Jesse Eisenberg Wants To Return To His Worst Role

Jesse Eisenberg is a critically acclaimed actor, so why would he want to return to a character so widely despised?

By Nathan Kamal | Published

jesse eisenberg

Jesse Eisenberg is one of the more acclaimed actors of his generation, with his portrayal of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network earning him an Academy Award nomination. He would follow that with well-received turns in movies like The Double and The End of the Tour, but one of his most prominent roles would prove to be his most divisive and some would say, his worst. That is, of course, his turn as Alexander Joseph “Lex” Luthor, Jr. in the DC Extended Universe. While many comic book fans were not impressed with his take on Superman’s greatest nemesis, Jesse Eisenberg is very up for returning as Lex Luthor sometime in the future. 

According to Deadline, Jesse Eisenberg spoke at the 28th Sarajevo Film Festival (which had screened his directorial debut When You Finish Saving the World) and expressed some disappointment with how the character had been received after he debuted it in 2016’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. As Jesse Eisenberg puts it, he had put a lot of emotion into his idiosyncratic take on Lex Luthor, particularly paying attention to his backstory with his father Alexander Luthor Sr. (as you might guess, not a particularly warm relationship) and his inner life. Then, as Jesse Eisenberg went on to say, “then people hate me.”

Surprisingly, Jesse Eisenberg is still open to returning to the DCEU, though he admits he “be shocked if [he] wound up in a DC movie, but it would be a pleasant shock.” He also goes on to say that he himself is not actually a comic book fan, but has found that sometimes good roles can be found in large budget, commercial films and bad ones in smaller, supposedly artsier independent films. Given that the Warner Bros. Discovery-owned DCEU is currently in a chaotic state of constant uncertainty, there is certainly a possibility he could show up, just because anything could happen.

It does seem that Warner Bros. Discovery is trying to move away from the early, Zack Snyder-led days of the DCEU, so it is likely Jesse Eisenberg’s version of Lex Luthor will be thrown out with the bathwater. It will probably not be missed by the majority of DC fans, who were expecting something more in the traditional vein of bald, quietly intimidating Lex Luthor of the comics and the DC animated shows. Instead, Jesse Eisenberg played the character as manic, shaggy-haired, and more of a Silicon Valley disruptor than a mogul of industry. While he did end up eventually losing the hair, too little too late for many audiences.

While we might not see Jesse Eisenberg back in the DCEU as Lex Luthor, it will be quite surprising if the current Warner Bros. Discovery management does not do anything with the character. There has been persistent word that Henry Cavill may not be returning as Superman, leaving the door open for a new Last Son of Krypton and thus a new arch-nemesis. However, only time will tell where we see Jesse Eisenberg next.