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DC Comics news: Lex Luthor and Alfred cast in "MoS" sequel and "iZombie" TV show

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The latest in DC Comics related news items for February 1st - 3rd, 2014!

Lex Luthor and Alfred Pennyworth officially cast in "Batman vs. Superman"!

It has been a rough year for the unofficially titled sequel to "Man of Steel" since the announcement that the film was being pushed back almost a full year to summer 2016. This also ignores the media and Internet fury about the casting of Gal Gadot (a relative unknown beyond being a part of the "Fast & Furious" series) as Wonder Woman and Ben Affleck being cast as Bruce Wayne/Batman after three films of Christian Bale. Now, it seems as if Warner Brothers is using the extra time given to the film's production to make some more official casting announcements.

Warner Brothers has officially announced Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth. This is on the heels of rumors of both Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad") and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in talks for a role in the film, but these look to have been baseless. The quip, "Eisenberg over Heisenberg" all but writes itself. Eisenberg is best known for starring in "The Social Network" and "Now You See Me", while Irons is best known as the voice of Scar from "The Lion King". These are younger actors than those who have been cast in these roles before; Eisenberg is roughly the same age as Henry Cavill (Superman). At any rate, considering the premise of the film being on "Batman vs. Superman", casting these parts is a no-brainer. Last summer's "Man of Steel" was only the second Superman film (out of six) to not feature the character of Lex Luthor.

Debuting in "Action Comics #23" in 1940 as a red headed criminal genius with access to great wealth, the character we know today was essentially merged with that of the bald "Ultra-Humanite", a mad scientist who pre-dated Luthor by about a year. Thus, Superman's arch nemesis has seen many incarnations, from being a mad scientist to a spandex (or armor) clad super-criminal to a corrupt businessman to even briefly the president of the DC Comics version of America. All of the previous film versions of Luthor (as played by Gene Hackman or Kevin Spacey) were criminal masterminds with grand real estate schemes and bumbling henchmen. Hopefully, this version will mark some improvement. For the record, the only Superman film which did not feature either Lex Luthor or General Zod was "Superman III" circa 1983.

The CW orders pilot for adaptation of "iZombie"!

Add this recent "Vertigo" imprint comic to the list of franchises that The CW network is willing to take a stab at producing for broadcast TV without endless waits for things to be "perfect". Deadline has confirmed that an official pilot order has been made for an adaptation of "iZombie" to be produced and written by Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero. It will be the third DC Comics related franchise to be involved with the network, as "Arrow" continues on its second season and "The Flash" is prepping for its own series airing.

Running for 28 issues from 2010-2012, "iZombie" was created by Chris Roberson and Mike Allred and centered around strange goings on in Oregon. The lead for the series was Gwen, a "zombie" who has to consume a brain once a month in order to maintain her intellect and looks, and in the process gains the skills and knowledge of the mind she ingests. Working as a grave digger, she makes other supernatural friends and gets involved in mysteries. Considering that zombies are not only "hot" in terms of film but on TV with AMC's "The Walking Dead", this series perhaps fits with The CW's motif of staging weekly dramas around strange yet pretty people.

This comes off as an interesting choice, considering an attempt at a Wonder Woman show named "Amazon" was initially pitched to the network by Allen Heinberg ("Grey's Anatomy"). It was put on hiatus and eventually dropped from the network.

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