Before the release of Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Adam Driver was actually being considered for the role of Lex Luthor. Okay, so that was never actually confirmed, but come on, who else would he play? I remember a while back when the rumors about his casting were floating around and everyone thought he would be playing Dick Grayson, better known as Nightwing. As we all know by now, that never happened, nor did his casting of Superman’s greatest enemy. I don’t know about you, but that’s very unfortunate, because Jesse Eisenberg didn’t exactly win fans over with his wacky performance. The last time we saw him as the scheming billionaire, he escaped from prison and was planning to form a league of his own. Of course, we DC nuts know that is the beginning of the Injustice League. The question is, will that ever happen? After the release of the Snyder Cut earlier this year on HBO Max, it sounds like Warner Bros. may try to cut ties with the Snyderverse. If only half of that is true, then we could be looking at some new faces to play some characters who have already debuted in the DC Cinematic Universe. And you know what? I say give Adam Driver the chance to be Lex Luthor. As for those casting rumors, it turns out a fraction of that was true. During some interviews with Zack Snyder for his cut of Justice League, he did confirm that he really did talk to Adam Driver about a role, but it wasn’t Nightwing.
In fact, Zack Snyder didn’t really specify on the role he talked to him about. I think it’s not too crazy to believe that Adam Driver was once considered to play Lex Luthor. If this is true, then it’s very sad he couldn’t do it, and it was apparently due to scheduling conflicts. This was also during the time he was filming his Kylo Ren scenes for the Star Wars sequels. At least he was doing something where we all loved him in, but why not give him another villain role he can grow into? And you know, one that starts out with great character development, but ends in an anti-climactic fashion. I strongly believe Adam Driver could have done an amazing job playing Lex Luthor, at least much better than Jesse Eisenberg. Okay, so I don’t want to keep knocking on Jesse Eisenberg, because I am a fan of his. The thing is, he just didn’t sell it as one of the greatest comic book villains ever. This was due to his over-the-top and boyish performance, which lacked some serious intimidation and charisma that makes Lex Luthor a great villain. After watching Adam Driver play the disturbed and intimidating Kylo Ren for three movies, I think he could’ve conveyed some of that to Lex Luthor.
The biggest criticism of Jesse Eisenberg’s performance is something Adam Driver would never do as the character. For the majority of Batman vs. Superman, we were supposed to believe that Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor could stand up to Superman and not look small. Well, what we saw was the exact opposite. When I see the animated Lex Luthor voiced by Clancy Brown fearlessly confronting Superman and taunting him, I just don’t see any version of the character feeding a grown man a jolly rancher. Could you see Adam Driver as Lex Luthor doing that? Not at all and it’s probably because we’re used to seeing him scaring everybody as Kylo Ren. When I think of Adam Driver as Lex Luthor, I picture the no-nonsense and fearless Luthor. That’s the version we all know from the comics and even the animated shows. Think of it as Kylo Ren, but without the conflicted feelings and less chance at redemption. I’d imagine his Luthor would have no second thoughts about going after Superman. Speaking of that, was anyone else confused as to why Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor hated Superman to begin with? I guess it had something to do with the fact that Superman reminded him of his abusive and powerful father. This made the young Luthor want to “expose” Superman for not actually being a true hero. How many of you bought that reason? Not very many, I’d gather, and that’s part of the reason why his Luthor didn’t stick.
With all of that in mind, I think there’s a strong chance the character might be recast. I don’t know what direction DC plans on going in right now, but we’ll find out after Flashpoint. The events of Flashpoint drastically change the very core of the DC Universe, giving us the New 52 era. A lot of things were changed for many characters, including backstories. If the DCEU plans on doing this, then they might recast some characters. And given the lack of popularity Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor has with fans, I don’t think he’ll return anytime soon. But you know what? I say recast the role and give Adam Driver a call. If they really want a younger Lex Luthor, then Adam Driver is a good choice. I believe he not only has that intimidation factor the character needs, but also those leadership qualities. Don’t forget, this is someone who is supposed to be forming the Injustice League or the Legion of Doom. Adam Driver’s presence, not to mention his much deeper and commanding voice, would be a far more believable villain to get more powerful ones in line. And on top of that, Adam Driver is much taller than Jesse Eisenberg, standing at 6’2″, apparently one inch taller than Henry Cavill.
Assuming he returns (which I think he will), he’d be facing a Lex Luthor actually taller than him. This would be something Lex Luthor can even boast about and give him another reason to view Superman as inferior. This is a character who loves to be above everyone else in just about every way he can. And if Adam Driver can sell it further, he’d have to throw in that smug, Lex Luthor sarcasm into the mix. Can he do it? Oh, I believe he can.
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