When Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters next March, fans will be introduced to a much different version of Lex Luthor, played by Jesse Eisenberg. The 31-year-old actor is younger than the previous big screen incarnations of the iconic villain, since Gene Hackman was 48 when he played the evil character in 1978's Superman, and Kevin Spacey was 47 when 2006's Superman Returns was released. During an interview with The Observer, Jesse Eisenberg revealed that Lex Luthor is the best role he has ever gotten.
"A lot of great actors are doing comic book adaptations. But that's because those movies have become so good. In a lot of ways Luthor is more of a stretch than any character you would do in an independent movie, which is normally the place you stretch. So in that way it was not at all compromised. If anything it was the best, most advantageous role I've ever been given."
One might think that is an incredibly bold statement, since the actor picked up an Oscar nomination for playing Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in the Best Picture nominee The Social Network. When asked to clarify his statement, Jesse Eisenberg said that it's rare to have such an interesting character like Lex Luthor in a movie as huge as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Here's what he had to say below, which includes plenty of praise for Oscar-winning screenwriter Chris Terrio.
"It's because the opportunity to do an interesting character on a movie of that scale is incredibly rare. The character is written by the phenomenal writer [and Argo Oscar winner] Chris Terrio. His background is not in comic books so he was coming at it from emotion and story and created this really wonderful character, as enigmatic as he is emotionally honest."
We got our first glimpse at Luthor in the second Batman v Superman trailer, which debuted at Comic-Con this summer. This version of Luthor is a far cry from the bald, maniacal villain we've seen before, but instead he's presented as an eccentric young man of wealth, who may have some nefarious plans up his sleeve. Jesse Eisenberg went on to praise Chris Terrio some more, hinting that geopolitical themes are put on display, along with all of the traditional superhero movie elements.
"Now people expect the tone to be more realistic just because we live in a world where the average audience member has a sense of psychological motivations. [It raises the question] how can one man-Superman-have so much power? These are the kind of things that we talk about when we think about authoritarian states, when we talk about Vladimir Putin having a strong foothold in Eastern Europe. They're addressing geopolitics in this movie and not in a way that's pretentious or esoteric. Terrio cleverly ties in these really exciting superhero elements with these really sophisticated, philosophical themes in a much smarter, different way."
There have been a number of rumors regarding Lex Luthor's villainous plans in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but nothing has been confirmed. Hopefully we'll see more of Luthor in the third trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but we don't know when that will arrive at this time. What do you think about these new details from Jesse Eisenberg? Chime in with your thoughts and stay tuend for more on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.