Jesse Eisenberg will certainly be playing a Lex Luthor unlike any you've seen before, but maybe not in the way you think.
We've been living with the news that Eisenberg will play the iconic Superman villain in Zack Snyder's upcoming Man of Steel sequel for a little less than a week now, and fandom is understandably divided. Some see it as a chance for a bold new version of the character, harnessing Eisenberg's ability to play arrogant genius to bring us a different kind of Luthor, while others see it as too much of a departure from the classic comic-book Luthor, with his physically imposing form and even more imposing brain and business mind. Whichever side you come down on, I think we can all agree that Eisenberg will, for better or worse, be a different kind of Luthor, so now the question is: Just how different will this Luthor be?
Well, according to sources from the crew at Latino Review, Snyder and company are working on a new origin story for the character in which he will be a Metropolis "street tough" who, while living on the streets at age 14, joins a gang and quickly learns that he can win by being the smartest guy in the room. By 15, he's running the gang. By 18, he's the CEO of his own company, Lexcorp, and a billionaire.
We first meet him, according to these sources, when Bruce Wayne pays a visit to his Lexcorp penthouse to discuss joining forces to aid in the rebuilding of Metropolis. Predictably, in this scenario, the two don't see eye to eye. Wayne sees Superman as "an impressive specimen," while Luthor sees him as a "trespasser." Wayne sees rebuilding Metropolis as an act of charity, while Luthor sees it as a chance for profit. That in particular sounds like the Luthor we know and love, even if everything else will end up different.
Physically, Luthor will also have a change or two (apart from Eisenberg's own body type, that is). He will be sporting a shaved head, so that part of the iconography will remain intact (though the reason he's bald might not), but he'll also be sporting a sleeve of tattoos running down his right arm that depicts the Metropolis skyline. Perhaps that's a souvenir from his gang days. Perhaps it's Lex reminding himself what he wants. Either way, that's certainly a new physical detail.
This is all certainly a departure from the most famous Luthor origin, in which he's a childhood friend of Clark Kent/Superboy before becoming his sworn enemy, but it was easy to guess after watching Man of Steel that we probably wouldn't see that version of events on the big screen (and we have, after all, already seen a version of it on the small screen). If this report is true, though, it still retains some of the Luthor hallmarks, including relentless ambition, genius and a distrust of Superman, so perhaps this is heading in the right direction after all.
Of course, as Latino Review notes, this could all change as writer Chris Terrio continues work on his version of the screenplay, so we have to take it with the appropriate dosage of sodium chloride. That being said, though, what do you think? Could this take on who Luthor is and where he came from work in the Man of Steel universe?
(Via Latino Review)