Warner Bros. Announced The Casting to a Surprised Internet
After months of speculation and rumors of Lex Luthor and who'll play him in the Man of Steel sequel, tentatively titled 'Batman vs Superman,' Warner Bros. officially announced that Jesse Eisenberg (Now You See Me, The Social Network, Zombieland) has been cast in the villainous role. They also announced that Jeremy Irons (The Borgias, Dead Ringers, Reversal of Fortune) was cast as Batman's trusty butler and confidante, Alfred.
Despite everyone from Mark Strong, Bryan Cranston, and Joaquin Phoenix being rumored to be Superman's most famous rival the role went to a younger but well-regarded actor in Eisenberg. He has garnered great reviews in movies like Advertureland and The Squid and the Whale but most notably his Academy Award nomination after appearing in David Fincher's The Social Network for playing Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg established Eisenberg as an exceptional actor. It's this credibility that bodes well for the movie that has been the target of fanboys angst.
While news of Eisenberg getting the role will undoubtedly spark online fanboy rage it has become a given with each casting decision for the Man of Steel sequel. Ben Affleck as Batman and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman has already drawn countless memes of outright defiance and simmering anger with the usual keyboard tough guy antics. Affleck's Daredevil turn and Gadot's physical appearance have been duly noted by the internet fandom. What is most shocking is that no one in entertainment and geek media had Eisenberg or Irons on their radar, at least not publicly. An industry built in part by rumor mongering and wild speculation didn't see this one coming.
Jeremy Irons as Alfred is a solid choice. The talented Academy Award-winning British actor is versatile and has made an incredible career over 40 years on stage, television and film. The voice of Scar in The Lion King is as comfortable in a Shakespeare play as he is playing a villain in a Die Hard movie. Snyder describes Alfred as "Bruce Wayne's most trusted friend, ally, and mentor, a noble guardian, and father figure" and he feels honored to have the gifted actor in the role.