The castings, announced Friday, come two weeks after Warner pushed production on the untitled “Superman-Batman” movie to the second quarter of this year and set a release date of May 6, 2016 as the studio departed from a July, 2015 slot.
The film is in pre-production with Henry Cavill as Superman and Ben Affleck as Batman and Zack Snyder directing.
‘Batman-Superman” will also reunite “Man of Steel” stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane, and also stars Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince.
The screenplay will be written by David S. Goyer, from a story co-created by Goyer and Snyder. Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder are producing, with Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan and Wesley Coller serving as exec producers.
“Lex Luthor is often considered the most notorious of Superman’s rivals, his unsavory reputation preceding him since 1940,” Snyder said. “What’s great about Lex is that he exists beyond the confines of the stereotypical nefarious villain. 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.”