When I first heard Jesse Eisenberg was cast as Lex Luthor, I was understandingly upset. A Bryan Cranston or Joaquin Phoenix Lex Luthor would have been downright legendary, much better than the 80's Gene Hackman version or the weirdly written Kevin Spacey. However, the more I think about, the more that I start to understand what the studio is doing.
Eisenberg has the acting chops to play Luthor. I don't think anyone is really disputing that. He comes off as smug and sometimes creepy in most of his movies, and Lex is definitely a smug character. Eisenberg has done a good job playing genius personas, most notably Mark Zuckerberg. Lex is obviously a genius. Eisenberg has the ability to transform Lex. When I say transform, I mean he has the ability to make the character his own, because he already has some of Lex's own personality inside his roles. From that viewpoint, he can create a much more evil Lex than Gene Hackman ever could, considering the much darker setting. Lex's ability to manipulate, scheme, and destroy are hallmarks and Eisenberg is more than ready for that challenge. Alongside Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill, I personally feel that Eisenberg has a different tone. We know what Cavill's Superman is like. We have a rough idea of what Affleck's Batman is like. Eisenberg is a complete mystery. There are theories and rumors as to rumors of what Luthor will look like or be like in the film. But the truth is, we don't know. We would have know that Bryan Cranston's Lex would probably have been a lot like Walter White. Phoenix, I would gues would be close to his character form We Own The Night, only smarter and not on cocaine. Eisenberg was way out of left field, and I think that's just what the movie needs.