Jesse Eisenberg has been cast as Lex Luthor in the upcoming sequel to Man of Steel, tentatively dubbed the “Batman vs. Superman” movie.

Jesse Eisenberg Cast As Lex Luthor

Eisenberg joins new cast members Jeremy Irons, Gal Godot (Wonder Woman) and Ben Affleck in the highly anticipated sequel. Eisenberg, 30, is a surprising casting choice, though it won’t be his first time playing a less than likable character. Eisenberg is most known for his Oscar nominated turn as Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network (2010). Many reactions on the Internet have been less than favorable, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise to director Zack Snyder, who already witnessed explosive backlash after announcing that Affleck would be playing Batman.

“Lex Luthor is often considered the most notorious of Superman’s rivals, his unsavory reputation preceding him since 1940. 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,” Snyder said in a statement announcing the casting.

Eisenberg’s casting has caused a few raised eyebrows. The actor is known for his anxious and awkward energy, and fans are wondering whether he will be able to play a viable foe to Henry Cavill’s Superman. Eisenberg’s casting also upset fans that had hoped that Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston would portray Lex Luthor in the Man of Steel sequel.

Jeremy Irons To Play Alfred

On the other hand, newly announced cast member Jeremy Irons has been well received by fans. Irons will play Alfred, Batman’s trusty sidekick/butler, who was played by fellow British actor Michael Caine in the Christopher Nolan Dark Knight trilogy.

“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. 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,” Snyder said.

The Man of Steel sequel is set for release May 6, 2016.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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