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. TheDude says:

    Christian Bale would have ripped him a new one …

    I like the individual actors involved but cannot see the blend … this is going to have be a directorial masterclass for it to work. Looks shit at the moment. TBC.

  2. zabe says:

    Well, when you kinda look at it, he coud be Lex if you make him bald. But his voice and maybe personality may be a problem.

  3. I think it’s interesting, how some are defending the choice of Eisenberg as Lex because people thought RDJ would be a shitty Iron Man…or because people thought Ledger would be a crappy Joker.

    Really? Who thought that, who actually thought that? I didn’t. When I heard RDJ as Tony Stark, my first thought was, “Yes! He was BORN to play that role…BORN for it!” And having seen Ledger’s work in other movies, I felt he could’ve lent a lot to the Joker role, and he did so in spades. I certainly didn’t expect the path he took, but I liked it.

    Eisenberg’s got nothing. No stand-out role in which he performed beyond all expectations, no “gimmick” of his own style (unless being a narcissistic coward counts), and certainly no demonstrated capacity to effectively play a character with as much force of personality or complexity as Lex Luthor.

    Affleck…is a pretty good director…but he’s a lousy actor, period. I haven’t liked him in anything…not even Dogma, and I LOVED Dogma. He’s a ham, not once has he ever come across as genuine. He’s an over-actor.

    In fairness…I hated Bale as the new Batman too. I wish Kevin Conroy was a younger, better looking guy, because his voice acting in the various animated Batman roles is top shelf.

  4. I am not gonna waist a penny on this movie. Just wait til it comes on TV and I can watch it for free since this movie sucks. Pretty boy, ex-heart throb Ben Affleck for Batman? No. Wimpy Jesse Eisenberg as Lex? Hell no! This movie is not worth wasting money on

  5. I am so bored with Batman movies. Yawn.

  6. Marcus says:

    The inception of this movie should have stopped when Christian Bale decided not to reprise his role as batman, enough said, but if they have to go forward with it, perhaps have Ben Kingsley or Terence Stamp as Lex.

  7. Damien says:

    While Jesse may not be a good actor to portray Lex Luthor, people said the same thing about Robert Downey Jr. playing Iron Man. That leaves Joaquin Phoenix, and we’ve already heard he’ll play a villainous role. Currently, I can only think of two that might work out: Brainiac and Lobo. I’d like to see either of the two.

  8. Barr Suul says:

    I’m starting to feel bad for Affleck

  9. Barr Suul says:

    so Lex will be a whiny dwarf with a spectrum disorder, interesting take.

  10. This has to be one of the stupidest decisions I’ve ever heard!. There is NOTHING to recommend Eisenberg as Luthor! He is far too nebbish and has never shown even the remotest commanding presence. Hell, the guy can’t even stand up straight for god’s sake!

  11. WBs is trying to make a bad movie….

  12. I thought this was a Breaking Bad reference?

  13. shannon says:

    this is going to be a horrible horrible movie.

  14. menachem says:

    WHAT??! How could this get any stupider?

  15. Don’t be surprised if this is the best Lex of all time. He has the potential to be good and I’m not even a fan. People expand your creativity. No one thought Health Ledger would be good as Joker. How did that turn out?

  16. Jessica says:

    Eisenberg?! Just no. And Micheal Caine is going to be a hard one to out do. So… good luck Jeremy Irons!

  17. Holy hell! yet another super hero movie for the 5$ bin at Walmart. The people casting this movie really need to lay of the crack pipe.

  18. Eddie Fraser says:

    They could get Justin Beiber to play Lex luthor, and you people would still fork your cash over willingly, like lambs to slaughter. This is CLEARY going to be more of the same from hollywood. I guess im in the wrong place to complain like this but eisenberg …..really!!!

  19. we wanted Heisenberg as Lex, not Eisenberg

  20. urghh. nuff said
    I’m going to wait for this to come out on netflix

  21. Just Some Guy says:

    Amazing choice. This is on the level of Heath Ledger as Joker. Big backlash at the time, but amazing choice of talent and creativeness. The final result will be just like Heath, you won’t be able to see anyone else once its done.

    • Barry says:

      Nice try Ben Afflec

    • PS says:

      Heath Ledger was absolutely terrific as the Joker, yes. But he was also able to make people believe he was a gay cowboy. Heath Ledger was totally believable in all of his roles, and, he was able to portray the Joker as the maniac he is/was. However, I have serious doubts on Eisenberg’s casting as Lex Luthor. I don’t believe for one minute that Eisenberg will be able to totally embody the subtle but revolting evil that anyone who portrays Lex Luthor needs to have. Movie is going to be rental material for me. Not going to pay serious theater fees to see a humongous box office flop.

      • Damian Wayne says:

        Heath Ledger’s portrayal was great, but not reflective of the comic, sure Batman comic fanboy here. But trust and believe Heath’s performance wasn’t Joker it was something more than or just wide left. Maybe The previous comment is correct. Eisenberg is not a bad actor, but right now I don’t see it. Again Ledger had a great laugh and has pseudo Jokerisms which were fantasctic. But Lex imposes this certain intimidation I can’t fathom believably portrayed by Eisenberg.

      • Just Some Guy says:

        You just gave me more confidence. The more people don’t like it, the more i know its the right choice. Running about 40% positive 60% negative right now. I didn’t think he would rank that good to be honest. I’d feel better if it was more negative against him in the mainstream… then we would know its the best choice. I’d like a 10% positve / 90% negative Heath Ledger year before i even see footage ranking he had LOL

  22. Robb Goodell says:

    Couldn’t think of a more ignorant comment on your part, Norma.

  23. Owen Conklin says:

    I can’t wait till they cast plastic-man… but seriously with the amount of people being stuffed into this production, either it will be Spiderman 3 all over again or heck maybe they will cast me!

    • Kyle says:

      The problem with Eisenberg is that Heath Ledger had makeup to cover up his “pretty boy” face. Lex Luthor is supposed to be tall, muscular, handsome, suave, and have a deep voice. Eisenberg possesses none of these qualities and is, frankly, an annoying actor.

    • lotrfan says:

      What are you smoking? It must be some pretty strong stuff! The nonsense you’re spewing is ridiculous!

  24. vledoc says:

    Who thought Heath Ledger was going to be a good joker? Or Christian Bale a good Batman? Just wait for it to come out and watch it, or don’t. It is going to make money, with or without your $12.

  25. Julia R says:

    It’s bad enough the cast Afleck as Batman but to put Irons as Alfred? He’d make a better Luthor. Then they put the boy from Zombieland as Luthor? I’m sorry abut Spacey was a wonderful Luthor. This is what I think of the choices: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f05S9x7BarE

    • PS says:

      Jeremy Irons would and could make the Alfred role believable, especially since it is a supporting role–not an actual starring role. The problem I’m having is Eisenberg as the arch villain of Lex Luthor. There is no way he’s going to be able to nail it like other, more experienced actors could. No way. This movie is now rental material, not theater attendance material.

  26. PS says:

    Wow. Warner Brothers has really dropped the ball on this film! Now that I’ve finally come to terms with Ben Affleck as Batman (which was a WTH? moment for lots of people, not just me)…they cast Jesse Eisenberg to play Lex Luthor? Really? Though there is no doubt Jesse is talented, I, as a HUGE fan of super-hero movies, cannot come to terms with it! Lex Luthor is Superman’s human arch-nemesis….his persona, his confidence, his evil….is hard to portray well. I didn’t like Kevin Spacey’s version in “Superman Returns” and I even thought Gene Hackman didn’t give the character the depth (Gene Hackman’s portrayal was worse than Spacey’s!!!!!!) that was needed to really bring the character to life well. And now, Jesse Eisenberg????? REALLY??????? Definitely not going to pay $10-$20 to see this movie in a theater! Just no way I am going to throw my money away like that. No way. Being a big fan of superhero movies….I may rent it from a video shop….but no way will I see it in a theater. NO WAY.

  27. StevenX says:

    I’m assuming at this point that Lois Lane will be played by whoever the director is sleeping with, unless of course that’s Eisenberg as well.

  28. I’m so excited ! Why does Lex Luthor must be bald ? In the original comics he wasn’t bald at all he was even a redhead !

  29. Johnny Rocco says:
  30. Oscar says:

    I love the idea, I’m not a fan of Eisenberg but there is a reason these people are called ACTORS, Irons as Alfred, Great who else should play the role of a sophisticated, wise Brit? People need to get over the fact that Warner Bros is going to reboot the Batman franchise. I LOVE Nolan,Mobutu his trilogy is in the past now. Let’s move on with our lives. All the casting has been great in MY opinion.

  31. The arguement of seeing the movie first is a fair one, however the internet thrives on such speculative debates as does let’s be frank box office revenue. No one can afford to wait anymore.

    I review comics for Ain’t It Cool News under the handle Optimous Douche. There are very strict embargo dates in place for our reviews simply because of vitriol vats like this (and every) message board.

    Sometimes I can post early depending on the publisher. Here’s the thing – in many cases the reactions to my reviews are half right and half wrong. Sometimes these decisions do in fact suck – and studios honestly appreciate this fandom fervor – it’s a free focus group.

    As a guy who has read comics for 35 years and written about them professionally for almost the past ten, I can say emphatically this is a bad decision.

    If you nuance the character to Eisenberg you have lost the bravado that makes Lex…well…Lex. If you make Eisenberg fit the traditional mold of Lex Luthor you are putting a square actor into a round character.

    Now, could Snyder completely transform the tenets of Lex Luthor. Sure. But then why even call the character Lex Luthor? Just go make a movie without the brand.

    And once again before someone throws Heath at the wall…even if the Joker was more bat-s%$# crazy and less maniacal, Ledger had the frame and the chops to pull off either direction.

  32. Jim says:

    Well it seems Warner Bros. is going after star power and not caring about anything else. I hope this movie tanks when released in 2016. I for one won’t be seeing it. It has stinker written all over it. When are Warner/DC going to figure out they can’t compete with Marvel on the movie front?

  33. K3NN3R says:

    This sounds awesome! If you want the same old s*** go watch the old versions. I’m all in. Sounds cool.

  34. Rob says:

    This movie, which could be AWESOME!!!!, is already going to suck!!! First off, Ben as batman is a JOKE!! and replacing Michael Cain as Alfred……………… BLASPHEMY!!!! They either should have moved heaven and earth, wait can’t Superman do that?, to bring back Bale or continued with the story line and have Joseph continue on………… FOR SHAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  35. Priscilla Reyese says:

    Seeing that idiot non-talent Ben Affleck is in this movie, I won’t be seeing it. And whoever the idiot was that allowed him to Batman, you just ruined Batman.

  36. Tyler says:

    The irony is that Jesse has curly hair and Lex is bald.

  37. Me says:

    OMG he’s going to shave his head??? Those lovely little curls…!!!! Guess is for a good reason. People really like to talk shit before they even see the movie. Same thing with Bale before he was batman, same thing with Heath Ledger before he was the joker, and now everyone praises them… people really need to learn how to shut the fuck up and wait for the movies. Afterwards if you still don’t like then you can talk shit as much as you want.

    • Fin Alyn says:

      Nobody was talking crap about Bale or Ledger. Some people were concerned, but mostly they had a wait and see attitude. This just seems a bad choice as this character. Should have been Mark Strong.

  38. This is an epic egregiously bad decision. I’m not judging Eisenberg as an actor – I enjoy his quirky appeal. However, there must be some reverence for the original character – a modicum of the core if you will.

    Granted, none of us have seen the script as this is clearly evolving into a JUSTICE LEAGUE movie, but I’ll argue the script is then flawed.

    And please before anyone throws Heath Ledger in my face, let us remember the track records of Nolan versus Snyder. Critically (not box office) Snyder has shat the sheets on super hero movie after super hero movie. Nolan gets the box office bank, critic adoration and comic fan approval every time.

  39. Ken Lateer says:

    And Superman said, “Mmmmmm . . . his neck looks fragile.”

  40. Dude says:

    What’s next? Neil Patrick Harris as Aquaman and Mike Tyson as Cyborg? smh, Zach Synder makes no sense.

  41. shawn says:

    i wish people would wait till the movie comes out to start crying about it, GIVE IT A CHANCE!!! They are taking it a different route, they told everyone that. Ben Affleck was good in “The Town” and “Argo”. Jesse Eisenberg is good, Guess what? Lex Luthor wasn’t always the bald criminal boss that he is always portrayed as. Jeremy Irons will be a bad ass alftred, after dark knight rises, you think it would be fine to bring a different batman but not Alfred? (Not that any of you are happy about that either). So how about you, give it a chance before you start whining, I don’t hear anyone whining about avatar being a rip off of pochahantas….so please give the movie a chance, you might be surprised.

  42. josh says:

    This is excellent casting. Anyone saying different is picturing Luthor with an afro and really isn’t thinking any deeper then that. First Ledger was booed, then Affleck (now people have changed their minds) and now Eisenberg…. get off the band wagon and think for more than half a second.

    • Nothing to do with the band wagon, I think its a bad choice as I feel Lex should be older. His business empire has already been established in Man of Steel and now that they want to throw as many people into the mix as possible, I think they should try and create some sort of existing relationship between Lex and Bruce. Plus with an older Lex they could make out that he had a business relationship with Thomas Wayne, linking Metropolis and Gotham. An older Lex could also lead to him running for office and becoming President which would make for an interesting Justice League movie further down the line. If they want a young Lex then bite the bullet and cast Michael Rosenbaum.

  43. DisappointedSupesFan says:

    Zack Snyder’s casting calls are ridiculous. It’s not that Ben Affleck and Jesse Eisenberg will be deplorable in these roles (though I am extremely doubtful of Eisenberg – he looks and sounds like a teenager), but they’re not going to live up to the potential that these roles have shown in the past. This is a once in a generation opportunity to get it right, and Snyder is doing a terrible job contributing to the Superman franchise.

  44. Kobolos says:

    Billy Zane was robbed.

  45. Justin says:

    It is not like the guy is an academy award nominated actor or anything.

  46. Kyle says:

    Jesse Eisenberg has signed onto play Lex Luthor in the next batman movie….I am officially done with that. Two of my least favorite actors in him and Affleck!

    • Johnnie says:

      STFU. You’ll be first in line to see the movie and you know it!
      “No, I won’t! I’ll TOTALLY boycott the movie!”
      Yeah, whatever. Idiot.

  47. Blake Harvey says:

    This movie just keeps itself in an absolute nosedive! I hope this movie tanks like no other movie has tanked before. You cast the little pussy kid from zombieland as lex fricking Luther!

  48. Ugh says:

    I hate life.

  49. Evan says:

    Everyone’s saying that this is bad casting, but does nobody remember that we all said the same thing about Heath Ledger? For all we know, this movie could end up being awesome, despite the fact that they’re throwing everything at us at once.

  50. Mohd ali says:

    great, a stammering lex, thanks snyder!

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