Batman V Superman’s Jesse Eisenberg Offers Blunt Advice For Nicholas Hoult Taking Over As Lex Luthor, And I See Where He’s Coming From

 Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and Nicholas Hoult as Renfield.
Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and Nicholas Hoult as Renfield.

For a little under a decade now, numerous actors have been given the opportunity to play Lex Luthor in live-action including Jon Cryer on Supergirl, Titus Welliver on Titans and Michael Cudlitz on Superman & Lois. Arguably the most prominent of the bunch, though, is Jesse Eisenberg, who portrayed Superman’s arch-nemesis in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and both cuts of Justice League. Now Nicholas Hoult is getting ready to leave his stamp on Luthor for the DC Universe movie Superman: Legacy, and Eisenberg gave him some amusingly blunt advice that is understandable given where he’s coming from.

While being interviewed by Variety at the Sundance Film Festival about his new movies Sasquatch Sunset and A Real Pain (the latter of which he also directed), Eisenberg strongly urged Hoult not to watch his DCEU appearances while crafting his own Lex Luthor performance, saying:

Don’t watch me!… Whenever you play a role you feel connected to it. There’s no way around it. Any time you do anything, even if it’s a movie that’s a Hollywood kind of thing, you connect.

I can’t fault Jesse Eisenberg for saying this, as one certainly wouldn’t want Nicholas Hoult’s Lex Luthor to come off as a carbon copy of the DCEU Luthor beyond the character’s core characteristics from the source material. So  I do agree that it’d be wise for the Renfield and Mad Max: Fury Road actor to steer clear of Batman v Superman (and lesser so either Justice League cut since Eisenberg only cameoed in them) as he gets closer to filming Superman: Legacy, the first upcoming DC movie on the DC Universe Chapter One slate. The same could be said, though, about all the other live-action Lex Luthor performances, including Gene Hackman’s from the Christoper Reeve Superman movies and Michael Rosenbaum from Smallville.

In the first half of 2023, Nicholas Hoult was reportedly among the finalists to play Kal-El/Clark Kent in Superman: Legacy, but David Corenswet was ultimately selected to play the new Superman, succeeding Henry Cavill’s DCEU version of the Man of Steel. Then in November, it was reported that Hoult was selected to play Luthor in Legacy, and writer/director James Gunn confirmed the casting in December. Gunn has also assured fans that Hoult’s Luthor will be bald, but otherwise no specific details about this incarnation of the villain have been shared.

I’m definitely curious to see the major ways that Nicholas Hoult’s Lex Luthor will stand out from Jesse Eisenberg’s, though naturally the one thing they’ll share in common besides the chrome dome is hatred for the Kryptonian superhero. Other important people in the Superman: Legacy cast include Rachel Brosnahan as Lois Lane, Skyler Gisondo as Jimmy Olsen and Sara Sampaio as Eve Tesmacher, the latter of whom we can almost certainly expect to share many scenes with Hoult’s Luthor.

Superman: Legacy opens in theaters on July 11, 2025. If you’d like to revisit Jesse Eisenberg’s time as Lex Luthor, or any number of Superman-related projects, in the meantime, those can be streamed with a Max subscription.