Jesse Eisenberg to Join Suicide Squad as Lex Luthor
With production on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice wrapping up, Warner Bros. has already begun preparations for the subsequent DC Comics film, Suicide Squad. Today, the first significant piece of news came out: Jesse Eisenberg is in talks to reprise his Batman v Superman role of Lex Luthor in the antihero/supervillain mash-up.
In the DC Comics universe, Suicide Squad is a top-secret government organization of incarcerated supervillains who act as deniable government assets. Also known as Task Force X, it has included Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Joker's Daughter, Captain Boomerang, and King Shark. Suicide Squad functions as its own antihero narrative as well as an explanation for why there are so many known supervillains walking around causing mayhem for decades on end.
It is unknown whether Lex Luthor would appear as an actual member of the Squad or in another role, but either option would make sense. Luthor never appeared as a member of the squad in the comics, but the film will likely draw more fans of the film franchise if a familiar face from Batman v Superman is a member of the main cast, and the major studios have been known to make changes to the canon for comparable reasons. Alternatively, the "Doomsday Protocol" comics see Luthor assemble his own Suicide Squad while he's President of the United States, so the film could potentially follow that storyline and Eisenberg would still have a prominent role.
Many have objected to Eisenberg's casting as Lex Luthor for a wide variety of reasons (although not as loudly as those who objected to Ben Affleck as Batman), including his youth, physique, and "lack of charisma." (They've also been inexplicably upset about the fact that he's not actually bald, which is clearly a non-issue.) Others have pointed out that while he is young, he has many acclaimed performances under his belt, most notably his very charismatic, Oscar-nominated turn as Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network.
Suicide Squad will be released on August 5, 2016.