To call the casting for Zack Snyder’s upcoming Man of Steel sequel (unofficially titled Batman vs. Superman) controversial would be a monumental understatement. First, the studio shocked (and enraged) audiences by announcing that Ben Affleck would be donning the Batsuit this time around. Then, they chose Fast and the Furious alum Gal Gadot for the part of Wonder Woman. It wasn’t long before the actress fell victim to a slew of internet hate, which has now turned its focus towards Jesse Eisenberg due to his casting as Lex Luthor. Though The Social Network actor (along with Affleck and Gadot) may prove to be an inspired choice, for now, the majority of fans are on the fence.
Recently, two actors who have played the iconic villain in the past, Kevin Spacey (Superman Returns) and Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville), were asked what they think of Eisenberg’s casting.
In an interview with Empire, Spacey gave a pretty enthusiastic response:
“I think [Jesse Eisenberg] is a remarkable actor. He’s just going to f**king own it. I think it’s a great idea and I wish him the best with it.”
In the same interview he was asked if he’d ever want to return to the iconic role, but denied any interest and said that he would rather “explore new terrain.” Personally, I thought Spacey was a fine Lex but suffered from being in a less-than-stellar Superman movie that isn’t looked back on too fondly.
Rosenbaum, however, is considered by many fans as the definitive Lex. After playing the character for seven seasons on Smallville, he’s had the most experience in the role and has popped up on several fans’ dream casting lists for the part in Zack Snyder’s film. He was interviewed by Cinekatz recently and was equally as enthused about Eisenberg as Spacey was and offered up a bit of advice.
“First off, I think he’s a really good actor. I don’t think he needs any advice from me, he’ll do his homework. Do it your way. I’m sure Zack [Snyder] has an idea. He cast you for reason. Jesse’s a good actor. He’ll do it his own way and that’s the best way. If you can do it your way, if you succeed or fail, you succeed because you are being original. If you’re trying to emulate someone, you’ll always be compared. That’s why I didn’t want to be compared during ‘Smallville.’ I didn’t watch any of Gene Hackman as Lex. He’ll be fantastic. Great actor, no problem with it.”
Of course, while the endorsements from Luthors past are certainly nice to hear, it’s doubtful they will help quiet the vocal fanbase that’s made Eisenberg’s casting so controversial. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how successful he is in the part, and if he’s able to put his own stamp on the character, when Batman vs. Superman arrives on May 6th, 2016.
Tell us, what do you think of what Rosenbaum and Spacey had to say about Eisenberg? Are you skeptical about his casting, or do you think he’ll make a good Lex? Sound off below!