Jesse Eisenberg is to play arch-villain Lex Luthor in Warner Bros’ Superman-Batman movie – a choice that has surprised film fans.
Eisenberg, 30, is a widely respected actor and playwright, but is not known for the kind of villainous gravitas that Gene Hackman brought to the role. He made his screen debut with comedy-drama television series Get Real, from 1999 to 2000.
The Superman-Batman film is to be directed by Zac Snyder and many fans also questioned the choice of Ben Affleck for Batman. Henry Cavill will reprise the role of Superman.
Snyder says Eisenberg allows the film to take Luthor in “some new and unexpected directions”.
Jeremy Irons will play Alfred, Bruce Wayne’s butler and loyal guardian – a role that went to Sir Michael Caine in the Dark Knight trilogy.
The film will open in May 2016.