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Warner Bros. has found its Lex Luthor.
Jesse Eisenberg has been set to star as the comic book supervillain, while Jeremy Irons will play Bruce Wayne’s trusted friend, ally and mentor Alfred in the upcoming untitled Superman-Batman film to be directed by Zack Snyder.
The casting of Lex Luthor has spawned rumors for months, with everyone from Bryan Cranston to Joaquin Phoenix said to be in the mix. Ben Affleck will play Batman, while Henry Cavill reprises his Man of Steel starring role as Superman. Gal Gadot has been cast as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince.
“Lex Luthor is often considered the most notorious of Superman’s rivals, his unsavory reputation preceding him since 1940,” Snyder said in a statement. “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.”
As for Irons’ casting, Snyder called the role, “an absolutely critical element in the intricate infrastructure that allows Bruce Wayne to transform himself into Batman.” He added, “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 facade that encapsulates Bruce Wayne.”
As THR first reported, the new film is currently being written by Chris Terrio, from a story by David S. Goyer. Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder are producing, with Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Wesley Coller, Goyer and Geoff Johns serving as executive producers. The film is set to open worldwide on May 6, 2016.
Production is expected to get underway in the spring in Detroit.
Eisenberg is best-known for his starring role as Mark Zuckerberg in David Fincher‘s The Social Network. He also starred in Woody Allen‘s To Rome with Love and Louis Leterrier‘s Now You See Me. He next appears in The Double and Night Moves.
Irons’ recent work includes playing the villainous Pope Rodrigo Borgia in Neil Jordan‘s acclaimed Showtime series The Borgias.
Man of Steel co-stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane are set to return.
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