Lex Luthor Actor Jesse Eisenberg Was Given a 90-Minute Time Limit to Read Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Script

Lex Luthor actor Jesse Eisenberg says he was given just 90 minutes to read the script for the Zack Snyder-directed Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which Eisenberg calls "one of the most dense scripts I've read intellectually." Penned by Man of Steel screenwriter David S. Goyer and rewritten by Academy Award winner Chris Terrio, who scripted the Ben Affleck starring Argo, Batman v Superman saw megalomaniac genius Lex Luthor plot to defeat and destroy the godlike Superman (Henry Cavill). The obsessive Luthor ranted about mythologies and invoked such figures as Icarus, Prometheus, and Zeus, making for a script Eisenberg says was "intellectually probing."

"They gave me like an hour and a half to read the script. They said, 'Do you want to play this character? Here's the script. In about an hour and a half, it's going to be deleted from your computer,'" Eisenberg told Konbini. "So I sat down to read it and it just took forever, because it was so dense. There were references to things I'd never heard of, I was shocked. Because I'd never seen a superhero movie, because I live in a bubble or whatever, and so I thought it was just going to be people flying around for a hundred pages."

Terrio's script "was so intellectually probing that it got deleted before the allotted time," Eisenberg added. "I didn't finish it before it got deleted, so I had to call and get an extension." The "genius" Terrio "referenced things in that movie that are so intellectually probing."

"I don't know how many people watching that movie know his references, or even if they stayed in the final cut of the movie. But that script was one of the most dense scripts I've read intellectually," Eisenberg continued. "Because this guy who wrote it, he's a genius. It was weird in that kind of a movie to have dialogue that is so sophisticated and like referencing Greek literature and philosophy and the great moral struggles of the world, but in this kind of superhero movie."

Eisenberg recently told The National Arts and Culture he would "love it" if he were brought back but admitted he's unsure if studio Warner Bros. "even know if they know what they're doing with the movies."


"For me it was exhilarating. I would love to play that role forever. I have no knowledge about what they're doing with it," said Eisenberg, who briefly reprised the role in a post-credits scene ending Justice League. "You can do anything [with the character] and it's right. You can be as funny, as dramatic, as crazed, as sensitive [as you want]. The character is open to any interpretation. It's not a prescribed, acceptable role that the audience feels they have to like or see themselves in, so that's the kind of freeing role that actors like."

"Will they let me do it again? I have no idea," Eisenberg said. "But that's the kind of thing I love."