By: Drew Gardner
For nearly a year now, there’s been a great deal of attention paid to casting for DC Comics’ upcoming blockbuster films. The Internet nearly exploded when the news broke that Ben Affleck was taking on the role of Batman; the choice of Game Of Thrones star Jason Momoa brought a new excitement to the character of Aquaman; and in the past few weeks, hype for Jared Leto’s coming Joker interpretation has swept the web.
But among all this excitement, surprisingly little has been said about the seemingly bizarre choice of Jesse Eisenberg to play a young Lex Luthor in Batman vs. Superman: Dawn Of Justice. Eisenberg is a very capable actor, but at just 31 years of age, he’ll bring a very new look to the character compared to what we’ve seen from the likes of Gene Hackman and Kevin Spacey in previous Superman films.
So what will Eisenberg’s version of one of comic lore’s greatest villains be like? Here’s what we know.
He Will Be Bald
This sounds like a given, but there were some reports online that Eisenberg’s Luthor would have hair, at least to start with. The character is traditionally bald, however, and early images of Eisenberg in the role (displayed by IGN) show that he has indeed shaved his head to play the part. Whether he has hair at one point in the film and goes bald for another remains to be seen. But for those who heard the news that Luthor would have hair, there seems to be nothing to be alarmed about. Eisenberg is probably going to put a pretty original spin on the character, but they’re not messing with the fundamental appearance of the villain.
We Don’t Know About The Warsuit
For fans of the Superman comics, the question of whether or not Lex Luthor will wear his warsuit in the coming film is a very interesting one. Traditionally, the warsuit is one of the iconic “costumes” in comic book history—the defining weapon of a major villain. Sci Fi Now even has an infographic comparing the suit to Iron Man’s armor, and entire forums exist where fans debate the perks of each suit. And yet, we’ve never seen it in a major live action film.
The suit is best known from comic art, but it also makes appearances in various video game interpretations of Superman stories. Injustice: Gods Among Us employs the suit for its version of Luthor, and even a slot machine called Superman: Last Son Of Krypton hosted on this platform depicts Superman and Luthor squaring off in mid-air. The game uses character art to create a distinct atmosphere familiar to comic book fans and interesting for gamers, and sure enough Luthor is floating about in the traditional green-and-purple warsuit. In film, however, no such image exists. Both Hackman and Spacey stayed relatively grounded in their interpretations (and costuming) of Luthor.
Eisenberg’s Luthor Is All About Tech
Lex Luthor is always a genius and businessman, though there’s no single profession that we commonly associate him with. Sometimes he appears as a sort of evil comic version of Elon Musk, dabbling in various realms of scientific and technological advancement. And other times he’s essentially a power-hungry real estate titan. But according to Screenrant, Eisenberg’s version of the character will be more of a young tech billionaire type, consistent with Eisenberg’s breakout performance as Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network. It’s suggested that LexCorp could be something of a comic Google, with Luthor displaying “spastic mannerisms, like a 20-something guy that pounds energy drinks all day.” This would be a very different take on the character, but perhaps lends itself more naturally to maniacal ambition.
Drew Gardner is a comic enthusiast and part-time film critic. He loves all things Marvel- and DC-related, and hopes to one day publish a graphic novel of his own.