Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is narcissistic, vengeful, and nothing like you’ve seen before. But, before the actor could dig his claws into the material, he was originally offered a much different role.
Speaking with the Los Angeles Times, director Zack Snyder wouldn’t reveal which character he had in mind for Eisenberg, only that “it was the exact opposite of Lex Luthor.” When the actor turned it down, he was then offered the “cooler” role.
Eisenberg’s casting earned the ire of many DC fans, which he called “bewildering” because it’s a part “they haven’t seen me play yet.” Still, he explained why his portrayal needs to be quite different than what’s been seen before.
“When you’re doing a movie like this and playing a character that’s already been played, the further away it is from those previous incarnations the better. Because chances are, especially with a guy like Gene Hackman or Kevin Spacey, you’re not going to get favorably compared.”
Snyder previously told EW that Eisenberg’s rendition is “not any of the Lexes that you’ve seen, that’s for sure other than him being a captain of industry and one person to the world and another person to himself. And bald, of course.”
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And he will go bald. In addition to EW’s exclusive look, Eisenberg joked about his new hairdo to the Los Angeles Times. “Literally, there would be one of those Wile E. Coyote things where the piano drops from the sky randomly on his head. That’s what will happen to me.”