Bryan Cranston can stop taking the ol’ razor to his bonce, at least in fans’ minds, because Warner Bros. has decided who will play Lex Luthor in the still-untitled Superman Vs. Batman mash-up and it isn't the Man Who Was Heisenberg. It is, however, Jesse Eisenberg, with Jeremy Irons tapped to fill Michael Caine’s suit as Bruce Wayne’s butler, Alfred.
The announcement – surprising both in terms of who was eventually cast and that Warners would push the news out on a Friday – ends the months of speculation about who would play the key Superman villain. Irons, meanwhile, is an intriguing choice for Alfred, a younger man compared to an employer who Ben Affleck has said he wants to be older and wiser.
“Lex Luthor is often considered the most notorious of Superman’s rivals, his unsavoury reputation preceding him since 1940,” says director Zack Snyder in the official press release. “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.”
Snyder has shot some early footage but the majority of the film is still to be completed, headed now for a May 2016 release date after the recent shift to allow the filmmakers, which include scriptwriter David S. Goyer, the time to get everything into shape. In addition to Henry Cavill as Supes, Man Of Steel veterans Amy Adams, Diane Lane and Laurence Fishburne are all aboard, joining new arrivals Affleck as Batman and Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman.