While speaking with Playboy (via Entertainment Weekly), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice‘s new Lex Luthor Jesse Eisenberg offered a few comments on how his criminal genius differs from some of the portrayals in the past.
“The character is in line with what audiences want to see now,” he explained. “Which is a more modern, psychologically realistic concept of Lex Luthor.”
Actors like Gene Hackman, Michael Rosenberg, John Shea, Kevin Spacey and Clancy Brown have played the part with varying degrees of realism or cartoon fancy depending on the situation. Eisenberg specifically called out the Hackman and Spacey Luthor — intended to be the same character — as “interesting to watch,” but unrelated to the character as he played it.
“His motivations are multifaceted” said Eisenberg. “He has a way of using language that’s specific to the way his mind works; he struggles with interesting philosophical dilemmas like that of the individual having too much power, even if that individual is using that power for good.”
In the comics, Luthor has transformed from underground criminal mastermind to a captain of industry and even the president over the course of the last seventy-five years. The Luthor of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice takes its cues from the industrialist interpretation. As both a titan of business and an important man in Metropolis, he comes into conflict with both Batman and Superman when the film opens on March 25th.