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Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor will be more than "silly and villainous"

06.19.2015

I think it's safe to say that casting Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor in BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE would not have been the first choice for many of us, but I remain hopeful that Eisenberg will at the very least give us a Lex Luthor which will stand apart from his predecessors. Fan expectations surrounding a role like this are a powerful thing, but Jesse Eisenberg isn't letting any of that bother him:

The expectations that I have are never the same expectations that an audience has, I don’t have expectations for myself to adhere to a comic book character, but a lot of people are interested in how I would coincide with the comic book character. But it couldn’t be farther from my mind, because I’m just playing a role… It’s a really great character that’s written by this guy, Chris Terrio, he’s a phenomenal writer… He loves my character in the same way I love my character. He put a lot of work into it. It’s a great character, there’s an emotional core to the character. It’s not this silly, villainous character. This is a real depiction of a person who thinks these things. So the challenge is to make it seem real.

Gene Hackman owned the role of Lex Luthor for so long that comparisons will always be made with anyone who takes on the role; MTV asked Eisenberg whether he had Hackman's performance on his mind at all in terms of purposefully going a different way or taking any sort of inspiration:

No, that’s an entirely different thing, also the tone of that movie is so different, that movie wouldn’t be made that way now. The way we expect movies to be now, which is for the best probably, we expect there to be some kind of psychological accuracy. That the person is coming from a place that’s probably diagnosable in some ways. This is not [a winking, knowing movie], this is a real depiction of a person who thinks these things.

To sum it all up I suppose we can draw the conclusion that Jesse Eisenberg's take on Lex Luthor will be as dark and as gritty as the rest of the new DC cinematic universe; and here I was thinking that he'd be spending the majority of BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE plotting to steal those forty cakes.

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

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Extra Tidbit: I watched THE CONVERSATION last night and it got me thinking about how much I miss Gene Hackman. Why did you have to go out with WELCOME TO MOOSEPORT Hackman, why?
Source: MTV

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2:23PM on 06/23/2015
You guys need to get over yourselves. He is an actor, and he was given a specific role to play. It is the job of the director and screenwriter to make certain he is bringing this character to life. He doesn't need to read 80 plus years of this character to be fumbling around in his head while he's trying to remain focused on the character that he was HIRED to play.
You guys need to get over yourselves. He is an actor, and he was given a specific role to play. It is the job of the director and screenwriter to make certain he is bringing this character to life. He doesn't need to read 80 plus years of this character to be fumbling around in his head while he's trying to remain focused on the character that he was HIRED to play.
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9:12AM on 06/20/2015

He annoys me

Every movie he's in, he's just a fast-talking, mumbling ball of annoying vapidity. I can see him being the "fast-talking genius" as Lex. But for me, he's a bad choice. Will I be proven wrong? Well, from what I have seen and heard so far about this movie, I have little to no faith in wasting my time on it.
Every movie he's in, he's just a fast-talking, mumbling ball of annoying vapidity. I can see him being the "fast-talking genius" as Lex. But for me, he's a bad choice. Will I be proven wrong? Well, from what I have seen and heard so far about this movie, I have little to no faith in wasting my time on it.
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9:09AM on 06/20/2015

Tidbit

More than Sean Connery, or any other retired actor, I really do miss Gene Hackman. Still one of my favorite actors of all time. The increasingly diverse roles available for older actors makes me think his fear of being typecast might have been slightly exaggerated at the time.
More than Sean Connery, or any other retired actor, I really do miss Gene Hackman. Still one of my favorite actors of all time. The increasingly diverse roles available for older actors makes me think his fear of being typecast might have been slightly exaggerated at the time.
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5:22AM on 06/20/2015
Got to love an actor that says he totally disregards all source material on an established character. Guess we know how much research he does, zilch.
Got to love an actor that says he totally disregards all source material on an established character. Guess we know how much research he does, zilch.
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10:52PM on 06/19/2015

The "Ledger" effect

I think any director to the comic book genre in this day and age sees something that none of us do as we surf the web and demand blood from turnips. When we heard about Heath Ledger cast as The Joker all anyone could think immediately was "I can't quit you". but look what happened? Eisenberg showed his ingenuity in The Social Network and I think there is lot of potential here for him to be a big bad by means of manipulation. Heath's Joker was effective that way. Who knows...it could go the
I think any director to the comic book genre in this day and age sees something that none of us do as we surf the web and demand blood from turnips. When we heard about Heath Ledger cast as The Joker all anyone could think immediately was "I can't quit you". but look what happened? Eisenberg showed his ingenuity in The Social Network and I think there is lot of potential here for him to be a big bad by means of manipulation. Heath's Joker was effective that way. Who knows...it could go the other way...But if I think about it more heroes are miscast than villains. Green Lantern anyone? Fantastic Four 2005?
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+2
10:14PM on 06/19/2015
Still no sold on Eisenberg.
Still no sold on Eisenberg.
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2:27PM on 06/23/2015
That's because the movie hasn't come out yet.
That's because the movie hasn't come out yet.
+1
9:47PM on 06/19/2015
Two of the finest actors were wasted, Hackman and Spacey. All we had was a real estate agent Lex Luthor. And I'm quite happy that it seems like this one will be different
Two of the finest actors were wasted, Hackman and Spacey. All we had was a real estate agent Lex Luthor. And I'm quite happy that it seems like this one will be different
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8:17PM on 06/19/2015

Hackman was wasted as Luthor....

He is one of the finest actors ever, but he seemed to have the same attitude about Lex (probably not a big comic book guy either). So a portrayal that should have been perfect was kind of silly. As malevolent as Spacey can be, he always seemed miscast as Luthor also.

But Eisenberg isn't even close. He's a yuppie douche (or alternately a hippie-stoner) in every film. He's never portrayed anyone remotely like Lex (it's embarrassing to hear people try to claim the Facebook movie is like
He is one of the finest actors ever, but he seemed to have the same attitude about Lex (probably not a big comic book guy either). So a portrayal that should have been perfect was kind of silly. As malevolent as Spacey can be, he always seemed miscast as Luthor also.

But Eisenberg isn't even close. He's a yuppie douche (or alternately a hippie-stoner) in every film. He's never portrayed anyone remotely like Lex (it's embarrassing to hear people try to claim the Facebook movie is like Luthor). He could surprise us all, but it's kind of doubtful.

Hopefully the monster and effects will make up for the other shortcomings.
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8:15PM on 06/19/2015
At this point I'd have to see some footage of him as Luthor, maybe they'll show him in the next trailer hpefully. I am remaining optimistic about the movie, I liked the last trailer, just feels like the movie is so far away still before it's released, I mean 9 months seems like a long time.
At this point I'd have to see some footage of him as Luthor, maybe they'll show him in the next trailer hpefully. I am remaining optimistic about the movie, I liked the last trailer, just feels like the movie is so far away still before it's released, I mean 9 months seems like a long time.
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8:11PM on 06/19/2015
I've found something to like in all previous versions of Luthor (Hackman, Spacey, Rosenbaum, and the animated series). Much like the Joker, each actor can take a slightly different approach and still do well in the context of the type of film or show they're doing. I'm keeping an open mind at this point.
I've found something to like in all previous versions of Luthor (Hackman, Spacey, Rosenbaum, and the animated series). Much like the Joker, each actor can take a slightly different approach and still do well in the context of the type of film or show they're doing. I'm keeping an open mind at this point.
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+1
7:59PM on 06/19/2015

Hackman was nearly perfect...

I loved Hackman in his portrayal of Lex, but I'm glad Eisenberg isn't just trying to emulate what Hackman did. Based on what we've seen, I think we'll see a very different Luthor. I think Eisenberg's will still be ruthless and power hungry, but will actually be under the impression that he's doing right.. He may genuinely view Superman as a villain, and himself as the hero that needs to stop him... As opposed to Hackman's Luthor who knew he was the villain, and reveled in it.
I loved Hackman in his portrayal of Lex, but I'm glad Eisenberg isn't just trying to emulate what Hackman did. Based on what we've seen, I think we'll see a very different Luthor. I think Eisenberg's will still be ruthless and power hungry, but will actually be under the impression that he's doing right.. He may genuinely view Superman as a villain, and himself as the hero that needs to stop him... As opposed to Hackman's Luthor who knew he was the villain, and reveled in it.
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7:40PM on 06/19/2015
Still think he was miscast as Lex. The guy has no range and plays the same character in every film he does.
Still think he was miscast as Lex. The guy has no range and plays the same character in every film he does.
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7:29AM on 06/20/2015
You just described Ben Affleck.
You just described Ben Affleck.
2:26PM on 06/23/2015
You say this every single article. Put it on your gravestone already.
You say this every single article. Put it on your gravestone already.
+0
7:33PM on 06/19/2015

Really tired

of this guy's total lack of respect for the history, the character, the business, and the fanbase. "I donít have expectations for myself to adhere to a comic book character." And then he talks about the screenwriter creating this "character" and that's who he's playing. Have some goddamn tact. You're not playing some invented character for this movie you are playing LEX LUTHOR. And iconic role, a character that's been around for decades, almost a century. I'm sorry you seem to not have had any
of this guy's total lack of respect for the history, the character, the business, and the fanbase. "I donít have expectations for myself to adhere to a comic book character." And then he talks about the screenwriter creating this "character" and that's who he's playing. Have some goddamn tact. You're not playing some invented character for this movie you are playing LEX LUTHOR. And iconic role, a character that's been around for decades, almost a century. I'm sorry you seem to not have had any interaction with Lex prior to shooting this probable monstrosity (what's that about, anyway, you never read comics, watched the Superman movies, the shows, the cartoons? That's bizarre, dude), but he's been around a lot longer than you and will be remembered for generations after your bones have turned to dust. Prick.
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2:25PM on 06/23/2015
Oh get over it. He is a working actor and it is the job of the writers and director to guide his performance. And who should he read to prepare Mr. Sensitive? John Byrne's Luthor? Kurt Swann's Luthor? Brian Azzarello's Luthor? He is an 80 plus year old character who has been revamped over 2 dozen times. As an actor, he would be irresponsible to let the legacy weigh on his performance. You clearly know nothing of the craft of acting.
Oh get over it. He is a working actor and it is the job of the writers and director to guide his performance. And who should he read to prepare Mr. Sensitive? John Byrne's Luthor? Kurt Swann's Luthor? Brian Azzarello's Luthor? He is an 80 plus year old character who has been revamped over 2 dozen times. As an actor, he would be irresponsible to let the legacy weigh on his performance. You clearly know nothing of the craft of acting.
7:16PM on 06/19/2015

The Conversation

The Conversation was the movie that opened my eyes to what a brilliant actor Gene Hackman was. That film is really underrated and among Francis Ford Coppola's great films. It has one of my all-time favorite twists as well!
The Conversation was the movie that opened my eyes to what a brilliant actor Gene Hackman was. That film is really underrated and among Francis Ford Coppola's great films. It has one of my all-time favorite twists as well!
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