In addition to Ben Affleck's new Batman and Gal Gadot's new Wonder Woman, 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will also give us a new Lex Luthor, played by Jesse Eisenberg. The mantle of the bald-headed one has previously been held by Gene Hackman, Michael Rosenbaum, Clancy Brown and John Shea to name a few, and next year Eisenberg will get a chance to put his own imprint on the villain.
Speaking on The Diane Rehm Show (opens in new tab), The Social Network actor spilled the beans on how he approached the character: “I’ve always noticed the best thing to channel, as an actor, is yourself. To figure out what makes you angry, what makes you feel vengeful or righteous. Those are the feelings that Lex Luthor has. And use that as opposed to kind of watching Gene Hackman, who’s a great actor obviously and played that part originally, and think, ‘How can I kind of mirror that?'"
“Because the truth is, me mirroring him would just come off weird. We have different faces, different life experiences, different emotions, but what I do have – that I have more than anybody – is my own feelings, and so I use those, and then the character seems not only real, but emotional and just. He believes he’s the hero of his own story – is the kind of the actor cliche – when you’re playing the villain, you’re the hero of your own story. That’s the kind of most interesting way for me as an actor, and I think, for an audience to appreciate as well.”
Eisenberg's comments read as both savvy and smart. Even the little we've of his character thus far makes it clear that this will be a very different Luthor than we've seen in the past. We're pretty sure he'll still be evil though, right? Directed by Zack Snyder and starring Henry Cavill, Affleck, Gadot and Eisenberg, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will arrive in UK and US cinemas on March 25 2016.