For a long time now, Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has been touted as not being your parents’ Lex Luthor. Beyond a younger actor playing a villain usually portrayed by older actors, this has been made abundantly clear from differences like his weird hairstyle and managing a Facebook-style LexCorp. Details are still scarce on what to expect from the latest version, but the 2016 blockbuster will also see the (eventually) bald genius deviating from his usual villainous schtick. There's one thing we always see him do, but that we probably won't this time around.
Eisenberg pointed out to Vulture that Luthor’s m.o. has frequently been the same in most depictions, but the key for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was to make him less cartoonish and emphasize making him feel real. Eisenberg said:
There is this trove of stuff about this guy. A lot of it’s repetitive, like he always winds up on the roof of his building giving some faux benevolent talk about how he’s going to change the city. It’s fun to take that campy cartoony stuff and try to put it into a real person and try to reconcile the two.
Most modern depictions of Luthor paint him on the surface as an industrialist who only wants the best for humanity, but actually is just determined to seize more power for himself and destroy Superman. Instead, it sounds like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will take usual Luthor tropes from the comics and other media and blend them with making him seem like could be an actual person. In other words, he’ll still be threatening, but in a way that hasn’t been seen often. Still, take comfort knowing that the movie will feature his mad scientist side, and we may even see him go directly into battle.
Eisenberg also took the opportunity to reiterate how different his Luthor will be from Gene Hackman’s in the Christopher Reeve Superman movies, a version best remembered for his real state schemes. According to the actor:
[T]his movie is so different ... it has real psychological underpinnings, and this movie character feels like a real scary person.
Despite Eisenber’s teases, Luthor’s master plan in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is still shrouded in mystery. He was seen talking with Holly Hunter’s Senator Finch in the Comic-Con trailer, so no doubt he’s attempting to get the government to side with him on the danger that Superman poses. We’ve also seen a quick shot of him gazing longingly at a chunk of Kryptonite, Luthor’s favorite weapon to use against the Man of Steel. It’s also been rumored that Luthor’s plot will include creating Doomsday and kidnapping Martha Kent, the latter of which might explain why Clark is angrily looking up at Luthor in the last trailer.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters on March 25, 2016.