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Kevin Spacey and Michael Rosenbaum talk about Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor

02.27.2014

Not one, but TWO former Lex Luthors recently shared their thoughts on Jesse Eisenberg playing the villain in Zack Snyder's BATMAN VS SUPERMAN. When the news first broke last month many were shocked Eisenberg had been cast as Luthor, and now SUPERMAN RETURN's Kevin Spacey and SMALLVILLE's Michael Rosenbaum have both expressed their opinions on the controversial casting.

We'll start with Kevin Spacey first, who in an interview with Empire, says Jesse Eisenberg is a great actor, and should do an excellent job playing Lex Luthor.

"First of all, I think [Jesse Eisenberg] is a remarkable actor. He's just going to [frick]ing own it. I think it's a great idea and I wish him the best with it."

But if you're hoping to see Kevin Spacey in a future comic book movie, I have some bad news for you. Spacey says he wants to explore other types of films, and would love to work with Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese.

"But now I want to explore different terrain. I wrote Woody Allen a letter last year, saying I'd be keen to do something with him. And he wrote back, very charmingly, so I'm on the list now! I set him up with a Netflix subscription too, but I don't know if he's used it. So, yeah, it would be great if that happened. I'm going to write to Scorsese. There are a lot of directors I need to get letters out to..."

Meanwhile over at The Cinematic Katzenjammer, Michael Rosenbaum was asked if he had any advice for Jesse Eisenberg.

"First off, I think he’s a really good actor. I don’t think he needs any advice from me, he’ll do his homework. Do it your way. I’m sure Zack [Snyder] has an idea. He cast you for reason. Jesse’s a good actor. He’ll do it his own way and that’s the best way. If you can do it your way, if you succeed or fail, you succeed because you are being original. If you’re trying to emulate someone, you’ll always be compared. That’s why I didn’t want to be compared during Smallville. I didn’t watch any of Gene Hackman as Lex. He’ll be fantastic. Great actor, no problem with it."

Jesse Eisenberg was the absolute last person I expected to be cast as Lex Luthor. I'm not sold on Eisenberg as the villain, but we still don't know Zack Snyder's plans for the character, or how he will be portrayed by the actor. Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor isn't the end of the world (even if some fans treat the casting like it is), and I for one am very interested in seeing how he'll be different from previous versions of the character.

BATMAN VS SUPERMAN starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Jeremy Irons, Gal Gadot and Jesse Eisenberg will hit theaters on May 6th, 2016.

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10:39AM on 02/28/2014
The main thing I take away from this is how classy Spacey and Rosenbaum are. Michael's response isn't only complimentary, he actually provides good, genuine advice. Won't say too much about Eisenberg yet except I still think he's going to need a kick-ass amazing script to pull it off.
The main thing I take away from this is how classy Spacey and Rosenbaum are. Michael's response isn't only complimentary, he actually provides good, genuine advice. Won't say too much about Eisenberg yet except I still think he's going to need a kick-ass amazing script to pull it off.
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10:25AM on 02/28/2014
Eisenberg is a great actor and I think it will be interesting to say the least. Good news if you asked me and the best news in the world when compared to Affleck cast as Batman.
Eisenberg is a great actor and I think it will be interesting to say the least. Good news if you asked me and the best news in the world when compared to Affleck cast as Batman.
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8:22AM on 02/28/2014

Just not that bothered.

Im not really that bothered on the casting news for this film and haven't been since day one of its announcement. Man of Steel in my opinion was just another huge missed opportunity to bring the Superman Character up to date and should have been on par with the first two Batman films (Nolans). I thought the re-imagining of Krypton and the Fortress of solitude was a huge dump on the magic and atmosphere that the original environments created, and as a fan really wanted to see. So for me I am
Im not really that bothered on the casting news for this film and haven't been since day one of its announcement. Man of Steel in my opinion was just another huge missed opportunity to bring the Superman Character up to date and should have been on par with the first two Batman films (Nolans). I thought the re-imagining of Krypton and the Fortress of solitude was a huge dump on the magic and atmosphere that the original environments created, and as a fan really wanted to see. So for me I am already in no rush to go and see this movie. It will probably fail on other factors other than its casting.
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2:12PM on 02/27/2014

I think the right course of action

is to get all worked up and have a tantrum before a frame of footage comes out.
is to get all worked up and have a tantrum before a frame of footage comes out.
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1:52PM on 02/27/2014
Lex is a very cool character. Rosenbaum's Lex in Smallville was really great.
I'll keep an open mind. The role lends itself to good performances. Jesse is a good actor.
Lex is a very cool character. Rosenbaum's Lex in Smallville was really great.
I'll keep an open mind. The role lends itself to good performances. Jesse is a good actor.
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1:24PM on 02/27/2014
WROOONG!!!
WROOONG!!!
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1:12PM on 02/27/2014
Well of course they had nothing but positive things to say, its Hollywood
Well of course they had nothing but positive things to say, its Hollywood
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1:00PM on 02/27/2014

o:

Funny how Gene Hackman didn't respond!
Funny how Gene Hackman didn't respond!
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1:53PM on 02/27/2014
Gene Hackman retired from public life last year. You will never see him acting or making a public comment again.
Gene Hackman retired from public life last year. You will never see him acting or making a public comment again.
11:52AM on 02/27/2014
.... So what is Scorsese was adapting a comic series to film and asked Spacey to be the lead?
.... So what is Scorsese was adapting a comic series to film and asked Spacey to be the lead?
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11:38AM on 02/27/2014
Awesome Lex Luthor
[link]
Awesome Lex Luthor
[link]
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8:21PM on 02/28/2014
More awesome Lex Luthor!

[link]
More awesome Lex Luthor!

[link]
11:20AM on 02/27/2014

Too bad Spacey's talent was wasted on a mediocre Superman movie

I'd love for Spacey to work with Scorsese on a gangster flick. Hopefully Scorsese still has at least one more in him before he retires.
I'd love for Spacey to work with Scorsese on a gangster flick. Hopefully Scorsese still has at least one more in him before he retires.
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10:53AM on 02/27/2014

Gene Hackman OWNED that role

In every iteration of animated Lex Luthor, they pull directly from Gene Hackmans performance. That very serious yet crazy twinged attitude he has. He thinks what he is doing truly will help the world, even if it means getting rid of Superman and causing a bit of chaos. From the fires rises a pheonix was his attitude towards world domination.

The other actors all kind of were either too crazy (Spacy) or too boring (Smallville guy). Neither one showed actual intelligence or was very
In every iteration of animated Lex Luthor, they pull directly from Gene Hackmans performance. That very serious yet crazy twinged attitude he has. He thinks what he is doing truly will help the world, even if it means getting rid of Superman and causing a bit of chaos. From the fires rises a pheonix was his attitude towards world domination.

The other actors all kind of were either too crazy (Spacy) or too boring (Smallville guy). Neither one showed actual intelligence or was very interesting. Spacy had to shout to get his point across, Rosenbaum was just too much of a high school cry baby.

Eisenberg is not someone I think will do very well in the role. First off Jessie looks like a kid, Lex is supposed to be about the same age as Batman and Superman. He is supposed to be tall, and very put together. Eisenberg is just a short goofy kid who nobody can take seriously. I fear he will become the Spacy Luthor, having to shout every line, over act and not be composed.
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2:30PM on 02/27/2014
I think he's perfectly cast, he can play cold, keen intellect very well. I think he'll surprise everyone and completely own this.

Also, overact is one word.
I think he's perfectly cast, he can play cold, keen intellect very well. I think he'll surprise everyone and completely own this.

Also, overact is one word.
8:29PM on 02/28/2014
I disagree. Hackman's Lex was more comic relief than menacing.

Post crisis Lex is what we need. Not some guy hiding under the city obsessed with real estate. We need THIS version of Lex..out front and center.

[link]
I disagree. Hackman's Lex was more comic relief than menacing.

Post crisis Lex is what we need. Not some guy hiding under the city obsessed with real estate. We need THIS version of Lex..out front and center.

[link]
10:18AM on 02/27/2014
I'm still not totally convinced of Eisenberg's casting of Lex Luthor, but I have been warming up to it slowly. I still think Kevin Spacey would have been the perfect Lex Luthor for this version of Superman. But only if they toned him down this time and made him seem more like his character from House of Cards.

But Rosenbaum is still my all time favorite Lex. The guy was just absolutely perfect for the role and owned every week.
I'm still not totally convinced of Eisenberg's casting of Lex Luthor, but I have been warming up to it slowly. I still think Kevin Spacey would have been the perfect Lex Luthor for this version of Superman. But only if they toned him down this time and made him seem more like his character from House of Cards.

But Rosenbaum is still my all time favorite Lex. The guy was just absolutely perfect for the role and owned every week.
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+1
10:17AM on 02/27/2014
Heres what I find funny, Celebs are not "normally" gonna openly bash a casting choice and will say nice things. Probably out of respect for the studio, directors, producers, or losing out on a future role, whatever! Either way, Ill hold judgment til the film comes out.
Heres what I find funny, Celebs are not "normally" gonna openly bash a casting choice and will say nice things. Probably out of respect for the studio, directors, producers, or losing out on a future role, whatever! Either way, Ill hold judgment til the film comes out.
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10:14AM on 02/27/2014

Spacey was the best.

I'm very much looking forward to Jesse Eisenbergh to play Lex. I'm sure he will deliver just fine. Its definetely an interesting choice. But for me I was dissapointed that Superman Returns was not a bigger hit because I really liked Spacey as Lex. He does everything flawflessy. Really there hasn't been a bad Lex ever cast. I liked Smallville's and Gene Hackman as Lex.
I'm very much looking forward to Jesse Eisenbergh to play Lex. I'm sure he will deliver just fine. Its definetely an interesting choice. But for me I was dissapointed that Superman Returns was not a bigger hit because I really liked Spacey as Lex. He does everything flawflessy. Really there hasn't been a bad Lex ever cast. I liked Smallville's and Gene Hackman as Lex.
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10:10AM on 02/27/2014

Consider the source!

Rosenbaum is the absolute definitive Lex Luthor. Clancy Brown, also great.
Rosenbaum is the absolute definitive Lex Luthor. Clancy Brown, also great.
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9:48AM on 02/27/2014
I actually like Michael Rosenbaum's Lex Luthor a lot.
I actually like Michael Rosenbaum's Lex Luthor a lot.
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9:44AM on 02/27/2014
As much as I love the old Supermans and admire Gene as an actor, I think Rosenbaums portrayal of Lex has been the best for me.
As much as I love the old Supermans and admire Gene as an actor, I think Rosenbaums portrayal of Lex has been the best for me.
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9:14AM on 02/27/2014
how has scorsese and spacey NOT happened yet?
how has scorsese and spacey NOT happened yet?
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9:14AM on 02/27/2014
I would love all of them to do a Funny or Die-esque Lex Luthor convention. Find John Shea, drag Gene Hackman out of retirement, have Clancy Brown, James Marsters and Anthony LaPaglia join in, go the full hog.
I would love all of them to do a Funny or Die-esque Lex Luthor convention. Find John Shea, drag Gene Hackman out of retirement, have Clancy Brown, James Marsters and Anthony LaPaglia join in, go the full hog.
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9:44AM on 02/27/2014
That should make a great sketch on Saturday Night Live.
That should make a great sketch on Saturday Night Live.
11:54AM on 02/27/2014
James Marsters was Braniac, not Lex, right?
James Marsters was Braniac, not Lex, right?
12:03PM on 02/27/2014
Yes Anubis. He was also great in that role.
Yes Anubis. He was also great in that role.
3:08PM on 02/27/2014
I could see it done on The Daly Show on Youtube. John Daly had himself and others that voiced or portrayed Superman in one episode. It was hilarious.
I could see it done on The Daly Show on Youtube. John Daly had himself and others that voiced or portrayed Superman in one episode. It was hilarious.
6:11PM on 02/27/2014
@AnubisLive, James Marsters voiced Lex Luthor in Superman: Doomsday.
@AnubisLive, James Marsters voiced Lex Luthor in Superman: Doomsday.
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