Lex Luthor didn't have the smoothest introduction into the DCEU. Fans had a hard time getting on board with Jesse Eisenberg's maniacal take on the billionaire in Batman v Superman, to the point where many considered the character to be the worst part of the film. Despite the heavy criticism; however, Warner Bros. set him up as an important cog in its superhero franchise. We got a hint at the character's promising future last year, when an official press release revealed that Luthor would be back for Justice League.
His role was kept fairly secret, but a few intriguing loose threads could be picked up from BvS that could been tied together to give Luthor an intriguing storyline. He absorbed pretty much all Kryptonian knowledge from Metropolis' Kryptonian ship, and he received a creepy lesson in villainy from #Steppenwolf himself prior to being incarcerated.
Sadly (or fortunately, depending on how you see it), it doesn't look like we'll get to know what Luthor is up to while our heroes are away saving the world. As of right now, the deranged billionaire will most likely not be part of Justice League. Bill Ramey, according to Batman on Film, who held a Q&A "Mail Bag" session with readers last week. One fan asked about how big of a role we should expect Luthor to have in the film, but Ramey revealed we shouldn't expect anything, because #JesseEisenberg was most likely out of the project:
"He doesn’t have one. If he did prior to all the changes/reshoots, it was cut."
Of course, as with any rumor, we should take this with a grain of salt. However, Batman on Film has been a reliable source of information in the past, so this report is likely to be accurate.
Could Lex Have Played A Big Role in The Movie?
Little information is available to determine how much of an impact he would have on the JL's first outing, but there were a few hints that allowed us to do what we nerds do best: speculate. Last year, #ZackSnyder released an image of himself storyboarding a sequence from the superhero epic. Looking closely at the storyboard, the scene showed a man who looked a lot like Lex Luthor, chatting with #Deathstroke:
Fans were excited for what that could mean, and a popular theory making the rounds was that Luthor would hire Slade Wilson to go after the Justice League. Going by #BenAffleck's internet-breaking Instagram video where Deathstroke sneaks out of the JL's Flying Fox, the billionaire definitely looked like he was poised to be a thorn in our heroes' side.
Then there was –– as mentioned above –– Luthor's vast knowledge on all things Kryptonian and Apokaliptian, which could have easily served as either exposition or a plot device. Taking those aspects into account, it's not unreasonable to assume the character could have played a major role in the movie.
Will Luthor's Absence Change 'Justice League' Even Further?
There's been a lot of effort put behind playing down the restructuring going on with Justice League under Joss Whedon's direction. But it's quite clear at this point that the #superhero epic is morphing into something new. A few weeks ago, Slash Film's Peter Sciretta reported that #WarnerBros. ordered considerable reshoots to brighten up the movie's tone.
On top of that, the ending was reworked to compensate for the fact that a part two isn't yet visible in the horizon:
"The original ending of the movie from what I understand was, [Stepphenwolf] was kind of playing the Silver Surfer role, with Darkseid playing the Galactus role, and the ending of the movie was a cliffhanger and 'Justice League 2' was going to be 'Justice League vs Darkseid.' Ya know, Darkseid arrives at Earth. This kind of down, dirty ending, and from what I understand that has been completely removed. The ending ends the movie like a movie, it doesn't end on a huge cliffhanger now."
Now, Lex Luthor being reportedly pulled from the story makes me wonder: Will the story be altered even further? Whether that possibility is good or bad for the final product is up for debate for now. All we can do is cross our fingers for the movie to be an event worthy of what geeks have been waiting to see their entire DC comic-loving lives.
Justice League flies into theaters on November 17, 2017.
What do you think about Lex Luthor not appearing in Justice League? Do you think the movie has been heavily altered? Let me know in the comments!