Jesse Eisenberg Was Really Bummed About Everyone's Reaction To His Lex Luthor

Director Zack Snyder's "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" is remembered for a great many things: Introducing Ben Affleck's Batman, the infamous "Martha" line, and bringing us Wonder Woman for the first time ever in a live-action movie. And also Batman and Superman do eventually get around to fighting. But another thing that comes up when you talk about this movie long enough is Snyder's characterization of Lex Luthor, with Jesse Eisenberg ("The Social Network," "Zombieland") taking on the role of Superman's most infamous baddie.

Eisenberg's take on the character — a long-haired, eccentric tech millionaire — was far from what many fans had in mind. Of the many things that arguably went wrong in "Batman v Superman," this is at the top of the list for a lot of folks. Speaking at the Sarajevo Film Festival (via Deadline), Eisenberg explained that the poor reception to his take on the character ultimately left him feeling bummed out:

"I felt very personal about it. The writer, Chris Terrio, is a very serious writer, and he's a very emotional person. He thought a lot about my character, and I thought a lot about my character too. I talked with my acting coach about the character a lot, about his backstory with his father and his emotional life—and then people hate me."

But would he come back for another DC movie?

Eisenberg would reprise the role one more time at the very end of "Justice League." In the theatrical version, it was via a post-credits scene. In Zack Snyder's "Justice League," it was a scene towards the end of the film that teed up Ben Affleck's "The Batman," which never came to be. In both cases, the scene takes place with Joe Manganiello's Deathstroke. The scene(s) brought Eisenberg closer to the Lex audiences were more familiar with, though we never got to see that incarnation in a large enough context to change how most folks felt about it.

Speaking with Deadline, Eisenberg addressed whether or not he would appear in a DC movie again. The actor seems open to it, if doubtful:

"I'd be shocked if I wound up in a DC movie, but it would be a pleasant shock. Listen, I'm not a comic book fan. To me, it was not playing a role that I'd envisioned since childhood. To me, it was a chance to play this great character that this great writer wrote, and I loved doing that. So, to play it is a joy, and to not play it isn't something that I'm going to be ashamed to tell my kids about, because that is not an important genre in my life, even though I loved doing that movie."

Warner Bros. Discovery is hatching a new 10-year plan for DC and it seems to be moving further away from the Snyderverse, so a return from Eisenberg's Lex Luthor seems highly unlikely. But stranger things have happened.