Zack Snyder Defends Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor Casting

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Zack Snyder Defends Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor Casting

Man of Steel-director Zack Snyder says the sequel's cast is being chosen "according to what's happening in the script."

Zack Snyder's Batman/Superman crossover sequel to Man of Steel has been privy to a lot of criticism for a variety of reasons. Some took issue with the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman. Others have been a bit peeved that Wonder Woman is being introduced as a side character when, by all rights, she should have her own movie franchise by now. Most recently, however, many were taken aback by the film's casting of Jesse Eisenberg (Zombieland, The Social Network) as Lex Luthor. One person not puzzled by the decision however, is Zack Snyder himself. Speaking about the issue recently, he stepped up to defend Eisenberg's participation in the movie.

"There are two ways to think about it. We know the material. Unfortunately, the fans don't know the material. So, we're casting according to what's happening in the script," said Snyder. "I think Jesse is going to be an amazing Lex. Let's not forget he was nominated for an Academy Award. It's not like I just grabbed my friend to play the guy! This guy's the real deal." While many would agree that Eisenberg is more than a decent actor, it's not hard to see why some could perhaps have a difficult time picturing him as Lex Luthor. In past films Eiseberg, even in his more powerful roles, has often played softer more understated characters. Luthor, comparatively, is arguably a tad more on the larger-than-life side.

Of course, it probably didn't help that supposed inside sources have pegged Snyder's version of Luthor as coming from wildly different origins than previous renditions of the character. Just personally, I could buy a more traditional version of Luthor played by a shaved-headed Eisenberg. One doesn't necessarily need the boom of Clancy Brown's voice to be intimidating, after all. A tattooed former street tough though? That's another question entirely.

Source: LA Times

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Oh man. Oh man, Zack Snyder, I love you. I love you and that's why you have to learn. This is going to bite you in the ass so hard fans will call it the Chomp Hear Round the World. Even if you're following what's going on in the script have you considered the possibility you need a new script?

The fans don't know the material? Really?

That's an odd thing to say.

Honestly this bothers me very little. It is not as Lex Luthor really has much of a physically defining presence outside of the skin job. Eisenberg is not the worst actor in the world.

Now.. if this had been Eisenberg's doppelganger, Michael Cera, then yeah. That would be a death sentence for such an awful hackneyed excuse for an adult in a childs body pretending to act by behaving awkward and confused.

People could at least wait until a trailer before they start bitching. Honestly, if the movie looks shit from the trailer, bitch until the cows come home and don't go see it.

There's "I don't think he is right for the role" which is fine to think, but I've seen some people completely lose their shit over this and it's weird to see.

I know my quite positive attitude doesn't really have a place here but I think we can all name a few actors we were pleasantly surprised by in movies and maybe Eisenberg will be another one.

I don't think he particularly looks the role and his past movies have been a bit too much "awkward teenager/adult" but this might be his time to shine and break free from the type-casting.

Saying that, if Snyder makes a good movie he will receive all of my respect. It's going to be tough to pull this off.

Alpha Maeko:
The fans don't know the material? Really?

That's an odd thing to say.

Well, nobodys read the script except for the people making the movie :p.
The fans might complain that it's wrong for arbitrary reasons, but in reality they don't really know what's going on until the movie is out.

Alpha Maeko:
The fans don't know the material? Really?

That's an odd thing to say.

I think he means his script rather than the source material. At least I hope so because it might indicate he doesn't know who Lex Luthor actually is (he's the one who runs fast, right?).

EeveeElectro:
People could at least wait until a trailer before they start bitching. Honestly, if the movie looks shit from the trailer, bitch until the cows come home and don't go see it.

There's "I don't think he is right for the role" which is fine to think, but I've seen some people completely lose their shit over this and it's weird to see.

I know my quite positive attitude doesn't really have a place here but I think we can all name a few actors we were pleasantly surprised by in movies and maybe Eisenberg will be another one.

I don't think he particularly looks the role and his past movies have been a bit too much "awkward teenager/adult" but this might be his time to shine and break free from the type-casting.

Saying that, if Snyder makes a good movie he will receive all of my respect. It's going to be tough to pull this off.

If nothing else we can at least expect top flight action scenes. He doesn't use shaky cam a whole lot like most action movies do these days. Say what you will about his films but in almost every single one they have some pretty damn engaging action scenes. Hell Suckerpunch proved that is someone wanted to make an anime into a live action movie and actually use anime style battle cliches and make it work they can. The Owls of Gahoole, Man of Steel, Suckerpunch all had great action beats. Plus the heroes can actually move in their costumes in the live action ones thus allowing them to actually do engaging combat sequences, unlike some other heroes I know. *looks at Batman franchise*

I'm still excited about this. All the castings decisions for the film have made me excited because they are terrific prestigious actors and they suggest that someone somewhere has a vision for this thing because they're not the obvious choices. If everyone was in lazy mode they'd have cast the first bald person to walk on stage. We'd have ended up with Jason Statham as Lex.

And whatever else might have happened, casting wasn't a problem Man Of Steel had.

StewShearer:
"I think Jesse is going to be an amazing Lex. Let's not forget he was nominated for an Academy Award. It's not like I just grabbed my friend to play the guy! This guy's the real deal."

Zack, are you stupid? Nobody was suggesting anything of the sort. People don't take issue with Jesse Eisenberg because they think he's a bad actor. They take issue with Jesse Eisenberg because they've seen the other films he's done, and he's never given the impression he's a good fit for this role. Really, there are only three possible outcomes:

  • Jesse Eisenberg plays the role all wrong
  • Jesse Eisenberg plays the role as written, and it works because you shit all over the source material (likely)
  • Jesse Eisenberg plays the role unexpectedly well (unlikely)

After Man of Steel, I'm putting my money on the second. It's not that I don't think Jesse Eisenberg is a good actor, but this role is so far outside his norm that the only way he can possibly do well is if the script itself gets the character wrong.

P.S. Thanks

P.P.S. Morgan Freeman was also nominated for an Academy Award too, why didn't you cast him as Lex?

glad i'm not a big DC fan, this is all sounding awful too me. this can go with Fantastic 4 in the "wait for bargin bin" part of my wish list

I'm still in support of this. I think the intimidation of a small man with big ideas is scarier than a big man with big ideas. It's not a horror movie, I know, but I have a script in my mind, and if it follows it in any sort of way, I should be on board for this.

Even if it is not, I'll still end up seeing it. I'm not going to just avoid a Justice League movie, nor will I pass on Man of Steel 2 (I still need to see the first Man of Steel)

Glad Snyder finally addressed it so we aren't just speculating on it.

I think he is going for a Zuckerberg kinda billionaire than a mature businessmen billionaire. ME? I would prefer an older and successful business than some kid that got lucky. As an actor, you can be awesome but if you act older than your face, then you fail. An older actor would seem wiser onscreen.

So basically, Zack watched MovieBob's Robocop review, saw the endcards, and then pointed to them and said "What he said".

And now I'm assured that the Justice League movie is never going to surpass The Avengers, and this is coming from someone who was only familiar with DC superheroes before The Avengers came out.

Alpha Maeko:
The fans don't know the material? Really?

That's an odd thing to say.

Given comic book fans, I think those are fighting words.

Given DC's track record? I think this means giving me Kyle and calling him Hal was acceptable for the Green Lantern movie because "They knew the material". I have lost all hope for this film.

An actor known mostly for his roles as the male lead in teen-oriented romance movies was cast in the role as the villain in an upcoming comic book movie. Fans of the source material generally scoffed at the choice of him in the role. He was the pretty boy who gets the girl, not some sinister madman. It was bound to fail.

Why does Warner Brothers insist on getting people that want to wildly change, or even almost have disdain for their source material to make their movies? I know Nolan has a huge fan following. And yeah Dark Knight was a good movie. But as a whole his Batman movies were trying to stay as far as they could from the actual source material and still be able to more or less call it Batman. And don't get me started on Man of Steel. I don't know what was going on there, but it sure as hell was not knowledge of or love and respect for the source material.

For my money, something pretty out of left field is going to have to happen to make me look at Jessie Eisenberg and think to myself "He's Lex Luthor". As an actor he tends to play character are come across as smug, self satisfied arseholes but lack the charm and sophistication to make it look good.

Better bring your A-game, Jessie. Christ knows you'll need it.

DustyDrB:
An actor known mostly for his roles as the male lead in teen-oriented romance movies was cast in the role as the villain in an upcoming comic book movie. Fans of the source material generally scoffed at the choice of him in the role. He was the pretty boy who gets the girl, not some sinister madman. It was bound to fail.

Exactly, oddball casting decisions have always resulted in perfection...

Having never watched Man Of Steel because I figure some of the fundamental changes opposed the main canon of the character, I feel reassured that my lack of interest in that movie works well for this one. I would not be surprised if Jesse played an amazing Lex, it is theoretically possible. But, given the fact that the movie is Batman vs Wonder Woman, and the darker tone the DC movies seem to be taking, I am more interested in watching the Raccoon movie.

I want to see how well Vin Diesel can voice act with only three words...

Covarr:
Jesse Eisenberg plays the role as written, and it works because you shit all over the source material (likely)

Would this really be that bad? I'd love to see Lex taken in a completely new direction as long as it's done well. The only thing that really has me worried about this movie is that it seems a little too packed (like in Spiderman 3). Superman, Batman, Wonderwoman, and Lex Luthor. It seems like they're rushing to do what Marvel's done.

Gordon_4:
For my money, something pretty out of left field is going to have to happen to make me look at Jessie Eisenberg and think to myself "He's Lex Luthor". As an actor he tends to play character are come across as smug, self satisfied arseholes but lack the charm and sophistication to make it look good.

Better bring your A-game, Jessie. Christ knows you'll need it.

In all honesty how many "big" films has Jesse been in actually if you think about it? Zombieland, The Social Network........I can't think of any others. He probably has but those are the two people know and remember him from. In the Social Network he played Lex Luthor light basically. Thinking about it lately I can actually see Jesse playing a very good Lex Luthor. He's not an imposing presence but if he can carry himself right and deliver his lines in such a way he could be even scarier than a more traditional Clancy Brown style Luthor (who to date is still the best Luthor ever.....actually that whole universe is the best version of DC's characters ever).

I'm not saying it's GONNA happen, but remember when people got all furious about Nolan casting Heath Ledger as the Joker?

Just gonna leave it at that.

KazeAizen:

In all honesty how many "big" films has Jesse been in actually if you think about it? Zombieland, The Social Network........I can't think of any others. He probably has but those are the two people know and remember him from. In the Social Network he played Lex Luthor light basically. Thinking about it lately I can actually see Jesse playing a very good Lex Luthor.

I wish I had your optimism; I really do. And I think 'Now You See Me' was another one of his.

KazeAizen:

He's not an imposing presence but if he can carry himself right and deliver his lines in such a way he could be even scarier than a more traditional Clancy Brown style Luthor (who to date is still the best Luthor ever.....actually that whole universe is the best version of DC's characters ever).

God. Yes! Hell if he wasn't as old as he was, I'd say just cut out the middle man and hire Clancy Brown anyway.

I for one look forward to Slow-mo Lex with a Washed Out color palette.

BrotherRool:
All the castings decisions for the film have made me excited because they are terrific prestigious actors and they suggest that someone somewhere has a vision for this thing because they're not the obvious choices.

Didn't they cast some Israeli model whose only acting credit is a Fast and Furious sequel as Wonder Woman? Hardly prestigious. Not saying you're wrong to be excited, but the announced cast so far is far from 100% acting A grade.

Megalodon:

BrotherRool:
All the castings decisions for the film have made me excited because they are terrific prestigious actors and they suggest that someone somewhere has a vision for this thing because they're not the obvious choices.

Didn't they cast some Israeli model whose only acting credit is a Fast and Furious sequel as Wonder Woman? Hardly prestigious. Not saying you're wrong to be excited, but the announced cast so far is far from 100% acting A grade.

I mean it's pretty much the definition of acting A grade in that they've cast multiple oscar winners. I agree that Gal Godot isn't prestigious but she's the exception not the rule in terms of what they've done so far and it's very likely that her part in this particular film is just going to be a cameo.

IMDB lists 8 confirmed actors so far. Of those 3 have won Oscars and only Gal Gadot hasn't been nominated for one.

lex luthor creates facebook and everyone who joins it gets brainwashed into fighting superman and batman like a horde of zombies.
and they both have to incapacitate them without killing them.

its going to be a hard time for the creators of this movie to get anything good out of this since people are already tainted by a mediocre predesessor of the movie and the actors who appeared on okayish movies.

Gordon_4:
For my money, something pretty out of left field is going to have to happen to make me look at Jessie Eisenberg and think to myself "He's Lex Luthor". As an actor he tends to play character are come across as smug, self satisfied arseholes but lack the charm and sophistication to make it look good.

Better bring your A-game, Jessie. Christ knows you'll need it.

So he plays smug self satisfied arseholes with no charm and a total messiah complex about themselves. And thats not Lex.

...have you, like, read a comic featuring Lex Luthor in the last 50 years?

Toadfish1:

Gordon_4:
For my money, something pretty out of left field is going to have to happen to make me look at Jessie Eisenberg and think to myself "He's Lex Luthor". As an actor he tends to play character are come across as smug, self satisfied arseholes but lack the charm and sophistication to make it look good.

Better bring your A-game, Jessie. Christ knows you'll need it.

So he plays smug self satisfied arseholes with no charm and a total messiah complex about themselves. And thats not Lex.

...have you, like, read a comic featuring Lex Luthor in the last 50 years?

To me, Lex Luthor has always seemed like charismatic and charming man: his public image as an industrialist, a scientist and statesmen depend on such things. He's a total bastard, but still a charming one: unless he's talking to or about Superman. That's when he starts with the ranting, raving and table flipping behavior.

SonOfVoorhees:
I think he is going for a Zuckerberg kinda billionaire than a mature businessmen billionaire. ME? I would prefer an older and successful business than some kid that got lucky. As an actor, you can be awesome but if you act older than your face, then you fail. An older actor would seem wiser onscreen.

Maybe, but honestly, thinking back to The Social Network he did play Zuckerberg with a certain kind of natural arrogance that to me is something I really associate with Lex Luthor. And he did do that very very well. Too smart for his own good, a natural tendency to arrogance and narcissism, that sort of thing.

If Eisenberg manages to extrapolate on that part of his Zuckerberg character, drop the childishness and add a certain air of professionalism and charm I could actually see this work. Maybe. I'm not discounting it in any case.

Nominated for an Academy Award != good for any and every role.

Suited to script != suited to character, because the script may != a good script, and the representation of the character may != a good representation of the character.

I am surprised that at the point Jesse Eisenberg became a good candidate for Lex Luthor nobody said "Wait a fucking second, we must have gone wrong somewhere, why don't we revise the script".

I mean he's meant to be bald, for crying out loud.

KazeAizen:

EeveeElectro:
People could at least wait until a trailer before they start bitching. Honestly, if the movie looks shit from the trailer, bitch until the cows come home and don't go see it.

There's "I don't think he is right for the role" which is fine to think, but I've seen some people completely lose their shit over this and it's weird to see.

I know my quite positive attitude doesn't really have a place here but I think we can all name a few actors we were pleasantly surprised by in movies and maybe Eisenberg will be another one.

I don't think he particularly looks the role and his past movies have been a bit too much "awkward teenager/adult" but this might be his time to shine and break free from the type-casting.

Saying that, if Snyder makes a good movie he will receive all of my respect. It's going to be tough to pull this off.

If nothing else we can at least expect top flight action scenes. He doesn't use shaky cam a whole lot like most action movies do these days. Say what you will about his films but in almost every single one they have some pretty damn engaging action scenes. Hell Suckerpunch proved that is someone wanted to make an anime into a live action movie and actually use anime style battle cliches and make it work they can. The Owls of Gahoole, Man of Steel, Suckerpunch all had great action beats. Plus the heroes can actually move in their costumes in the live action ones thus allowing them to actually do engaging combat sequences, unlike some other heroes I know. *looks at Batman franchise*

Normally i would agree, but i think the action scenes was what ruined Man of Steel, i kinda enjoyed the movie but the action was so boring and drawn out. But normally he manages action pretty well, his all style and no substance, but it kinda works for him. Unfortunately i think the quality of his work has declined recently, Man of Steel was the best of the last three, but still not particularily good (mainly do to action imo) and Sucker Punch + the owl were pretty awful. He's best when he adapts stuff.

CriticalMiss:

I think he means his script rather than the source material. At least I hope so because it might indicate he doesn't know who Lex Luthor actually is (he's the one who runs fast, right?).

...Yes, he is actually http://voicesfromkrypton.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/youngflash.jpg

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