BREAKING: Two more key roles have been cast in Zack Snyder’s upcoming Superman-Batman movie for Warner Bros. Jesse Eisenberg will play Superman’s arch enemy Lex Luthor and Jeremy Irons will play Bruce Wayne’s butler/mentor Alfred in the pic, which is set for a May 6, 2016 release. They join Henry Cavill, reprising his role as Superman/Clark Kent in what Warners is billing as a sequel to its Man Of Steel; Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne; and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince. Man of Steel stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane also are in the new pic.
Both castings show the young-ification of the DC Comics franchise; Caine is 15 years older than Irons, and Gene Hackman, the most prominent of past big-screen Lex Luthors, was in his late 40s and early 50s when he played the role. Eisenberg is 30. Irons, who takes over from Michael Caine who played the role in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, joins fellow Oscar winner Affleck and Oscar nominees Adams, Fishburne and Lane in the movie; Eisenberg was nominated for an Oscar for The Social Network.
“Lex Luthor is often considered the most notorious of Superman’s rivals, his unsavory reputation preceding him since 1940,” Snyder said in Warner Bros’ announcement of the castings today. “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.” As for Irons: “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,” Snyder said. “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.”
Chris Terrio is currently writing the script 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 executive producing.