Jesse Eisenberg To Battle Superman As Lex Luthor
Jesse Eisenberg has been announced as the surprise choice to play villain Lex Luthor in the as yet untitled Superman-Batman film.
Eisenberg is best known for playing Facebook co-creator Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, a role that earned him an Oscar nomination.
Director Zack Snyder said he would be able to "take the character in some new and unexpected directions" in the film, which is due for release in May 2016.
"Lex Luthor is often considered the most notorious of Superman's rivals, his unsavoury reputation preceding him since 1940," he said.
"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."
The casting of the 30-year-old has been met with a mixed reaction on social media.
Graham Lawlor wrote on Twitter: "Jesse Eisenberg is playing Lex Luthor in the next Superman movie. Will somebody please start picking actors that make sense for the role."
But Alan Sepinwall, TV critic for HitFix.com, wrote on the site: "I like Jesse Eisenberg as Luthor. Lex defined by arrogance and resentment of popular jock Superman. Very much Zuckerberg in Social Network."
The choice of Ben Affleck for the role of Batman was questioned by fans.
Meanwhile, British actor Jeremy Irons has been cast as Alfred, butler to Batman's alter-ego Bruce Wayne. The part was played by Michael Caine in the Dark Knight trilogy.
It had previously been announced Henry Cavill would again take on the role of Superman, having starred in last year's Man of Steel.
Israeli actress Gal Gadot will play Wonder Woman.
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