Lex Luthor is one of the most famous villains in pop culture history, but Jesse Eisenberg sees his version of the character in the upcoming “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” as worthy of some sympathy, too.
“He is a narcissist of the first order but complicated in that way as well in that he is terribly troubled and competitive and vengeful,” Eisenberg said in an interview published Friday by the Los Angeles Times. “He looks at Superman not as somebody to destroy but as genuine threat to humanity.”
Eisenberg made it clear that he doesn’t see his Luthor as a one-note supervillain, saying the character has a “back story that’s tragic and an emotional inner life that’s authentic.” But that’s not to say he’s a nice guy, either — in the LA Times article, “Batman v Superman” director Zack Snyder dubbed this Luthor “super-scary.”
Eisenberg also gave credit to some of the past performers who have played the iconic DC Comics villain on screen, saying his take is a departure from what viewers are used to — and he’s happy about that.
“When you’re doing a movie like this and playing a character that’s already been played, the further away it is from those previous incarnations the better,” Eisenberg said. “Because chances are, especially with a guy like Gene Hackman or Kevin Spacey, you’re not going to get favorably compared.”
Then there’s the hair question: Luthor is famously bald in most depictions, as was Eisenberg in the first promo shot released of him in character. Yet he’s got a long, flowing mane in the most recent “Batman v Superman” trailer. Declining to share details, Eisenberg assures there’s an in-story reason for the character to lose his locks — and that it’s “the greatest scene that I’ve ever gotten to take part it.”
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” is scheduled to arrive in theaters on March 25.