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Jesse Eisenberg isn't quite like the other actors who have played the supervillain Lex Luthor up on the big screen. Gene Hackman was 48 when he took on the part for the first time in Richard Donner's Superman: The Movie, and Kevin Spacey was 47 when he starred in Bryan Singer's Superman Returns, but Eisenberg will be only 30 while performing his version of the character in Zack Snyder's untitled Batman vs. Superman. We expect that this age difference will have a severe impact on the portrayal in the story, and it's for that reason that it's understandable that Eisenberg isn't looking to Hackman and Spacey's versions for inspiration.
The young Oscar-nominee spilled this tidbit of information while speaking with IGN recently. Asked how different his version of Lex Luthor in Batman vs. Superman would be from the other live-action adaptations we've seen, Eisenberg responded saying that those kinds of questions are best left to the filmmakers working on the script and developing the character and that he plans on treating Luthor like any normal non-iconic role he's taken on. Said the actor,
"...I will treat it like it's its own role. There's no way to play the history of the character played by other people, unless you do some kind of wink, but that doesn't seem like a responsible way to act. So I will just do it as though it's a character, in the same way you do a movie like The Double, which is a smaller movie -- but you just kind of treat it like a character, and that's probably the best course of action, I think."
Going further, Jesse Eisenberg wouldn't confirm whether or not he will be shaving his head for the part, but he did explain why he decided to do the film. He has never done a movie before anywhere near the scale of Batman vs. Superman, but rather than be intimidated he was instead attracted by what he believed to be a very interesting role.
"The character's really good, so it's like doing anything else. They make a lot of those movies, so if you're an actor in things, you will probably cross paths with it at some point. But the character's written really well. It's a really great role. The fact that it's in a big movie, you know, it seems like a character that would be in any kind of movie. It just happens to be in a bigger, flashier kind of thing."
Now that Zack Snyder has revealed both Ben Affleck's Batsuit and the Batmobile, I wonder how long it will be until another new character - like Lex Luthor - will get a debut image on Twitter (does that make me sound like a greedy child who just got a cookie and immediately asks for a second?). Production on Batman vs. Superman is scheduled to start up this summer, with the rest of the cast including Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ray Fisher, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, Diane Lane, and Jeremy Irons.