There are few things that have ever set the internet on fire like the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman in WB’s upcoming Batman v. Superman. The ire expressed by millions was almost painful and a true indication of just how attached some fans are to their vision of the characters that mean so much to them. After Affleck, the announcement of Jesse Eisenberg landing the role of supervillain Lex Luthor was almost lost in the shuffle for many when, really, this was the news that should have affected fans even more than Affleck’s Batman. However, some recent remarks Eisenberg made to Total Film may give some credibility to Zack Snyder’s vision of the DC Cinematic Universe moving forward.
Eisenberg is considered, by some, to be a wonderful actor who is able to pull off any role he grabs. For others, the only thing that changes between his roles is his age and name. While those critics may not expect a deep take on Lex Luthor, Eisenberg explained to Total Film that this is exactly what brought him to the role in the first place, though he feels actors are the ones who bring a character to life.
There are some indications of how the character should behave based on the script, and then as actor makes it his or her own,” he says. “I got to know one of the writers really well, Chris Terrio, and we were able to discuss things at length and figure out who this person is to create a real psychology behind what is, perhaps, in a comic book, a less than totally modern psychology. I can only say I’ve been asked to play an interesting role: a complicated, challenging person.
Of course, in true Hollywood fashion, the studio wouldn’t send the script for his review before he agreed to play the part.
They asked me if I wanted to play the part before they sent me the script. I’m not sure how it worked, but it’s something I read with the understanding that I could do the role, If I…” he stopped. “You know, they don’t just hand the scripts out. But I really liked it on its own terms. I would do it if it was for free and it was tiny.
Free? That’s not likely but according to Eisenberg, that’s just the way he was raised.
My father always cautions me against thinking of something as a means to some other end, because then it’s irresponsible to the ‘means’ thing.
Well, at least it’s not the money that attracted him to the role. Maybe it was his love of the character, right? Nope. According to the new Lex, he doesn’t read comic books and has never even seen a comic book movie. Of course, out of respect for the role, once he signed on for BvS, he did look through a stack of comics and watched “that movie with Gene Hackman”.
Eisenberg is known for bypassing blockbuster roles in favor of roles in smaller movies that he feels are truly artistic and showcase is talent. So, taking such an important role, one that will likely spread across a few movies, will be something that will shine a light on him that he may not be used to. How does he feel it will affect him?
I’ve been in things that have been popular before,” asserted the actor. “To say, I can’t do that which will appear in thousands of theaters on opening day, but I can do this which will appear in this amount of theaters… It’s arbitrary. I realise how popular comic-book movies are, and now, working on one, I realise why they’re popular – the story is really good, the dialogue is really good, the artistry behind every department is high, the acting is really good. So if they’re all put together with that level of quality…
Well, hopefully the actor’s opinion of the script will translate well to his performance and that the script truly is a strong as he claims it is. After all, BvS is one of the riskiest gambles that Warner Bros. has ever played. If the movie is successful, it will signal the launch of an entire universe of characters that many fans have been waiting their entire lives to see on the big screen. If it fails, well, that means that those properties that we are all hoping to experience in theaters may not work out quite as well as WB had hoped. Considering their recently released slate of comic book movies, let’s all hope that BvS is everything we have ever hoped for.