Well, this is a shocker.
Warner Bros. announced Jesse Eisenberg has been cast as Lex Luthor in the “Batman/Superman” movie.
Jeremy Irons has also been picked to play Alfred.
The news of Eisenberg in the Luthor role is a bit of a surprise. Of all the names that have been tossed out there for the part — from Denzel Washington to Joaquin Phoenix — the “Social Network” actor’s name hasn’t come up.
As much of a surprise as his casting may be, Eisenberg starred in last year’s summer blockbuster “Now You See Me.” The magic movie starring Morgan Freeman and Woody Harrelson made $351.7 million worldwide. In Warner Bros.’ mind, Eisenberg definitely has the appeal of a younger audience.
Earlier, “Fast and Furious” actress Gal Gadot was recently cast in the superhero film as Wonder Woman.
Eisenberg and Irons will join returning stars Henry Cavill and Amy Adams along with Ben Affleck who was cast as the Caped Crusader last year.
The “Batman / Superman” movie was originally set for a July 2015 release date but just pushed back from July 2015 to May 2016.
Here’s the press release from Warner Bros.:
BURBANK, CA, January 31, 2014 — Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that Jesse Eisenberg has been set to star as Lex Luthor and Jeremy Irons will play Alfred in the upcoming Zack Snyder untitled Superman/Batman film. The dual announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.
Snyder stated, “Lex Luthor is often considered the most notorious of Superman’s rivals, his unsavory reputation preceding him since 1940. 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.”
The director added, “As everyone knows, Alfred is Bruce Wayne’s most trusted friend, ally and mentor, a noble guardian and father figure. He is an absolutely critical element in the intricate infrastructure that allows Bruce Wayne to transform himself into Batman. It is an honour 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 received Academy Award®, Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award® and BAFTA Award nominations for his starring role as Mark Zuckerberg in David Fincher’s “The Social Network.” He also starred in Woody Allen’s “To Rome with Love” and Louis Letterier’s “Now You See Me.” He next appears in “The Double” and “Night Moves.”
Irons won the Academy Award® for his portrayal of Claus von Bülow in “Reversal of Fortune.” His work in the film also garnered him a Golden Globe Award. He won an Emmy Award and a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award® for his performance in the TV miniseries “Elizabeth I,” opposite Helen Mirren, and recently starred on the small screen as Rodrigo Borgia in Neil Jordan’s highly acclaimed Showtime series “The Borgias,” for which Irons earned a Golden Globe nomination. He was recently nominated for a SAG Award® for the PBS Great Performances television miniseries “The Hollow Crown,” for his performance as Henry IV.
Snyder’s film stars Henry Cavill, reprising his role as Superman/Clark Kent, Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne, and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince. The film also reunites “Man of Steel” stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane.
The new film is currently being written by Chris Terrio, from a screenplay by David S. Goyer. Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder are producing, with Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Wesley Coller, David S. Goyer and Geoff Johns serving as executive producers.
The film is set to open worldwide on May 6, 2016, and is based on Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster, Batman characters created by Bob Kane, and Wonder Woman created by William Moulton Marston, appearing in comic books published by DC Entertainment.
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