Congratulations to DC and Warner Bros. for coming out with casting news that will take the heat off Ben Affleck as Batman.

‘Zombieland’ star Jesse Eisenberg has been announced for the role of Metropolis tycoon and Superman’s primary villain Lex Luthor for the upcoming Superman/Batman film.  Eisenberg will join returning ‘Man of Steel’ cast members Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburn, and Diane Lane, as well as new cast members Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman and Gal Gadot and Wonder Woman.  Director Zack Snyder commented on the casting of Eisenberg, saying,

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.

Apart from Eisenberg, it was also announced that veteran actor Jeremy Irons will be taking on the role of Bruce Wayne’s butler and confidant Alfred Pennyworth.  According to Snyder,

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.

Quick reaction to the Eisenberg casting news has been as mixed as the casting news of Ben Affleck as Batman, with a lot of fans citing Eisenberg’s lack of range in previous roles as a mark against the actor.  Choosing a young actor like Eisenberg is a surprising move, especially with previous casting rumors of Bryan Cranston and Denzel Washington.  Hopefully we will see a new cinematic take on Luthor instead of the real estate scheming villain played by Gene Hackman and Kevin Spacey.  Luthor in the comics is a business man of such level that he is a professional rival to Bruce Wayne and was even elected President.

[Variety]