By: Alex Spindler ~Staff Writer~
Actors Jesse Eisenberg and Jeremy Irons will suit up as Lex Luthor and Alfred, Batman’s butler, respectively in the upcoming superhero epic “Batman vs. Superman” set for a 2016 release.
Following the trend of other superhero blockbusters that have dominated the box office, this movie is set to feature a mashup of Batman and Superman villains, love interests and plotlines.
The decision to merge the two superheroes into one movie came after the lukewarm reception to “Man of Steel” and the announcement that “The Dark Knight Rises” would end director and writer Christopher Nolan’s involvement with the Batman franchise.
However, this particular casting statement was met with both surprised contentment and disdain from comic book lovers and film-goers alike.
For one, when Michael Caine’s departure from his beloved portrayal of Alfred was confirmed after 2012’s “The Dark Knight Rises,” fans were unsure any actor could fill the shoes of Caine’s sensitive demeanor and trademark Cockney accent.
However, if anyone recollects, Irons lent his distinctive droll voice to the role of the villain Scar in “The Lion King.” Combined with Tony and Academy award-winning roles under his belt, Irons may soon surprise viewers as a fitting replacement to Caine’s legacy.
The reaction to Eisenberg’s casting has severely divided fans.
Noted for “The Social Network” and “Zombieland” fame, Eisenberg and his acting have been called into question many times before.
Despite his Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg, many wonder if his spastic dramatic style and rapid-fire approach to dialogue will fit the stoic and fearful archetype of Lex Luthor.
The announcement also came as a shock because Bryan Cranston, whose demonic drug king character Walter White skyrocketed him to fame, had negotiated with director Zack Snyder about taking on the role.
Comic-Con representatives see this casting as a consolation call and even an act of desperation to appeal to viewers who do not follow the cinematic-superhero bandwagon and recognize Eisenberg for his previous roles.
So far, the “Batman vs. Superman” flick has not appeared like Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy or Sam Rami’s “Spider-Man” films. Ben Affleck’s casting during the fall started a snowball effect and the addition of Eisenberg has only kept the ball rolling.
Praise and hatred aside, this movie is shaping up to be a huge addition to the summer 2016 cinema season.
With a reported budget of almost $300 million and a heavy marketing campaign set to start this upcoming Christmas, “Batman vs. Superman” is sure to make an impact, positive or not.