Warning: Spoilers ahead!
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is absolutely packed with easter eggs, nods to the formation of the Justice League and references to the comic books. There had been long-gestating rumours that Scoot McNairy would be playing Jimmy Olsen in the movie, the Daily Planet photographer, considering that his role wasn’t clarified during production.
However, that wasn’t the case, with McNairy actually playing Wayne Enterprises employee Wally O’Keefe, who was crushed and left disabled during the destruction of Metropolis when Superman was battling General Zod. However, Olsen was in the film – but you may not have noticed him at all. Director Zack Snyder spoke to Entertainment Weekly following the film’s release and said that Olsen can be seen towards the beginning of the film.
Jimmy Olsen was actually played by Michael Cassidy, an actor best known for his roles on The O.C. and as Daily Planet editor Grant Gabriel on Smallville. In Dawn of Justice, Jimmy accompanies Lois Lane (Amy Adams) on an assignment in Africa, but he is quickly outed as an undercover CIA operative. He is subsequently shot in the back of the head by an African terrorist, right in front of Lane.
“We just did it as this little aside because we had been tracking where we thought the movies were gonna go, and we don’t have room for Jimmy Olsen in our big pantheon of characters, but we can have fun with him, right?”
Now, it would have been entirely easy to miss Olsen in the film, mainly because he isn’t actually revealed as that character. However, fans will get to see an extended version of that scene when the R-rated Ultimate Edition is released in July.
“He comes up to her and he goes, ‘Lois Lane, I’m Jimmy Olsen, photographer, obviously … You know, I’ve been assigned to you for this mission.’ But it turns out that Jimmy Olsen is a spook for the CIA.”
Ironically, Snyder originally had Jesse Eisenberg in mind to play Olsen. However, we know he ended up with a much bigger role in Lex Luthor. Snyder wanted Eisenberg for the role because his death would have been more of a shock, considering the star’s A-list status.
“I thought, if it were Jesse Eisenberg and he got out and he goes, ‘I’m Jimmy Olsen,’ you’d be like, oh my God, we’re gonna have Jimmy Olsen in the whole movie, right?’ And then if he got shot, you’d just be like, ‘What!? You can’t do that.’ I said, ‘I want to do this misdirect and you’d be great. You’d be a great Jimmy Olsen.’ And he’s like, ‘Yeah, that’s cool,’ and he was being very Jesse in the meeting. Introverted but constantly going, ‘Okay, I see, uh-huh. So it’s sort of a pop-culture redirect, you’re gonna do, because of the certain status of an actor.'”
“I was like, ‘Wow, that guy is crazy… Debbie, what about Jesse as Lex? We talked about the usual suspects that you would imagine; any actor who has been bald, probably. Bryan Cranston would have been great, right? And by the way, he’s an amazing actor. Can you imagine how different the movie would be?”
What do you think about Jimmy Olsen’s brief appearance in the movie and what did you make of Eisenberg’s quirky portrayal of a younger Lex Luthor? Do you think Bryan Cranston would have been a better fit for the character? Many fans are saying that Eisenberg would have made a great Riddler, considering his mannerisms throughout the movie (coincidentally, that was the role he originally auditioned for).