Jesse Eisenberg’s high-pitched, seemingly manic take on Lex Luthor has divided fans between those interested to see his take and those who want Luthor to dial it back. But there are hints Eisenberg was up for an entirely different role from the supervillain.
The LA Times ran a long profile of Eisenberg this weekend. It’s a pretty fascinating piece, not least because Eisenberg is fully aware he’s got big shoes to fill. He also calls the scene where Luthor loses his hair “the greatest scene I’ve ever gotten to take part in” and talks up how much of a narcissist the owner of LexCorp happens to be, which is fun.
But most interesting is the fact that, at first, Eisenberg was being considered for a very different job. Zack Snyder weighed in with this tidbit:
“Let’s call it a secret, but nevertheless it was the exact opposite of Lex Luthor,” Snyder said, taking a break on the phone from drawing “Justice League” Aquaman in his storyboards. After Eisenberg declined, Snyder went back and offered him something “cooler,” the role of Luthor.
It’s not really a huge jump, considering Eisenberg’s perpetual youthful look, to figure out what that role was. After all, Jimmy Olsen was going to turn up sooner or later. But it’s definitely interesting that Eisenberg had a nice-guy role at first in the movie. Now, let’s start talking about how he loses his hair. Kryptonite poisoning, anyone?