At this point, I'm pretty sure that Batman v Superman director Zach Snyder has one of the most difficult jobs in the biz. When making BvS, Snyder was faced with the challenge of deciding which members of the DC universe made the final cut and which ones he'd have to leave behind, and with more than 10,000 characters in the DC comics database, many of them from Batman and Superman plot lines, I'm sure it wasn't an easy task. From the Dark Knight side, Snyder ditched The Joker and the Riddler, two fan favorites, although they might find their way into later films. But on the Superman side, Snyder kept one major character, although you might've missed it in the film — yes, there's a Jimmy Olsen cameo in Batman v Superman .
If you've already seen the film, you might've picked up on the small, tragic cameo, but chances are you didn't even realize what it was. Spoilers ahead! In the movie, Jimmy, Clark Kent's friend and Daily Planet photojournalist, shows up on screen for just a few scenes before meeting a shocking, violent end, when he's killed as Lois watches nearby in horror. While he isn't named in the PG-13 version currently in theaters, viewers who pick up the "Ultimate" R-rated edition this summer will encounter a scene between Lois and Jimmy where he introduces himself. So, yes, Jimmy Olsen is in BvS, but only for a few short, sad moments.
Yet although you might miss the character in-between handfuls of popcorn, Snyder's initial plans for this character were a bit bigger. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly , Snyder revealed that they were cut down, saying,:
“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?”
"Fun" probably isn't the word that comes to mind when watching the scene. In it, Olsen, a well-liked character in the comic books, teams up with Lois on a reporting assignment covering an African warlord. But plot twist: Olsen is actually a CIA-operative working undercover and winds up very quickly executed. Yet according to Snyder, the character almost had a very different storyline. As this article points out, Snyder wanted Jesse Eisenberg to take on the role first, in order to pull a Psycho — when a movie suddenly kills off a big star and totally changes the narrative. As Snyder told EW,
“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.’”
After meeting with Eisenberg and discussing the movie, Snyder decided that Olsen seemed too obvious a casting choice and wanted to bring the actor in for the long haul. Ultimately, Eisenberg became Lex Luthor, a controversial decision that took the villain in new, younger direction than many fans expected.
So, was this choice kryptonite for the franchise, or simply an interesting, unexpected twist? Decide for yourself when you see BvS.
Images: Warner Bros; Giphy