Explore the dynamic performer’s stand-out roles that have led up to his turn as Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Before he became Superman’s arch nemesis, Eisenberg worked at Adventureland, battled zombies and became the man behind The Social Network. Now, we take a look at how the possibility for him to become Luthor might have been there all along.
Jesse Eisenberg Movies Spotlight: The Squid and the Whale (2005)
Jesse Eisenberg got his first major breakthrough role as Walt Berkman in The Squid and the Whale. The Noah Baumbach indie hit also starred Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney as a writer couple going through a divorce that has split their kids between them. Walt goes around listening to Pink Floyd‘s “Hey You” while his brother Frank (Owen Kline) goes around pulling dirty pranks. The deeply-affected kids act out while their parents have their midlife crisis in this ‘first world problems’ family drama.
Jesse Eisenberg Movies Spotlight: Cursed (2005)
In Wes Craven’s underrated flick, Eisenberg played Christina Ricci‘s younger brother who was victim of a werewolf attack along with his sister. They band together to track down the identity of the creature who bit them. He discovers that in order to prevent the werewolf curse to fully take effect, they have to kill their maker. Greatly considered a mix bag, this Craven and Kevin Williamson collaboration didn’t reach the same heights as their earlier work together with Scream.
Jesse Eisenberg Movies Spotlight: The Education of Charlie Banks (2007)
The Education of Charlie Banks was a winner on the festival circuit and Eisenberg continued to build his career on taking dramatic turns. In another stellar indie performance, he played a young man growing up in the ’80s who has to face a childhood bully on his college campus. The film was also the directorial debut of performer Fred Durst and also starred Jason Ritter.
Jesse Eisenberg Movies Spotlight: Adventureland (2009)
Jesse Eisenberg took on another ’80s era flick in this dramatic comedy where he starred as James Brennan, a recent grad who has to take a job at the local carnival. The coming-of-age story is known for it’s quirky characters and Ryan Reynolds being the smarmy standout carny of Adventureland. The film also stars Kristen Stewart as the romantic lead and marked the first time the pair worked together before American Ultra.
Jesse Eisenberg Movies Spotlight: Zombieland (2009)
The film from writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (the duo behind Deadpool) was Eisenberg’s first mainstream hit. In it, he played the anxiety-ridden Columbus whose rules to survive the zombie apocalypse are almost a ritual until he meets Hostess Twinkies hunter Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) and finds himself out of his comfort zone to find his likely already dead family. Along the way, the pair are hustled by siblings Witchita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin). A hilarious horror comedy road trip ensues with zombie gore and the memorable cameo of Bill Murray as himself.
Jesse Eisenberg Movies Spotlight: The Social Network (2010)
Shortly after Facebook took over the world, director David Fincher and writer Aaron Sorkin tackled Mark Zuckerberg’s rise to power in The Social Network. Eisenberg’s performance as Zuckerberg’s is one of his most critically-acclaimed roles and no doubt paved the way for him being cast as the tech conglomerate take on Lex Luthor in the upcoming Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Jesse Eisenberg Movies Spotlight: Rio (2011)
In this Blue Sky Studios animated film, Eisenberg got to stretch his wings as Blue, a socially awkward Macaw who has a fear of flying. When his owner finds out that he’s the last male of his species, they’re invited to Brazil to have him mate with Jewel (Anne Hathaway), the last female Macaw. While the owners are away, the birds get kidnapped and have to figure out a way to find out to get back. A sequel to Rio was released in 2014.
Jesse Eisenberg Movies Spotlight: 30 Minutes or Less (2011)
Jesse Eisenberg continued to flex his comedy muscle in 30 Minutes or Less as a pizza guy who gets strapped with a bomb by two hapless criminals (Danny McBride and Nick Swardson). Enlisting the help of his best friend (Aziz Ansari), he has to figure out a way to perform a heist to get them $100,000 lest he be blown up. The script for this film was featured on 2009’s Blacklist (a collection of the best unproduced films) before being green-lit.
Jesse Eisenberg Movies Spotlight: Now You See Me (2013)
This ensemble magician film features another heist involving Las Vegas as its target (totally not Oceans 11 with magic). Eisenberg, along with Isla Fisher, Dave Franco and Woody Harrelson as the Four Horsemen illusionist troupe, steal from big banks to give to the poor as a part of their shows. They evade prosecution from a detective (Mark Ruffalo) in this action packed crime thriller, which also stars Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman. The sequel Now You See Me 2 is due out later this year.
Jesse Eisenberg Movies Spotlight: The End of the Tour (2015)
Going back to his indie roots, Eisenberg took on this drama about the five-day interview between Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky and novelist David Foster Wallace. As Lipsky, Eisenberg starred opposite Jason Segel who transformed for the role of Wallace and centered around their conversations. The events of the film follow the 1996 publication of Wallace’s groundbreaking novel Infinite Jest.
Jesse Eisenberg Movies Spotlight: American Ultra (2015)
Considered by some fans to be one of the strongest love stories of 2015, American Ultra reunites Jesse Eisenberg with Kristen Stewart. The pair star as Mike and Phoebe, a couple grappling with the inability to get out of town even for a short vacation. Mike suffers crippling anxiety that he numbs through smoking but when he is targeted by a secret organization, he discovers a particular set of skills he didn’t know he had which come in handy in order to save both his and Phoebe’s skins. Working on this Max Landis scripted film would go on to inspire Eisenberg to base his performance as Lex Luthor on the eccentric writer.