Lex Luthor cut from Justice League

Jesse Eisenberg‘s manic portrayal of Lex Luthor was one of the most divisive aspects of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but he’s Lex Luthor. Regardless of fan response, one of DC’s most recognizable characters has to appear in a Justice League film…doesn’t he? Well, not necessarily.

A new rumor claims that, despite previous confirmation from Warner Bros. that he’d have a supporting role in the superhero sequel, Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor has been cut from Justice League in the wake of all of the recent changes to the film.

The Rumor

In a Q&A piece at the website Batman-on-Film (via Batman-News), a fan asked one of the site’s reporters how big Eisenberg’s role as Lex Luthor will be in Justice League, and the reporter gave a surprising answer:

“He doesn’t have one. If he did prior to all the changes/reshoots, it was cut.”

That’s a supremely confident response – notice how they don’t hedge their bets by employing a qualifying phrase like, “the last I’ve heard” – so there’s either some truth to this or the reporter was fed bogus information. Keep in mind, of course, that this “news” should still be treated as a rumor, since we haven’t heard definitively from Warner Bros. that Eisenberg won’t be in the film. In fact, the last official word from the studio specifically listed him as being a part of the cast, which seemed to align with the actor’s comments from May of 2016 in which he strongly hinted that he’d be coming back.

Jesse Eisenberg Lex Luthor 700

What That Could Mean For The Movie

If this rumor pans out, I’ll consider it surprising enough to raise an eyebrow. Remember, just a few days after BvS hit theaters, WB and DC Films released a deleted scene from the movie that included Lex Luthor coming face to face with mother boxes and Steppenwolf, a military leader who serves one of DC’s biggest villain, Darkseid. We saw hints of Darkseid’s dystopian reign in the Knightmare sequences in BvS, and we know that both the mother boxes and Steppenwolf will factor into Justice League in a big way, so it was natural to assume that Luthor’s presence in that deleted scene hinted at him serving a key purpose in Justice League.

But considering the movie has been significantly reworked through reshoots, which Joss Whedon wrote before he eventually took over the director’s chair when Zack Snyder left the project, I suppose it’s reasonable to assume that they’ve found a way to convey the necessary information without involving Luthor at all. I guess that seemingly-important head-shaving sequence at the end of BvS could be revised into a lead-in to Man of Steel 2?

Personally, I hope Luthor isn’t in this movie. With the casts of today’s superhero sequels growing to absurd levels (*cough* Avengers: Infinity War *cough*), I’d like to see a more streamlined Justice League movie that doesn’t get bogged down in unnecessary side plots or spend time with characters that could be better used to flesh out the ones we really need to care about for the story to function as intended.

What do you all think? Does Justice League need Lex Luthor, or can you envision a version of this story that doesn’t include him?

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