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Jesse Eisenberg talks Lex Luthor; was originally up for different BvS role

01.08.2016

In just a few short months, Batman (Ben Affleck) and Superman (Henry Cavill) will throw down on the big-screen in one of the most anticipated movies of the year. Even with that super-heroic showdown, BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE won't arrive without a few iconic villains, including Superman's customary foe, Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg). We've already seen several great actors tackle the role of Luthor but Jesse Eisenberg spoke with The LA Times and revealed that he'll be bringing us something different with his portrayal.

When you're doing a movie like this and playing a character that's already been played, the further away it is from those previous incarnations the better, because chances are, especially with a guy like Gene Hackman or Kevin Spacey, you're not going to get favorably compared.

Jesse Eisenberg went on to discuss what drew him to the role of Luthor and how the character really views the Man of Steel.

[Luthor] has a back story that's tragic and an emotional inner life that's authentic. That's in the movie. It was my interest in playing the character with a real emotional core, and this writer, Chris Terrio's interest in creating a character that seemed viable in reality. To call him self-aggrandizing is to say that the Titanic was a sailboat, he is a narcissist of the first order but complicated in that way as well in that he is terribly troubled and competitive and vengeful. He looks at Superman not as somebody to destroy but as genuine threat to humanity.

I know that there are a few BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE fans out there who are still questioning whether Jesse Eisenberg was the correct choice for Lex Luthor, but I'm quite interested to see what he does with the role, especially if he really does give us something which stands apart from what Gene Hackman and Kevin Spacey did. One notable change with the character which we can already see is that Eisenberg's Luthor isn't quite as follicularly challenged as his predecessors, at least at first. Jesse Eisenberg hinted that we'll see that transition in the film, saying "when you see the movie, you'll see. It's the greatest scene that I've ever gotten to take part in — it accounts for the change in hair." Director Zack Snyder always wanted Eisenberg to be a part of the film, but he originally approached the actor with another part. Eisenberg wouldn't say what the role was, only that it "was the exact opposite of Lex Luthor." Jimmy Olsen perhaps? Eisenberg turned the role down so Snyder came back with something "cooler."

BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE hits theaters on March 25, 2016.

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Source: The LA Times

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7:13AM on 01/10/2016
Guess we'll see what we see with his portrayal of Luthor. They can't really afford such a significant character to be a major weak link in the film. As for the hair issue, there's plenty of precedent for Luthor having his hair-loss being linked to Superman in some way, his vanity being a part of his hatred, so I'll wait to see how it plays out. Eisenberg is one of the elements that worries me about the film, but I'll give him a chance and hope they've made the right choice. Different isn't
Guess we'll see what we see with his portrayal of Luthor. They can't really afford such a significant character to be a major weak link in the film. As for the hair issue, there's plenty of precedent for Luthor having his hair-loss being linked to Superman in some way, his vanity being a part of his hatred, so I'll wait to see how it plays out. Eisenberg is one of the elements that worries me about the film, but I'll give him a chance and hope they've made the right choice. Different isn't always bad, after all.
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1:54AM on 01/10/2016
So his hair gets an origin story? Seriously? He couldn't just be a bald man, like the millions of bald men out there, he has to have an entire subplot to explain the tragic loss of his hair? If this isn't any indication of the kind of convoluted mess that this movie is going to be then I don't know what is.
So his hair gets an origin story? Seriously? He couldn't just be a bald man, like the millions of bald men out there, he has to have an entire subplot to explain the tragic loss of his hair? If this isn't any indication of the kind of convoluted mess that this movie is going to be then I don't know what is.
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9:27AM on 01/09/2016
They knew they would never compete with Hackman and Spacey, so they got a dumbass to do it.
They knew they would never compete with Hackman and Spacey, so they got a dumbass to do it.
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3:19AM on 01/09/2016
Jesse's work in The Double shows his ability to tap into the darker elements of his personality and he proved he can have both swag and arrogance in Now You See Me. I'm certain he's gonna blow us all away.
Jesse's work in The Double shows his ability to tap into the darker elements of his personality and he proved he can have both swag and arrogance in Now You See Me. I'm certain he's gonna blow us all away.
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7:53PM on 01/08/2016

He still sucks.....

He's played a stoner or a narcissistic hipster douche in every film he's ever done (except Zombieland), and there's no evidence in his history of acting that demonstrates he has the slightest skill to pull this off. Add to that the extended trailer which was cringe-worthy bad and I'm just hoping BvS survives DESPITE his participation.

It's really a shame that we had a badly written Luthor with two great actors, and now will have a crap actor who will suck no matter what the writing
He's played a stoner or a narcissistic hipster douche in every film he's ever done (except Zombieland), and there's no evidence in his history of acting that demonstrates he has the slightest skill to pull this off. Add to that the extended trailer which was cringe-worthy bad and I'm just hoping BvS survives DESPITE his participation.

It's really a shame that we had a badly written Luthor with two great actors, and now will have a crap actor who will suck no matter what the writing quality.
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8:08PM on 01/08/2016
I am not giving up yet. What you just said, about the roles all being the same are spot on. Which makes me curious as to why he got this role. He must have blown their doors off in his audition.
A movie this giant, can't take a risk on the main villain. I'm hoping Zack Snyder saw something. Christopher Nolan is executive producer on this, so I am sure he had his say. And he took a gamble with Heath Ledger, so maybe they will surprise us. Who would have though Robin Williams would make a
I am not giving up yet. What you just said, about the roles all being the same are spot on. Which makes me curious as to why he got this role. He must have blown their doors off in his audition.
A movie this giant, can't take a risk on the main villain. I'm hoping Zack Snyder saw something. Christopher Nolan is executive producer on this, so I am sure he had his say. And he took a gamble with Heath Ledger, so maybe they will surprise us. Who would have though Robin Williams would make a creepy villain? Ledger would win an Oscar? Danny Devito as the Penguin? Robert Redford works for Hydra? Phillip Seymour Hoffman as the baddie in MI:3?
I dunno...hopefully it works out. For all those ones that worked, there are several ones that didn't. Like I said, I'm hoping they see something that we haven't seen yet!
10:50PM on 01/08/2016
ufcro Nolan had literally nothing to do with this movie. This is all Snyder and Snyder a total hack. He destroyed superman and he's about to destroy all of DC. It's heartbreaking for me, but it's the truth. Here's to a vacuous story, told in a dark, claustrophobic box with tight shots on explosions and undecipherable action and destruction. This is like DC for nickleback fans
ufcro Nolan had literally nothing to do with this movie. This is all Snyder and Snyder a total hack. He destroyed superman and he's about to destroy all of DC. It's heartbreaking for me, but it's the truth. Here's to a vacuous story, told in a dark, claustrophobic box with tight shots on explosions and undecipherable action and destruction. This is like DC for nickleback fans
10:52PM on 01/08/2016
"This is like DC for nickleback fans"

That is one of the best lines I've seen! LMFAO.....
"This is like DC for nickleback fans"

That is one of the best lines I've seen! LMFAO.....
1:34PM on 01/09/2016
He's listed as executive producer. So, I think he has SOMETHING to do with it. Maybe not much, but I would imagine he's involved in things such as casting.
He's listed as executive producer. So, I think he has SOMETHING to do with it. Maybe not much, but I would imagine he's involved in things such as casting.
7:15PM on 01/08/2016
Anticipating this one greatly, but he's still the one big question mark for me at this point. Would have loved to have seen someone more beloved in the titular role; someone like Tom Cruise or Tom Hanks would have been really exciting to see.
Anticipating this one greatly, but he's still the one big question mark for me at this point. Would have loved to have seen someone more beloved in the titular role; someone like Tom Cruise or Tom Hanks would have been really exciting to see.
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