16

Spoilers!

When Clark meets Bruce at Lex's party, Lex gets very excited about the prospect of "Clark Kent meets Bruce Wayne".

Why? Clark Kent wasn't known to the world at all just 18 months prior. Until then, he'd deliberately isolated himself, spending his adult life thus far in the far reaches of the US performing nothing but menial labour.

How famous a journalist could he possibly be? Why does Lex give a monkeys about him? For that matter, why was he even invited to the party?

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    I think Lex Luther knows Clark Kent is Superman. – Bellerophon Mar 27 '16 at 15:46
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    @Bellerephon: And this didn't seem at all strange to anyone? – Lightness Races with Monica Mar 27 '16 at 15:47
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    Maybe they all just assumed Lex was a big fan of Clark Kent. – Bellerophon Mar 27 '16 at 15:48
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    @Bellerephon: Mmmm maybe he's really into the DP sports column. – Lightness Races with Monica Mar 27 '16 at 15:49
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    @Bellerephon I think that's precisely the question. Why would he be a fan of Clark Kent, essentially a nobody? Wouldn't Supes and Bats find his remark puzzling? Or would they just chalk it up to just another weirdo making random comments? – Andres F. Mar 30 '16 at 16:09
17

Lex already knows that Clark is Superman and the main point of his plan is to have Superman and Batman fight to the death. He was excited that his two combatants were meeting face-to-face.

It is made clear about two-thirds of the way through the film that Lex Luthor has been running extensive surveillance on meta-humans such as Wonder Woman and Flash for years, and that he knows Superman's secret identity.

Lex explicitly admits that his plan was to have Batman and Superman combat one another. He had been manipulating Bruce Wayne for some time. To ensure Superman would fight, Lex captured Martha Kent, and this relied on Lex knowing Superman's actual identity.

You ask, "Why does Lex give a monkeys about him? For that matter, why was he even invited to the party?" Lex wanted the two men to meet and rile one another up. He either explicitly gave Clark a press pass to the event, and was thrilled his plan was working, or was pleasantly surprised that the Daily Planet had sent Kent, which brought Clark and Bruce face-to-face more quickly than he expected.

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    But neither Bruce nor anyone else at the party batted an eyelid. It was as if Clark was some super-famous journalist, Lex's secret secret-knowing notwithstanding. – Lightness Races with Monica Mar 27 '16 at 15:54
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    @BarryTheHatchet : Why would anyone bat an eyelid? It wasn't intended to be a public announcement at the party. It was really just a conversation between Lex, Clark, and Bruce. Bruce wouldn't think it was odd that Lex would know Clark's name for a variety of reasons. Updating my answer. – Praxis Mar 27 '16 at 15:58
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    Meh. Works factually but not very thematically satisfying. I guess there wasn't much more to it then. – Lightness Races with Monica Mar 27 '16 at 16:02
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    @BarryTheHatchet : For what it's worth, I agree with you. – Praxis Mar 27 '16 at 16:03
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    @ABcDexter : Yes, this is explicitly stated in the film. Lex was manipulating Bruce Wayne (e.g. through the returned cheques and news clippings with taunting messages) so that he would be driven to physically fight Superman. – Praxis Mar 28 '16 at 15:28

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