The highly anticipated Man Of Steel sequel, Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice has slowly revealed more and more about the film. Unlike the hundreds of rumors surrounding Marvel and Star Wars, not a lot is known about this 2016 film. We’ve seen photos of the new characters like Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and now we have Lex Luther, played by Jesse Eisenberg. This picture has inspired me to write a thousand words about it, along with some of my impressions about the film so far.
Similar to the Aquaman photo from a few weeks ago, this photo shows us only a face. The face of Jesse Eisenberg in his Lex Luther role. It’s not much to go on when predicting how good the movie will be, or how well Eisenberg will perform. So most of this is speculation from the little bit of information I have to go on.
When I first heard of Eisenberg’s casting as the well known Superman villain, Lex Luther, I begged for it to be a joke or false rumor. I think Eisenberg is a fantastic actor in a role that fits him. The Social Network was a perfect movie for him to star in because he plays that character well. He hasn’t really done anything notable outside of that kind of character either, and Luther is nowhere near there.
I generally don’t have strong feelings towards casting choices because it’s hard for me to imagine an actor playing a role I’ve never seen them do before. I was content with Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Godat as Wonder Woman, and Jason Momoa as Aquaman. I trust the filmmakers’ vision for their actors more than I do mine, so I haven’t complained about their choices. But with Eisenberg, I couldn’t help it. He is the last person I would have chosen for that role, not taking away anything from his talents. Like I said, I think he is great in a more suitable role.
The easy argument against this is the numerous times backlash has been quieted by an actor when we finally see the movie. No one liked Heath Ledger’s Joker casting, and we all know how that turned out. I hope this is true for Eisenberg as Luther, but I have very serious doubts.
Those were my thoughts prior to this photo. I still have doubts, however, they’re less strong now. He looks like the Lex Luther I’m familiar with, but I still see Eisenberg. If I were looking at this photo before he was casted, I would think that it’s just a bald Mark Zuckerberg. He does not have a face that I associate with villainous strength or a worthy opponent to Superman. Jason Momoa would be a better choice in my opinion. Why can’t he play both Aquaman and Luther? Obviously, that was never considered, but I could get behind that more than Eisenberg.
Going into the one and only photo we have of Eisenberg, I still don’t see a lot to change my mind. It has been edited to look intimidating, and does in some ways, sure. But all I see is that calm, sarcastic demeanor he had in The Social Network. Momoa’s photo looked much more intimidating and he’s not even the bad guy, at least I don’t think he is. The black and white with prominent shadowing along his face adds effect and looks cool, but that’s one photoshopped image. You can’t do that for an entire film. I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard to make all the characters from Batman Forever look good in a photo.
This movie is only a year away now, meaning we should be seeing some actual footage soon. I’m sure DC is going to want to be as proactive as possible marketing this movie because they are behind. I don’t know what is happening behind closed doors and how well thought out their plan is, but in the public eye, they are losing. Talking to my friends, they all think Marvel is making far better movies than DC is right now. They only have one film in their respective universe though. While it wasn’t great, it did set up the universe well.
I have more worries about this film than Eisenberg too. It looks a lot more like a Justice League movie than a sequel to Man Of Steel. I don’t know the Justice League team exactly, but they have most of the important and well known characters in this one. I’m not against having a partial Justice League movie sooner, but I think it is going to be hard to introduce so many new, important characters while also developing the ones we’ve already seen. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is an example of how that hurts a movie. Maybe they’re rushing to catch up to Marvel, or they could have some valid reasoning I haven’t even thought of. Batman is definitely a character worthy of a standalone film.
I try to stay positive when talking about upcoming movies, and movies in general. The part of me that is critical of film is skeptical about Eisenberg and the Man Of Steel sequel. But as a fan, I can’t wait to see a movie that puts Batman up against Superman! There aren’t two other names you could but a vs. between and make sound more epic. DC has a great pool of superheroes and villains to adapt into films. Zack Snyder is a phenomenal visual director who I am extremely excited to see work on these franchises.
To conclude on the Eisenberg/Luther photo, I still have a lot of concerns about his performance in Batman v Superman. I haven’t heard anything bad from anyone but fans, so if the filmmakers trust him, I’ll go in with an open mind. The photo certainly does not detract me from my anticipation of seeing the film, nor does it increase it much. It is after all, just a photo. Worth a thousand words, yes, but it doesn’t say anything for sure.