Though Warner Bros. Pictures easily won this year’s Comic Con film panels with their one-two punch of stunning “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Suicide Squad” footage, one awkward note arose soon after in comments by ‘Batman’ star Jesse Eisenberg.
The actor, who plays the villain Lex Luthor in the Zack Snyder-directed film, got in trouble when he compared his San Diego Comic-Con experience to that of genocide. This week in a new interview with The Observer, he apologises to those who were offended:
“Listen, the responsibility is on me to keep my guard up when discussing something that is going to be parsed. I’m not new to it, but I should be savvier. The truth of the matter is I had a wonderful experience at Comic-Con because people loved the movie that I was in. In my attempt to make a dumb, self-deprecating joke I maybe hurt people’s feelings and that’s wrong… whether or not people had a sense of humor is another story.
There’s this two-pronged pressure that I feel. You do so many interviews and there’s this tacit request to be honest and open and yet then there’s this simultaneous flogging of a person who says things, says things that are 1 percent off center.”
He also commented about his role as Lex Luthor and basically hits a point that many involved in the film have been making – that “Argo” scribe Chris Terrio’s script is so strong that it’s what drew them to the film:
“In a lot of ways, Luthor is more of a stretch than any character you would do in an independent movie, which is normally the place you stretch. So in that way it was not at all compromised. If anything, it was the best, most advantageous role I’ve ever been given… it’s because the opportunity to do an interesting character on a movie of that scale is incredibly rare.
The character is written by the phenomenal writer Chris Terrio. His background is not in comic books, so he was coming at it from emotion and story and created this really wonderful character, as enigmatic as he is emotionally honest.”
Eisenberg is also a fan of the much more grounded approach to comic book movies that are on offer:
“Now people expect the tone to be more realistic just because we live in a world where the average audience member has a sense of psychological motivations… [it raises the question] how can one man – Superman – have so much power? These are the kind of things that we talk about when we think about authoritarian states, when we talk about Vladimir Putin having a strong foothold in Eastern Europe.
They’re addressing geopolitics in this movie and not in a way that’s pretentious or esoteric. Terrio cleverly ties in these really exciting superhero elements with these really sophisticated, philosophical themes in a much smarter, different way. That’s what I like to do with my writing: to have these very sophisticated debates happen on very basic levels.”
The comments come as another co-star, Jeremy Irons, also talked up his character of Bruce Wayne’s trusted butler Alfred Pennyworth in the film. Talking with The Toronto Sun, Irons says:
“Zack Snyder, the director, wanted to create a completely different Alfred. So I felt I didn’t have to carry any baggage from previous ones. It’s sort of a reincarnation if you’d like. I had a feeling I was creating my own Alfred, more of a man who can actually do anything if he has to.”
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” opens March 25th.