Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor: Twitter reacts to Batman/Superman casting

Jan. 31, 2014 | 2:02 p.m.
supes lex21 Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor: Twitter reacts to Batman/Superman casting

Jesse Eisenberg will star as Lex Luthor in the upcoming "Man of Steel" sequel. (Jim Lee / DC Entertainment; Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

supe alfred1 Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor: Twitter reacts to Batman/Superman casting

Jeremy Irons will play Alfred Pennyworth in the upcoming "Man of Steel" sequel. (Brian Bolland / DC Entertainment; Ethan Miller / Getty Images)

supes affleck Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor: Twitter reacts to Batman/Superman casting

Ben Affleck has been cast as Batman opposite Henry Cavill's Superman in the upcoming "Man of Steel" sequel. (Ethan Van Sciver / DC Entertainment; Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

supe galgadot Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor: Twitter reacts to Batman/Superman casting

Actress and model Gal Gadot, best known for her work in the "Fast & Furious" film franchise, has been cast as Wonder Woman in Zack Snyder's upcoming "Man of Steel" sequel. (Alex Ross / DC Entertainment; Handout)

News that Jesse Eisenberg will play famous villain Lex Luthor and Jeremy Irons will play Alfred Pennyworth in Zack Snyder’s untitled Batman/Superman sequel to 2012’s “Man of Steel” is fueling some fiery reactions on Twitter.

The casting decisions, announced Monday, came despite rumors that “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston would play Superman’s arch-nemesis. Eisenberg and Irons will join Henry Cavill’s Superman, Ben Affleck’s Batman and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, as well as several returning “Man of Steel” cast members. (Click through the gallery above for a peek at some of the casting decisions so far.)

Eisenberg, of course, is best known for his roles in “Zombieland” and “The Social Network,” the latter of which earned him an Oscar nomination for his performance as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

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“What’s great about Lex is that he exists beyond the confines of the stereotypical nefarious villain,” Snyder said in a statement from Warner Bros. “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.”

Irons, whose decades-long Hollywood career includes roles in “The Borgias” and “Dead Ringers,” will take over the role of Bruce Wayne’s loyal butler Alfred from Michael Caine, who most recently played the character in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy.

“It is an honor to have such an amazingly seasoned and gifted actor as Jeremy taking on the important role of the man who mentors and guides the guarded and nearly impervious facade that encapsulates Bruce Wayne,” Snyder said in the statement.

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But the Twitterverse was less glowing in its assessment of the casting news. Reactions from fans and professionals in the world of comics range from appalled to intrigued, with a dash of humor sprinkled throughout. Check them out below.

The “Man of Steel” sequel is due in theaters May 6, 2016, and goes into production later this year.

– Noelene Clark | @NoeleneClark | Google+

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Christian Bale plays Bruce Wayne in "The Dark Knight Rises." (Ron Phillips / DC Comics / Warner Bros.)‘Superman/Batman’: Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor

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