Superman: Legacy reportedly finds its Lex Luthor, and it's someone who was almost the Man of Steel himself

Superman smiles as he looks behind him in a cover image for Superman: Legacy
Superman: Legacy has seemingly found its Lex Luthor, and we think he's a great fit for the role. (Image credit: DC Comics)

It looks like James Gunn's Superman: Legacy has found the perfect star for the role of Lex Luthor: Nicholas Hoult.

Per Deadline, Hoult is in advanced talks with Warner Bros. and subsidiary DC Studios to join the DC Cinematic Universe (DCU) as the Man of Steel's most iconic antagonist. 

Warner is said to be moving quickly to round out the film's cast following the end of the 2023 actors strike, and it seems Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road, X-Men) is set to appear as the supremely intellectual arch-nemesis of everyone's favorite Kryptonian. Curiously, Hoult was in the running to play the titular character in Superman: Legacy, but apparently threw his hat into the ring for Luthor when he missed out on the former. Luckily for Hoult, it's a decision that's seemingly paid off.

Hoult joins David Corenswet and Rachel Brosnahan on the movie's roster, with the duo already in place as Kal-El/Clark Kent/Superman and Lois Lane respectively. Other names attached to Superman's latest big-screen adventure include Nathan Fillion as Guy Gardner/Green Lantern, Isabela Merced as Hawkgirl, Edi Gathegi as Michael Holt/Mr. Terrific, Anthony Carrigan as Rex Mason/Metamorpho, and Maria Gabriela de Faria as Angela Spice/The Engineer.

Curiously, Gunn hasn't taken to social media to confirm Hoult's involvement, which the DC Studios co-head – and Superman: Legacy's writer-director – has done for every other cast announcement. Clearly, then, Hoult hasn't officially signed on for the role yet, but it seems it's only a matter of time.

Superman: Legacy – what we know so far

Henry Cavill's Superman stands in court in Batman vs Superman

Henry Cavill's Clark Kent won't be returning in the new-look DCU. (Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Superman: Legacy, which is one of 2025's most anticipated new movies, returns to the legendary superhero's roots in Smallville, Kansas, though Gunn has previously confirmed it won't be another origins story.

Former Superman star Henry Cavill won't be donning the tights this time around, however, with the aforementioned Corenswet, a relatively unknown name in blockbuster land, securing the coveted role. Corenswet impressed in House of Cards in 2018, but really rose to prominence in The Politician and Hollywood on Netflix. Based on an image doing the rounds online (thanks to DCEULeaks for the catch), it seems Corenswet is hitting the gym hard to get into superhero shape.

As mentioned, Superman: Legacy will be written and directed by Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Suicide Squad). According to a separate Deadline report from March, Gunn, fellow studio co-head Peter Safran, and Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav were all keen to bring Superman back to the big screen, with the Man of Steel's first standalone flick in years set to kick off the new-look DCU's first slate of movies. 

Before that, however, an animated Max-exclusive series called Creature Commandos will mark the official beginning of the DCU. It's expected to arrive on our screens sometime in 2024.

While the new DC universe is replacing the existing DC Extended Universe (DCEU) – Deadline calls it a hand-off "between the Snyder-verse and the new Safran/Gunn-verse" – the same outlet suggests many familiar faces, such as Jason Momoa, may be part of the DCU, albeit in different roles. Some actors, including John Cena and Xolo Mariduena, though, will be back as the same characters from the soon-to-be-defunct DCEU (read our guide on how to watch the DC movies in order), meaning there might some confusing overlap between the two franchies.

Superman: Legacy is planned for release in July 2025.

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Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.

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