Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated films of 2016, but with that excitement comes so many people believing that the film has too many bad ideas to work. While I personally agree with the way some things are done, one thing that can be excused is the way that Jesse Eisenberg's character acts.
Many people believe that Jesse Eisenberg isn't playing the Luthor from the comics, because he isn't nearly as ruthless and he seems more comical (which was actually a trait of the Gene Hackman Lex Luthor) . Some think his head of hair makes no sense, since Lex Luthor is bald (even though Luthor had a head of hair to begin with and Gen Hackman's Luthor had hair as well).
Other complaints include the fact that Doomsday was included in the trailer and that the studio have announced that there will be a bigger threat than Doomsday. While this is indeed incredibly worrying, since more than 2 villains in a superhero film has almost always spelled out disaster, I believe that the studio has found a way to make this work. Here's how:
Jesse Eisenberg Is Playing Two Characters
But who are these two characters? Let's find out:
Character 1: Lex Luthor Jr
It's been pretty much confirmed via Twitter and a connecting article...
...that Jesse Eisenberg will be playing "Lex Luthor Jr". Some have interpreted it as a cheap ploy so as to make the fans go along with the character and not blame the studio if it isn't comic-accurate, but I believe otherwise. Most pieces I've seen about who "Lex Luthor Jr" is have been about an alternate universe son of Lex Luthor. While this is the first thing that comes up from a Google search, I believe this Lex Luthor is one that is very well hidden on the internet. I only knew about him because I read the comicbook where Doomsday first appears.
Basically, Lex Luthor has faked his death (after he was diagnosed with cancer by radiation from wearing a Kryptonite ring) and he had cloned himself into a new, younger body, who he pretended was his son, Lex Luthor Jr. More vibrant and less visibly ruthless, this Lex controls himself, and when he is kicked by one of his employees in one of the tie-in stories to 'Death of Superman' (where Doomsday first appears and kills Superman), he is about to do something, when Lois Lane comes in and and mentions that Lex Luthor Sr would have "the kicker put on ice" and Luthor Jr is forced to pretend that he's not like that. This is the Lex Luthor we have seen in the trailers, one that is forced to act like he isn't as ruthless as he actually is.
Character 2: Lex Luthor Sr
I believe Jesse Eisenberg will also be playing Lex Luthor Sr, who is much more ruthless and is the "other threat" in the film. Playing with the mythos a bit, this Luthor hasn't faked his death, but he is getting his son (or possibly even younger clone) to act different in order to paint his company in a better light. Maybe Lex Luthor Sr is already committing crimes, and he needs the good publicity. Maybe he's actually already suffering with Kryptonite radiation ( possibly from the battle in Man of Steel) and has to hide in his tower, sending out Luthor Jr to get all the good publicity. He could even be just putting on a wig and pretending to be Luthor Jr. After all, this is a world where Clark Kent can take off his glasses and suddenly he's Superman. I'll get more into that in my evidence.
So What's The Evidence Behind This?
1. Death of Superman is definitely being adapted, given the fact that Doomsday is present, alongside a Superman cult.
This cult is possibly the same one that was first introduced a little before the Doomsday storyline (the Fellowship), making their appearance again in the aftermath (World without a Superman). Given the apparent connections to Darkseid the film will have, this cult could definitely work. In the trailer, we see a Superman statue, and in World without a Superman, Lex Jr builds a statue for Superman once he dies. Given the presence of Batman and Wonder Woman, Funeral for a Friend (another story following Death of Superman) could also be adapted.
2. This is the bald Luthor most people are expecting to appear once the character loses his hair:
Except that we've seen in the trailers that up until the very end battle, "he" still has his hair. Why reveal the very end of what his character will look like, especially in a movie that only gave fans an indication of the main villain a few weeks ago, with Doomsday having been a rumour up until the trailer confirmed it? I believe it's because we will see this Luthor at the start, and throughout, because he's a different character.
3. Now, I mentioned earlier that Clark Kent just has to take off his glasses to become Superman. This was an exaggeration of sorts. In reality, Superman changes the way he acts and how he moves in order to deceive people. Here's the thing though. In terms of physical disguises, if Lex Luthor is wearing a wig, he already has a one-up on Superman. Add that to the fact that he would be much better at concealing it, considering the fact that he's the smartest man on Earth (as opposed to the less intelligent Clark Kent/Superman), and it'd be pretty much impossible to recognise him. This also perfectly paints Luthor as the anti-Superman if he's also wearing a disguise.
4.Director Zack Snyder has said of Luthor:
"Our Lex is disarming and he's not fake"
From what we've seen though, Lex is pretending to be nice, unless of course they are two separate characters. Even if Lex was acting as Luthor Jr, technically he's not being fake. It's like saying "Superman isn't a journalist" because he isn't. Clark Kent is, but Superman isn't.
5. Cloning doesn't seem like too much of a stretch considering what he did to Zod's body, so it's not out of the realm of disbelief to think that he might have cloned himself.
So, what do you think? Is Jesse Eisenberg playing two characters, or is it a bit of a stretch? What do you think of the portrayal so far? Let's talk about it in the comments!
Thanks for reading!