Henry Cavill (left) and Jesse Eisenberg
Clay Enos/Warner Bros.; Gareth Cattermole/Getty
01/31/2014 at 02:00 PM EST
Jesse Eisenberg is ready to take flight as one of comics' most iconic villains.
The Social Network
star has been cast as Lex Luthor in the upcoming sequel to 2013's Man of Steel
, featuring the blockbuster-ready team-up of Superman and Batman.
Warner Bros. announced the casting news
Friday and also revealed that The Borgias
's Jeremy Irons is set to play Batman's trusted butler-confidant, Alfred.
The duo join a burgeoning, star-studded cast that already includes Henry Cavill as Superman, Ben Affleck
as Batman, along with returning Man of Steel
stars Amy Adams
, Diane Lane and Laurence Fishburne.
The sequel will also feature newcomer Gal Gadot, who'll take on the iconic role of Wonder Woman
as the superhero makes her big-screen debut.
As Lex Luthor, Eisenberg will be stepping into some big shoes – Gene Hackman originated the role onscreen in the original 1978 Superman
film, while Kevin Spacey snarled his way through 2006's Superman Returns
Expectations are running high for the as-yet-untitled Man of Steel
sequel, given its predecessor's $668 million global gross. It's also widely believed that that film will serve a springboard for Warner Bros. to launch an all-star Justice League
movie that'll go cape-to-cape with Marvel's record-smashing The Avengers
The Man of Steel
sequel leaps into theaters on May 6, 2016.