Friday, October 24, 2014 Headlines & Global News

'Batman vs. Superman' (Man of Steel 2) Update: Warner Bros. Never Wanted An Old Lex Luthor; Jesse Eisenberg Was Third In Line For Role?

By Zulai Serrano z.serrano@hngn.com | Feb 05, 2014 01:46 PM EST

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It's been days since the news of Jesse Eisenberg's casting to play Lex Luthor in "Batman vs. Superman" led to mixed reactions on Internet, but there is reason why Warner Bros. chose a younger actor to play the villain.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio went through a list of actors  for the upcoming "Man of Steel 2" before choosing 30-year-old Eisenberg.  THR sources close to the production claim "Girls" star Adam Driver was approached to play Luthor, but had to reject the offer due to a conflict.  Multiple reports previously connected Driver to the film, but claimed he was up for the role of Nightwing, also known as Batman's estranged sidekick Robin.

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When Driver said no to the part, THR sources claim Joaquin Phoenix was offered the role.  However, the "Her" actress passed on the part of Lex Luthor, but the previous reports of Phoenix being connected to the film were allegedly accurate.

Both Driver, 30, and Phoenix, 39, are not as old as other actors reportedly connected to the film, like Bryan Cranston or Tom Hanks, who are both 57-years-old.  However, unlike multiple insider reports previously stated, THR sources revealed the two actors were never up for the role.

Warner Bros. allegedly never wanted an older man to take on the role of Lex Luthor.  According to THR sources, the original vision was always to her the villain "in line with several recent graphic-novel and TV incarnations, in which he is a childhood friend of the young Man of Steel."

The THR sources are in line with the statement director Zack Snyder released on Jan. 31 relating to Eisenberg's casting decision:

"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."

The untitled "Man of Steel 2", nicknamed "Batman vs. Superman", is set to hit theaters on May 6, 2016.

Which version of Lex Luthor do you like most: the older villain or the younger foe?  Let us know in the comments section below.

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