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Jesse Eisenberg talks Lex Luthor role in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

Aug. 29, 2014by:

In an interview with Total Film, Jesse Eisenberg talked a bit about his Lex Luthor role in BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, and revealed something very interesting; apparently the actor hadn't seen any comic book movies before he joined the Zack Snyder film.

When Eisenberg was told about Heath Ledger's take on the Joker and how the character was used in THE DARK KNIGHT, his response was, "Oh, that's interesting, really interesting." The actor goes on to say he also doesn't read comic books, but did check out a few after he was cast as Lex Luthor, and watched "that movie with Gene Hackman."

Jesse Eisenberg also told Total Film he didn't take the role in BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE just for the paycheck.

My father always cautions me against thinking of something as a means to some other end, because then its irresponsible to the 'means' thing...They asked me if I wanted to play the part before they sent me the script. I'm not sure how it worked, but it's something I read with the understanding that I could do the role, If I... [stops] You know, they don't just hand the scripts out. But I really liked it on its own terms. I would do it if it was for free and it was tiny.

The actor has spoke with screenwriter Chris Terrio about playing Lex Luthor, and Eisenberg says it's a fascinating role.

There are some indications of how the character should behave based on the script, and then as actor makes it his or her own. I got to know one of the writers really well, Chris Terrio, and we were able to discuss things at length and figure out who this person is to create a real psychology behind what is, perhaps, in a comic book, a less than totally modern psychology. I can only say I've been asked to play an interesting role: a complicated, challenging person.

To me, the biggest wild card in BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE is Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor. We don't know how the character will be used or how he'll appear in the Zack Snyder film (although there have been rumors), and many fans aren't happy about Eisenberg playing the iconic villain. It'll be very interesting to see how fans react to his version of the character.

BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE will open on March 25, 2016.

Extra Tidbit: When do you think we'll get a first look at Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor?

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+0
12:35AM on 08/31/2014
I honestly don't appreciate what he just said, sounds jind of stupid actually, but I think he has the talent and attitude to knock this role out of the park and I believe he will. This is my most anticipated film of 2016!
I honestly don't appreciate what he just said, sounds jind of stupid actually, but I think he has the talent and attitude to knock this role out of the park and I believe he will. This is my most anticipated film of 2016!
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12:34AM on 08/31/2014
I honestly don't appreciate what he just said, sounds jind of stupid actually, but I think he has the talent and attitude to knock this role out of the park and I believe he will. This is my most anticipated film of 2016!
I honestly don't appreciate what he just said, sounds jind of stupid actually, but I think he has the talent and attitude to knock this role out of the park and I believe he will. This is my most anticipated film of 2016!
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12:21PM on 08/30/2014

C'mon guys . . .

Has anyone ever consider the possibility that he is trolling comic book fans? I have no doubt that he is aware of, what seems to be, the general consensus of opinions in his casting for this role.

Also, I'd be willing to bet that he has seen TDK. If he is serious about this role, I would bet that he has watched/read as much as possible to prepare for it.

Or, maybe you all are correct . . . Maybe he's a douche. But my Spidey senses are tingling, and I sense a troll.
Has anyone ever consider the possibility that he is trolling comic book fans? I have no doubt that he is aware of, what seems to be, the general consensus of opinions in his casting for this role.

Also, I'd be willing to bet that he has seen TDK. If he is serious about this role, I would bet that he has watched/read as much as possible to prepare for it.

Or, maybe you all are correct . . . Maybe he's a douche. But my Spidey senses are tingling, and I sense a troll.
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8:41AM on 08/30/2014

C'mon guys . . .

Has anyone ever consider the possibility that he is trolling comic book fans? I have no doubt that he is aware of, what seems to be, the general consensus of opinions in his casting for this role.

Also, I'd be willing to bet that he has seen TDK. If he is serious about this role, I would bet that he has watched/read as much as possible to prepare for it.

Or, maybe you all are correct . . . Maybe he's a douche. But my Spidey senses are tingling, and I sense a troll.
Has anyone ever consider the possibility that he is trolling comic book fans? I have no doubt that he is aware of, what seems to be, the general consensus of opinions in his casting for this role.

Also, I'd be willing to bet that he has seen TDK. If he is serious about this role, I would bet that he has watched/read as much as possible to prepare for it.

Or, maybe you all are correct . . . Maybe he's a douche. But my Spidey senses are tingling, and I sense a troll.
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3:19AM on 08/30/2014

FYI

Joss whedon came up with a wonderwoman script and wanted to star angelina Jolie as WW.His script was rejected.Not everything Whedon does is good.
Joss whedon came up with a wonderwoman script and wanted to star angelina Jolie as WW.His script was rejected.Not everything Whedon does is good.
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5:27AM on 08/31/2014
WTF are u talking about?
WTF are u talking about?
12:17AM on 08/30/2014

Wow

This guy just seems like the biggest pretentious douche...
This guy just seems like the biggest pretentious douche...
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1:47AM on 08/30/2014
"Seems like"? Haven't you ever wondered why he's so good in movies where he plays a pretentious douche?

Typecasting my [link]
"Seems like"? Haven't you ever wondered why he's so good in movies where he plays a pretentious douche?

Typecasting my [link]
7:56PM on 08/29/2014

Again

If Joss Whedon were directing this film all you guys would be jizzing over this. Obviously these actors aren't about to come out and badmouth the movie so long before its release, but the fact that Eisenberg and Affleck have openly praised the quality of the script actually fills me with optimism, given that the worst thing about MOS was it's lazy script.
If Joss Whedon were directing this film all you guys would be jizzing over this. Obviously these actors aren't about to come out and badmouth the movie so long before its release, but the fact that Eisenberg and Affleck have openly praised the quality of the script actually fills me with optimism, given that the worst thing about MOS was it's lazy script.
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10:16PM on 08/29/2014
Yes, if a gifted and trusted writer/director with a long and successful involvement in writing actual comics were behind this film, we would be excited for it.

What an odd thing to point out.
Yes, if a gifted and trusted writer/director with a long and successful involvement in writing actual comics were behind this film, we would be excited for it.

What an odd thing to point out.
10:45PM on 08/29/2014
If the guy in charge was someone you trusted, you'd trust him!
If the guy in charge was someone you trusted, you'd trust him!
3:18AM on 08/30/2014
Joss whedon came up with a wonderwoman script and wanted to star angelina Jolie as WW.His script was rejected.Not everything Whedon does is good.
Joss whedon came up with a wonderwoman script and wanted to star angelina Jolie as WW.His script was rejected.Not everything Whedon does is good.
11:39AM on 08/30/2014
Just because WB rejected his scrift doesn't mean it wasn't good. Infact his track record of writing strong female characters in central roles of comic books and comic book-like stories says it was possibly very good.
Just because WB rejected his scrift doesn't mean it wasn't good. Infact his track record of writing strong female characters in central roles of comic books and comic book-like stories says it was possibly very good.
+1
6:28PM on 08/29/2014
lol. No.
lol. No.
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-3
5:48PM on 08/29/2014
I'm convinced this will bomb creatively, but still make money, opening weekend alone. Once they shuffled to March, I think they're maximizing they're opening weekend and people won't have many other options if the word of mouth is bad, unlike summer where a new tentpole film is just around the corner. I actually liked the choice of Eisenberg, but it seems they don't know what they're doing with him. A trailer could change my mind and make me more optimistic, but as of now, feels like Warner
I'm convinced this will bomb creatively, but still make money, opening weekend alone. Once they shuffled to March, I think they're maximizing they're opening weekend and people won't have many other options if the word of mouth is bad, unlike summer where a new tentpole film is just around the corner. I actually liked the choice of Eisenberg, but it seems they don't know what they're doing with him. A trailer could change my mind and make me more optimistic, but as of now, feels like Warner knows they have a possible stinker....
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+2
4:33PM on 08/29/2014
Who are these people that have never picked up a comic book and refer to the classic Superman movie as that Gene Hackman movie? They act like the normal people are the freaks...no dude, you should know and understand who Lex Luthor is if only from osmosis. Jeez. So weird.
Who are these people that have never picked up a comic book and refer to the classic Superman movie as that Gene Hackman movie? They act like the normal people are the freaks...no dude, you should know and understand who Lex Luthor is if only from osmosis. Jeez. So weird.
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+0
3:30PM on 08/29/2014
Also, he sounds EXACTLY like his role in squid and the whale
Also, he sounds EXACTLY like his role in squid and the whale
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3:24PM on 08/29/2014
Also, he sounds EXACTLY like his role in squid and the whale
Also, he sounds EXACTLY like his role in squid and the whale
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+0
3:22PM on 08/29/2014
Remember this when the next F4 article comes out
Remember this when the next F4 article comes out
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5:15PM on 08/30/2014
Lol
Lol
3:20PM on 08/29/2014
Gotta give him the chance to prove himself with the role. There's no need to be a fan of something to act a performance in a movie effectively. There's a chance he'll catch us off guard and will give us something unexpectedly great with this role - I think you can reinvent Luthor's character a bit without destroying what makes his obsession with Superman compelling.
Gotta give him the chance to prove himself with the role. There's no need to be a fan of something to act a performance in a movie effectively. There's a chance he'll catch us off guard and will give us something unexpectedly great with this role - I think you can reinvent Luthor's character a bit without destroying what makes his obsession with Superman compelling.
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3:31PM on 08/29/2014
Which is the same attitude ppl should have with f4
Which is the same attitude ppl should have with f4
2:38PM on 08/29/2014
Not really sure why anyone who loves the art of acting on film wouldn't have taken a couple hours out of their hectic schedule to watch Heath Ledger's ground-breaking and ultimately tragic performance as the Joker. Not saying it makes Eisenberg a bad guy, a bad actor or the wrong choice for Lex. But damn.
Not really sure why anyone who loves the art of acting on film wouldn't have taken a couple hours out of their hectic schedule to watch Heath Ledger's ground-breaking and ultimately tragic performance as the Joker. Not saying it makes Eisenberg a bad guy, a bad actor or the wrong choice for Lex. But damn.
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3:32PM on 08/29/2014
1st thing I thought
1st thing I thought
2:35PM on 08/29/2014

This Will Be Terrible...

A friend of mine is working on the film's VFX, and according to him this movie will be terrible. Apparently the way they are introducing Batman into Superman's world is horrible written, and an awful idea overall.
A friend of mine is working on the film's VFX, and according to him this movie will be terrible. Apparently the way they are introducing Batman into Superman's world is horrible written, and an awful idea overall.
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4:29PM on 08/29/2014
There's just way too much talent involved for the movie to be terrible.
There's just way too much talent involved for the movie to be terrible.
5:42PM on 08/29/2014
Too much talent to not suck? Everyone involved has had misfires, Synder and Affleck especially.
Too much talent to not suck? Everyone involved has had misfires, Synder and Affleck especially.
1:59AM on 08/30/2014
Too much talent to be terrible......let's see......

Samuel Jackson
Liam Neeson
Ewan McGregor
Natalie Portman
Ian McDiarmid
Terence Stamp
Ray Park
Keira Knightly

Yeah, Phantom Menace must have been a great movie and I obviously missed it.....
Too much talent to be terrible......let's see......

Samuel Jackson
Liam Neeson
Ewan McGregor
Natalie Portman
Ian McDiarmid
Terence Stamp
Ray Park
Keira Knightly

Yeah, Phantom Menace must have been a great movie and I obviously missed it.....
5:20PM on 08/30/2014
Lmao, nice one des. Although Phantom Menace could have been much better, I didnt think it was as awful as most try to say it is. Jar Jar is the most annoying character everput on screen, but the fight scenes and the race are pretty badass!
Lmao, nice one des. Although Phantom Menace could have been much better, I didnt think it was as awful as most try to say it is. Jar Jar is the most annoying character everput on screen, but the fight scenes and the race are pretty badass!
+0
12:29PM on 08/29/2014

Too soon to say

There are many people saying that this is terrible casting, I neither agree nor disagree. It's just not fair to say that without the final product. Watched the damn movie or at least the full trailer, then have at him.
There are many people saying that this is terrible casting, I neither agree nor disagree. It's just not fair to say that without the final product. Watched the damn movie or at least the full trailer, then have at him.
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12:11PM on 08/29/2014

Very Strange

During times like these, it's strange for a guy his age to have NEVER seen a comic book movie. Very strange. Even gay guys see these movies. The hell is wrong with him?
During times like these, it's strange for a guy his age to have NEVER seen a comic book movie. Very strange. Even gay guys see these movies. The hell is wrong with him?
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1:30PM on 08/29/2014
"Even Gay guys"?

WTF is wrong with you?
"Even Gay guys"?

WTF is wrong with you?
4:24PM on 08/29/2014
Sorry, I meant fags.
Sorry, I meant fags.
6:08PM on 08/29/2014
LOL
Well done bible belt troll!
LOL
Well done bible belt troll!
4:16AM on 08/30/2014
You talking about smokes or a bundle of sticks? That's in reply to your post below referring to gays as fags... Ass backwards bigot.

Pssst... I'll let you in on a secret... many, and I mean many, of the actors, directors, producers and writers you enjoy watching movies from are gay and you wouldn't even know it.
You talking about smokes or a bundle of sticks? That's in reply to your post below referring to gays as fags... Ass backwards bigot.

Pssst... I'll let you in on a secret... many, and I mean many, of the actors, directors, producers and writers you enjoy watching movies from are gay and you wouldn't even know it.
5:31PM on 08/30/2014
How does sexual orientation determine whether or not someone likes or dislikes an entire genre of film? I'm curious as to your reasoning, because to be honest it seems your ignorance is overshadowed only by your immaturity.
How does sexual orientation determine whether or not someone likes or dislikes an entire genre of film? I'm curious as to your reasoning, because to be honest it seems your ignorance is overshadowed only by your immaturity.
11:14AM on 08/29/2014
He's a better actor than Michael Rosenbaum BUT Michael Rosenbaum knew the character. We'll see.
He's a better actor than Michael Rosenbaum BUT Michael Rosenbaum knew the character. We'll see.
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11:13AM on 08/29/2014
Unlike Affleck or Gadot, Eisenberg is a solid actor with some range. He's a terrible choice for Lex, but he will without a doubt deliver a believable character.
Unlike Affleck or Gadot, Eisenberg is a solid actor with some range. He's a terrible choice for Lex, but he will without a doubt deliver a believable character.
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3:27PM on 08/29/2014
Jesse has more range than Affleck? Name one movie where he hasn't played a version of Woody Allen?
Jesse has more range than Affleck? Name one movie where he hasn't played a version of Woody Allen?
11:12AM on 08/29/2014
Led Luthor the good guy?

I always imagined the perfect lex Luthor as starting out as a good guy. Someone who wants humanity to build a better world for themselves. He sees Superman as a crutch and trying to sway the public against him and then trying to take him down ultimately drives him mad. He despritely wants to build a better world and is obsessed that superman is standing in the way of that. The other interesting thing about Luthor would be why he is a match for superman. Superman can
Led Luthor the good guy?

I always imagined the perfect lex Luthor as starting out as a good guy. Someone who wants humanity to build a better world for themselves. He sees Superman as a crutch and trying to sway the public against him and then trying to take him down ultimately drives him mad. He despritely wants to build a better world and is obsessed that superman is standing in the way of that. The other interesting thing about Luthor would be why he is a match for superman. Superman can only do truth and justice, Luthor is so influention, rich, and smart that Superman would never be able to charge him of a crime, even though he knows Luthor is the puppet master. I think an entire movie based on the psychological complexities of Luthor would work really well. That's the Luthor I wanna see done. Someone would sees himself as doing good and is smarter than superman.

Eisenberg is a talented actor, an interesting choice to cast. It could work, I have high expectations from this movie and will wait to see it before I say anything about it is a bad idea.
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10:57AM on 08/29/2014
After bitching about Hedger being cast as the Joker (though not bitching as strong as some people) and wanting Mark Hamill to play the part as he was the definitive Joker in DCAU, we came to praise Leger's performance as the best part of the movie. I haven't seen all of Eisenberg's movies, particularly some of the ones that could lend credence to his portrayal of Luthor but I'm willing to see how this turns out.

Cranston and Spacey would have been interesting choices but I suspect given the
After bitching about Hedger being cast as the Joker (though not bitching as strong as some people) and wanting Mark Hamill to play the part as he was the definitive Joker in DCAU, we came to praise Leger's performance as the best part of the movie. I haven't seen all of Eisenberg's movies, particularly some of the ones that could lend credence to his portrayal of Luthor but I'm willing to see how this turns out.

Cranston and Spacey would have been interesting choices but I suspect given the number of movies DC wants to do that they want a younger actor growing with the character. I'm hoping Luthor doesn't play a significant part in BvS: DOJ and will be a character arc in later movies playing a bigger and more important part. I'm sort of thinking about the DCAU Luthor and how he progressed from just a business man through to the green suit wearing Legion of Doom involvement.
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3:35PM on 08/29/2014
There is no DCAU is there? There's just DC animated movies?
There is no DCAU is there? There's just DC animated movies?
8:47PM on 08/29/2014
The DCAU comprises the following animated series: Batman the animated series/The new Batman Adventures, Superman the animated series, Batman Beyond, Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.
The DCAU comprises the following animated series: Batman the animated series/The new Batman Adventures, Superman the animated series, Batman Beyond, Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.
3:32AM on 08/30/2014
we also have to mention Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Keaton (who was a comedian before becoming batman
we also have to mention Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Keaton (who was a comedian before becoming batman
10:54AM on 08/29/2014
Would he be my first pick for the character? Of course not. Are there valid reasons for all the doubts as to his capability to play Luthor? Sure. But could he deliver goods? He just might, seeing as he did get an Oscar nomination for playing a character who was written pretty much as a supervillain.
Would he be my first pick for the character? Of course not. Are there valid reasons for all the doubts as to his capability to play Luthor? Sure. But could he deliver goods? He just might, seeing as he did get an Oscar nomination for playing a character who was written pretty much as a supervillain.
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10:39AM on 08/29/2014
I am always strangely troubled when actors or actresses take on roles like this and have no history of comic book movies or comic book interests. On the one hand they will approach the character fresh and give the character genuine human motivations. But on the other hand they are almost unqualified, having no stake in the character beyond the paycheck. If you followed Lex Luthor for many years and see how others have portrayed him, how he has been written by various writers it gives you
I am always strangely troubled when actors or actresses take on roles like this and have no history of comic book movies or comic book interests. On the one hand they will approach the character fresh and give the character genuine human motivations. But on the other hand they are almost unqualified, having no stake in the character beyond the paycheck. If you followed Lex Luthor for many years and see how others have portrayed him, how he has been written by various writers it gives you many more ways to approach a character. I actually think the best piece of casting for this film is Affleck. We'll see. Right now I am neutral on Eisenberg but a bit skeptical. I think he is a very good actor. I just don't know if he is right for Lex Luthor.
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10:36AM on 08/29/2014
I still think it's a shame Kevin Spacey's shot at Lex was with the disappointing Superman Returns. Spacey was born to play Lex Luthor, and could have easily seen him over shadowing Henry Cavill and Ben Affeck.

For all the negativity about the casting of Affleck and Gadot - for me THIS is the casting where Snyder and co dropped the ball.
I still think it's a shame Kevin Spacey's shot at Lex was with the disappointing Superman Returns. Spacey was born to play Lex Luthor, and could have easily seen him over shadowing Henry Cavill and Ben Affeck.

For all the negativity about the casting of Affleck and Gadot - for me THIS is the casting where Snyder and co dropped the ball.
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10:22AM on 08/29/2014
Can't agree anymore with The_Soloist about this casting... hiring him even before sending a script over, are you kidding me. Snyder and DC should have gone with everyone's logical choice, Bryan Cranston.
Can't agree anymore with The_Soloist about this casting... hiring him even before sending a script over, are you kidding me. Snyder and DC should have gone with everyone's logical choice, Bryan Cranston.
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3:27AM on 08/30/2014
why?because bryan cranston was bald?yu can't cast an old guy in a young guy's role.The script has a young Lex.
why?because bryan cranston was bald?yu can't cast an old guy in a young guy's role.The script has a young Lex.
10:18AM on 08/29/2014
In some ways I think he'll be great for the role, but the statements by him made in the article above just gives me doubt and that DC screwed up big time when casting one of their most iconic villains.
In some ways I think he'll be great for the role, but the statements by him made in the article above just gives me doubt and that DC screwed up big time when casting one of their most iconic villains.
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3:25AM on 08/30/2014
more like WB screwing it up.
more like WB screwing it up.
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