Nicholas Hoult Eyeing Lex Luthor Role in James Gunn’s “Superman: Legacy”

Nicholas Hoult might pull off the rare feat of going from nearly playing Superman to playing his arch-nemesis, Lex Luthor. The talented Hoult had gotten far along in the casting process for the role of Superman, but ultimately, Gunn tapped David Corenswet to play Clark Kent, while Rachel Brosnahan snagged Lois Lane. Yet several outlets, including The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, report that Hoult began talks to play Lex Luthor before the actor’s strike began.

Superman: Legacy will be the first feature to come out of Gunn and Peter Safran’s new-look DC Studios, centering on a Clark Kent/Superman in a film that’s not being billed as an origin story but rather a look at how the young Kryptonian balances his alien heritage and his human family ties while defending the Earth as the world’s most powerful superhero.

Luthor’s legacy as a heavy is a storied one, dating back to his arrival on the scene when Jerry Spiegel and Joe Shuster created him for 1940’s “Action Comics No. 23.” On the big screen, Gene Hackman delivered a memorable performance playing opposite Christopher Reeves in Richard Donner’s 1978 classic Superman. Kevin Spacey took on the role of Luthor, pitting off against Brandon Routh’s Superman, in 2006’s Superman Returns, while Jesse Eisenberg played a younger version of Luthor in Zack Snyder’s 2016 film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. 

Hoult is no stranger to the comic book movie world, having played the lovable Beast in several X-Men films between 2011 and 2019 for Marvel. He’s had a slew of memorable roles in Warner Bros. films, probably none quite as dynamic as playing Nux in George Miller’s flawless 2015 epic Mad Max: Fury Road. 

Gunn recently cast María Gabriela de Faría to play the villain The Engineer in Superman: Legacy, joining the aforementioned cast and Nathan Fillion as Guy Gardner/Green Lantern, Isabela Merced as Hawkgirl, Edi Gathegi as Mister Terrific, and Anthony Carrigan as Rex Mason/Metamorpho.

Superman: Legacy is slated for a July 11, 2025 release.

For more on Superman: Legacy, check out these stories:

James Gunn’s “Superman: Legacy” Casts Its Villain

James Gunn Clarifies What “Superman: Legacy” Will Be

James Gunn’s “Superman: Legacy” Cast Shaping Up With Nathan Fillion Joining in a Key Role

“Superman: Legacy”: David Corenswet & Rachel Brosnahan Cast as Superman & Lois Lane

Featured image: Nicholas Hoult as Renfield in Renfield, directed by Chris McKay.


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