hood somewhere. Jesse Eisenberg needs more than a miracle to become Lex Luthor, he needs years, height, and most importantly, a completely different attitude. Eisenberg is kind of that…established nerd type.
Excuse me…uh..Batman? Yeah, I just wanted to let you know…that I am really a fan of your work…and I am a fan because your work directly upsets my nemesis, which of course you know… is Superman. I was wondering…if you could get a chance to sit down for a…well…I would understand why you wouldn’t want to, busy life…but if you had the time, sit down with me and we could chat about destroying…you know…my nemesis…who is Superman. – My interpretation of Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor.
Yes, I am completely typecasting, but in my defense, Eisenberg has left little to believe he is capable of anything else. He is a brilliant actor and he does very well with his craft, but he is no Lex Luthor. Primarily because he is usually sarcastic, and sarcasm is something Lex Luthor has never had. Lex is straight to the point, but manipulative. He tells you exactly how it is just to see you squirm. He is authoritative, commanding, and direct. He has no fear of standing up to Superman, even though he is only human because he sees Superman’s inability to kill and he uses that as a weapon against him.
Let’s not forget that visually, Lex Luthor is tall, older than Superman, and bald. Who here really thinks that Jesse Eisenberg will shave his head for this role? I really doubt it. Here’s my theory – he will be another Lex Luthor with hair that Superman eventually causes him to go bald or something. Throughout though, he will have hair. Every single version of Lex that I’ve ever seen with hair – I have hated. That’s also not Lex Luthor. Everything that Eisenberg is exhudes “not Lex Luthor”.
Alternatively, Eisenberg could play a very good character all on his own. As a villain – he could play a smart whiz kid who hacks into networks and finds out Clark Kent’s real identity and puts that over his head, blackmailing him. We’ll call him WhizKid3000. Maybe give him a mask and a trident, and there you go. An amazing character that he could probably pull off really well, but that’s not Lex Luthor. Or hey, as a Superman character, how about JIMMY OLSEN? I know, Jimmy’s like…a girl or something in this series, but Eisenberg would have played the perfect Jimmy Olsen.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Irons is cast as Alfred. Okay, I can see that, but Irons would have been better suited as Lex Luthor…