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Jesse Eisenberg, oscar-winning star of The Social Network, Zombieland and Now You See Me, has been cast in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel 2, a follow-up to his blockbusting 2013 offering. The second in this new wave of Superman films will see Henry Cavill’s hero face off against Ben Affleck’s Batman, a showdown that has got the whole movie-sphere speculating our heads off.

Eisenberg will play one of Superman’s arch nemeses, Lex Luthor. Luthor has traditionally been portrayed as a megalomaniacal business magnate with incredible technological power – his main aim is normally to kill Superman so that he can get on with taking over the world. The supervillain has been played in the past by the likes of Gene Hackman and Kevin Spacey; at 30, Eisenberg will be the youngest actor to have taken on the role, which is perhaps a sign that Luthor’s character will be taken in a new direction.

In a recent interview, Snyder spoke about the character and the decision to have him played by Eisenberg:

“Lex Luthor is often considered the most notorious of Superman’s rivals, his unsavoury reputation preceding him since 1940. What’s great about Lex is that he exists beyond the confines of the stereotypical nefarious villain. He’s a complicated and sophisticated character whose intellect, wealth and prominence position him as one of the few mortals able to challenge the incredible might of Superman. Having Jesse in the role allows us to explore that interesting dynamic, and also take the character in some new and unexpected directions.”

Other casting decisions for Man of Steel 2 that are garnering interest (other than the rather surprising choice of Affleck for Batman, which came to light last year) include Jeremy Irons as Bruce Wayne’s faithful butler Alfred, and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. With this many heroes, villains, and other classic characters all packed into one movie, Man of Steel 2 will certainly be a must-see film for comic book and action fans upon its planned release in 2016.

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