Jesse Eisenberg Cast As Lex Luthor in Superman/Batman, Jeremy Irons Set as Alfred

Jesse Eisenberg Lex Luther
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Warner Bros. Pictures has cast Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and Jeremy Irons will play Alfred in the upcoming Superman-Batman film.

The castings, announced Friday, come two weeks after Warner pushed production on the untitled Superman-Batman movie to the second quarter of this year and set a release date of May 6, 2016 as the studio departed from a July, 2015 slot.

Eisenberg is best known for portraying Facebook co-creator Mark Zuckerberg in “The Social Network,” for which he received an Oscar nomination.

Superman-Batman is in pre-production with Henry Cavill as Superman and Ben Affleck as Batman. “Man of Steel” director Zack Snyder is helming.

The Superman-Batman pic will also reunite “Man of Steel” stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane. Israeli actress Gal Gadot is coming on for the Wonder Woman/Diana Prince role.

SEE ALSO: Hollywood’s 10 Worst Comicbook Moments

“Man of Steel” grossed $668 million worldwide.

The screenplay is being written by “Argo” writer Chris Terrio from a screenplay by David S. Goyer. Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder are producing, with Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan and Wesley Coller serving as exec producers.

“Lex Luthor is often considered the most notorious of Superman’s rivals, his unsavory reputation preceding him since 1940,” Snyder said. “What’s great about Lex is that he exists beyond the confines of the stereotypical nefarious villain. He’s a complicated and sophisticated character whose intellect, wealth and prominence position him as one of the few mortals able to challenge the incredible might of Superman. Having Jesse in the role allows us to explore that interesting dynamic, and also take the character in some new and unexpected directions.”

Lex Luthor did not appear in last year’s Superman reboot “Man of Steel.” Gene Hackman played the role in the three “Superman” films opposite Christopher Reeve; Kevin Spacey took the part for 2006’s “Superman Returns.”

Irons is replacing Michael Caine, who portrayed Alfred in all three Christian Bale Batman films, directed by Christopher Nolan. Caine will turn 81 in March; Irons is 65.

“As everyone knows, Alfred is Bruce Wayne’s most trusted friend, ally and mentor, a noble guardian and father figure,” Snyder said. “He is an absolutely critical element in the intricate infrastructure that allows Bruce Wayne to transform himself into Batman. It is an honor to have such an amazingly seasoned and gifted actor as Jeremy taking on the important role of the man who mentors and guides the guarded and nearly impervious façade that encapsulates Bruce Wayne.”

Eisenberg next appears in “The Double” and “Night Moves.” Irons recently appeared in the television miniseries “The Hollow Crown” as Henry IV.

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  1. 2014.jesse vc amor bom seja vindo .bem termiou .gostaria uma

  2. vc bem ouvir vc falar gente pare vc segredos vou vai viu ve

  3. favor ,surda vejarem nunca esqueçar .responde mim olivia de chamar me,vc jesse.coração .vai tenha vai vem cà vem vc vai ….

  4. 2016/dia jesse ao olivia Bernardes -surda ., portagues . boa outo cidade . Uberlândia -9188-0480. è favor mim .ator .dia .olivia porque.you

  5. ok.gosto bem você quente surda -olivia Bernardes dancona. leinçare para jesse eisenbreg .ok.bem nasceu ,esados undios .jesse .[abc]

  6. quando comigo namora chama falar vc noa segredo .pensar .lembre vc temeroiu !olivia dancona . 27anos -minas gerias tà filha bem segredo vc com dar .uma novo ano ?

  7. oi you vc deles quem ? olivia Bernardes dancona.com beijo ficar ou embora .pensar quando .idade 2015 ano dia dia casar não tem pare .vc namoro ? quem eu me comigo Uberlândia-mg .q

  8. jesse e.gosto comgio qual sim ou não ? vc pense è oly eu nome:

  9. @olivia danconacom.,twitter .busca ? sim ou não .

  10. oi bem jesse esisenberg .como onde chama vem saber dia voltar vc qual 2013 bem 28/02/2014! tem chama te amo vc -surda para ,pre quando não è tem junta se parque

  11. eu sou nome.liyinha.outra estados undios quando ela tempo tinha 2anos nova York .bem médio . ele verdade .

  12. Simon Paiva says:

    I believe the casting of Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor is quite an intriguing move on the director’s part. When compared to Gene Hackman and Kevin Spacey it really does seem like a strange decision ( if they wanted to follow the mold of these previous incarnations of the character then I suppose Bryan Cranston would indeed be a more appropriate choice) But it’s clear that Snyder and company have a slightly different take on the character in store for us. Based on Eisenberg’s work in The Social Network, I think he can portray a vicious younger version of Luthor, I think it might work, but I guess we’ll have to wait until 2016 to find out.

  13. john bittner says:

    I guess because I am not a Hollywood type I am not one to listen too but I can say that Jeremy Irons is a good choice for Alfred I am not positive on Jessie as Lex Luthor. He is not your typical choice but Hollywood has a way of making actors look the part on film. I am an avid comic reader and Superman is by far my favorite hero. I like what Snyder has done so far with this timeless hero and trust he will not ruin a movie just to have a cast member not fit in to spite all of us fans. He has done justice to Superman so far and that sort of shows his love for the man of steel.

    I was more affected by Ben Afleck but, again Snyder is an amazing director and handles his films with great care. He does ponder the fans reaction and takes chances that so far have worked out. I am anticipating an amazing film no matter the bad feedback from the fans. I love the direction he is taking Superman in and revising a hero that has not been properly portrayed in some time. Superman was all but dead because of the great success of the Dark Knight films. I personally thought he would never get another movie after the dreaded Superman Returns movie.

    My one hope is that they bring in Doomsday for the first Justice League movie. What an epic story that would be. Keep up the good work and bring Superman back to the top of the hero world where he should be.

  14. JG says:

    I can’t see Eisenberg play the President and Businessman Luthor from the comics. Mad Scientist in a robot suit Luthor will seem like Jesse should have played Toy Maker.

    Even though he’s the same age as Cavill he still looks allot younger, and unlike DiCaprio, who had the same problem, I don’t think he has the acting chops to over come it, especially since his voice is so hi-pitched.

  15. Joe says:

    I can’t believe people are still crying about Affleck as Batman. He is going to make a great Batman. Mark my words you will all eat your words. First of all he looks more like Batman than anyone who has played the character before and he has matured incredibly as an actor. Daredevil the movie was terrible all around, yet Affleck gets all the blame. It us rather ridiculous.

  16. krista@@H says:

    and now please cast Helen Mirren as Louis Lane for this ridicule to be complete

  17. conrad says:

    jesse is Michael Cera 2.0. Lex Luthor is a character handed only to great actors who can play both villains and heroes and both of them are all around tough guys–Gene Hackman and Kevin Spacey. Batman as Ben Affleck and now Jessie as Lex? This is hollywood saying, f*** all of you! We are rich and we can do anything we like and who cares? at the end of the day you’ll just give us your money. If it’s only possible to boycott the whore which is Hollywood.

  18. Maria Tula says:

    That kid has no charisma. I would have love to see a female Lex Luthor: Robin Wright with the Claire Underwood’s chillness would have been perfect. This film is already boring.

  19. Dead In Hell says:

    This film keeps getting worse and worse.

  20. Lelaina says:

    This is GENIUS casting! I can NOT wait!!!!!!

  21. Irvin Kelly says:

    He can do it. He’s already a pompous asshole.

  22. Christine says:

    This movie is going to disappoint for 2 reasons, Jesse and Ben!

  23. I honestly dont see what the big deal was about the casting of Eisenberg for Lex Luthor. He was amazing in “The Social Network.” Im sure the writing will play in just fine.
    Heath Ledger spoiled us people! There was a time when everyone thought Jim Carey, Tommy Lee Jones, Uma Thurman, Alicia Silverstone, George Clooney, Val Kilmer, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Chris O’ Donnell would be perfect for a Batman movie.

  24. me says:

    Brian Cranston should be lex luther. this Jessie Eisenberg isn’t the same Heisenberg

  25. Lisa Lewis says:

    Michael Rosenbaum was the best Lex Luther ever, why is he not in this role? I heard he wanted it. I can’t understand why they wouldn’t want someone who already IS the character.

    • PS says:

      I so agree! Michael Rosenbaum did the best portrayal of Lex—he had Lex’s idiosyncratic behaviors and persona nailed! Also….I got to see Michael at this year’s Superman Celebration in Metropolis, IL…and he had stated that he was interested in the part. Unless he didn’t audition—which is questionable, since he outright stated his interest….why wasn’t he considered????? I believe his portrayal of the character was and is the best embodiment of Lex Luthor from all of the movies and/or television shows that covered the Clark Kent/Superman story. It’s just a travesty that people don’t see this man’s talent and charisma. And this isn’t just a Smallville fan spouting off about the injustice of it all….Michael was an accomplished actor well before his appearance as Lex Luthor in Smallville.

      • Fluxton says:

        Michael Rosenbaum is perhaps the best live action Lex Luthor to date. But Warner Bros and the filmmakers want a fresh new take on the character and since Rosenbaum played the character for 7 seasons on Smallville he would simply be playing the same role in a different continuity. Tom Welling and Brandon Routh weren’t seriously considered for the lead role in MOS because they had already played the part. Same deal with Michael Rosenbaum – sure he’s a talented actor but he wasn’t in the running because he had already played Lex Luthor. A new version of the Superman story benefits from a clean slate.

  26. Ricardo says:

    The article has a mistake. ”The screenplay will be written by David S. Goyer, from a story co-created by Goyer and Snyder.” – I am surprised that VARIETY of all places isn’t capable of properly reading press releases. Because it states that:

    ”The new film is currently being written by Chris Terrio, from a screenplay by David S. Goyer.”

  27. Michael Cera says:

    Are people confusing Jesse Eisenberg with Michael Cera???? lol

  28. blahblah says:

    we need a dark side something more evil with co conspiritors lex just never was cool without the league of doom

  29. blahblah says:

    to me every lex luthor portral has been too comical an awful from the first movie until the last

  30. blahblah says:

    this look of jesse is to childish is there gonna be cgi involved to make him more villinous if so why bother i like the idea of billy zane his shit in mummy returns ect is perfect

  31. I have Two Suggestions on Lex Luthor. Wentworth Miller or Billy Zane, two guys who are bald and can rock it, and in my belief can be evil characters.

  32. Lex Luthor? Really? I am so tired of Superman always facing this guy – or at least the way he’s portrayed. A super-villain should have a super-battle where it ends in something other than stalemate after stalemate after STALE-mate. At least they had the decency to kill of Zod (hopefully they don’t bring out his revenge-minded son who no one currently knows about). Please – you guys have DECADES of comic book stories for both Superman and Batman. Some of the story lines were amazingly good. Can’t you mine those old stories, update them if necessary and bring us something that makes me (because it’s all about me) look forward to seeing this. I’d love to see an original story where Sups and Bats have to face something like the coming singularity or a villain like The Master in Doctor Who. Again – there is so much good comic bookish scifi out there… do we really need Lex?

    • Paul Trinkl says:

      Yes…. Lex DOES need to be done again. I do not feel that Eisenberg is the right choice, but they have yet to do a PROPPER film with a non-comical Luthor. Hackman was good in the old ones, but was always tongue-in-cheek. Spacey was AWEFUL and way too over the top. They need a man of EQUAL stature to Cavil, with the deep and suave delivery of the voice actor from the Justice Leauge toons. Eisenberg can do cocky genius (see also “now you see me”) but lacks the physical stature to look Superman in the eye when talking smack. If they intend to go a dark, gritty, Nolan-esque route with this
      film as advertised, it is simply the wrong move.

      I Personally still think Superman should have been of larger stature, but Cavil is not as bad as Routh. In “Superman Returns” I was waiting for Lois to catch the plane and save Supes.

      Jeremy Irons as Alfred should be amazing… one silver lining so far.

      As for BatFleck…. well….. I am ok with this… pending review.

      If Ben really feels as bad about botching DD as he says, I expect his A game.

      This Batman, to be successful… 1) should be in the Frank Miller style. SHORT EARS and GRAY SUIT

      2) Dark, gritty, seriously pissed off…. but NOT a throat cancer patient voice.

      3) I heard about drones… Keep him more brains and tech, less brawn.

      4) Do not try to be a suave Bruce… be a disconnected, jaded Bruce.

      and #5… (this one is especially for you bob) BATMAN AND SUPERMAN DO NOT KILL!

      They have broken this rule a few times already, and it is the golden rule of both mythos.

      The whole idea of superheroes is that there are no “acceptable losses”. Superman is Superman BECAUSE he can stop the missile, catch the plane, stop the avalanche, put out a fire, and still make it to the Grand Canyon to catch Lois before she hits bottom.

      I will give you that in MOS, he was supposed to be a rookie… but all he had to do was cover Zod’s eyes peek-a-boo style and killing could have been averted. Meanwhile, a 20 block area gets leveled, thousands die as buildings fall over… and he does not stop fighting once to stop it.

      All comic movies recently seem to be focusing on the super, and not the hero part….just sayin…

      • Paul Trinkl says:

        M. Night… you could not possibly be more wrong. Superman not killing is EQUALLY set in stone as it is with the Dark Knight. There are VERY,VERY few instances when someone dies in a Superman story, but when it does happen it is usually not Superman’s doing. Clearly you are speaking on a matter on which you are not well enough informed.

        As for Zod being more powerful… ALSO wrong. So far as the mythos goes, the longer one is exposed to our yellow sun, the more powerful they become. Zod was NOT more powerful, just better trained when it came to fighting.

        You seem to think I take issue with Superman’s actions as if it was a personal attack? The issue is the morons writing this tripe and not doing the proper research to learn about the character they are being paid to write about. Did I expect him to catch every building as it fell? No…. I expected the writers to create a perilous situation, but one that HE COULD resolve without anyone dying. If people die, Superman failed…. and Superman does not fail.

      • M.Night shamalamadingdong says:

        Actually superman doesn’t have a no killing rule he just doesn’t want to do it if he doesn’t have to if more people where aware of this people wouldn’t have been so pissed off he killed zod. The whole destruction thing wasn’t his fault. Metropolis was destroyed because of the generator and its not kals fault zod (a much more powerful kryptonian) was throwing him all over the place

  33. The Insatiable Mr. Burgundy says:

    I think theyre trying to get dat whole Heath Ledger’s Joker effect by picking Eisenberg. hopefully this move actually helps and doesn’t kill the film like it did the actor. (R.I.P Heath)

  34. brettj666 says:

    I wish that they would finally come to the conclusion that we absolutely don’t need big names in superhero movies.

    Why pay some mega star, or Ben Afleck, $15 mil + dollars when most don’t care who portrays them?

    I had never seen the actors who played Xavier or Magneto in Xmen First class and it didn’t bother me at all.

    If anything. It allowed them to act instead of think “this guy sucked as DareDevil, what’s next, Ryan Reynolds?”

  35. Tristan says:

    Between this and the Ben Affleck choice it’s like they’re trying to make a bad film.

    “Let’s make a movie worse than the first one.”

    “How?”

    “I got it! Ben Affleck as Batman!”

    “That’s a brilliantly awful idea. So we make sure no one forgets this terribleness let’s make awful picks for the rest of the cast!”

    “Sounds good to me.”

  36. TJL says:

    This movie is gonna blow. Ben Afleck sucked as Daredevil, why make him batman too?

  37. BATAFLEK says:

    This film is going to be uber shite

  38. nope says:

    Shave Will Smith’s head and you have yourself a Lex Luthor

  39. skank says:

    This movie will blow. We all know it

  40. braxton29 says:

    To all of the people who are still griping about Ben Affleck as Batman, take my word for it: it could have been much, much worse. Does anyone remember who the were the initial candidates for the role? Can anyone honestly tell me, that Josh Brolin fit the profile of Batman? Can anyone honestly say with a straight face that Ryan Gosling was the best choice to play Batman? Anyone? I don’t know how this is going to turn out, but I do believe that Affleck can do a better job than Brolin or Gosling.

    Back to the article topic-Eisenberg as Lex Luthor? I didn’t see coming. I thought he did an outstanding job in “The Social Network,” but when I think of an actor who can play Lex, I think of someone who has real gravitas. An actor with “chops” and dexterity and I, like so many, was expecting someone like Bryan Cranston to be Lex. What I want to know is, will Eisenberg shave his head for this?

    Jeremy Irons as Alfred? Thumbs up. He’s British, he’s experienced; he fits the role.

  41. WMK says:

    These guys know what they’re doing I trust that they have a vision that will at the end if the day be liked maybe even loved by the public and Fanboys alike good luck to Jesse! Id love to see Jeremy Irons as the butler/ex MI6 spy who helps train Batman in his clandestine activities this could explain alot without going into a origin story. So you not only get Batman but you get a James Bond as well! Just without the “00” status, if you kno wat i mean

  42. Dr.Gonzo says:

    What bothers me is that Affleck is still Batman. FFS.

  43. bluecatcinema says:

    Don’t get me wrong. I like Jessie Eisenberg, but I just don’t see him as Luthor.

  44. LTDEAL says:

    whoever is casting this film is making some serious mistakes. First Ben Affleck, now Eisenberg?

  45. Frank says:

    How could they not choose Brian Cranston???

  46. The Guy says:

    It’s not the fact that they used Eisenberg that bothers me, it’s the fact that this manchild is supposed to play an older man who is the head of a big corporation. I suppose age transformation is top notch now though, so we’ll see.

    As for Jeremy Irons, he’s awesome.

    • Just Some Guy says:

      Thats exactly it.. he is NOT playing an older man who is the head of a big corporation. First of all Jesse is 30 years old, not some kid, secondly most likely the film will more portray him as the guy who just became the head of the company. Perhaps more like Smaillville’s Lex. But one thing i DO know is I can’t make a judgement till i actually hear the story. I do know he is a great actor, and a very interesting choice based on actor alone.

  47. Anubis22774 says:

    Eisenberg is going to be absolutely amazing for this role. Remember this being said. I absolutely love that they’re going for non-obvious choices. It’s shows that they’re thinking outside the box, and it’s totally throwing all you mainstreamers off the tracks. I couldn’t be happier about the casting choices and I promise you right now, Jesse Eisenberg will be an amazing high point.

  48. This movie is going to be a new low for Snyder, I can’t wait.

  49. And the casting problems for this movie continue..first Affleck as Batman, now Eisenberg as Luthor (wtf? he doesn’t look menacing, or maniacal), and Jeremy Irons as Alfred? c’mon now… the farthest person away from a british butler. This movie just went from a possible 6 stars to a probable 3.

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