James Gunn confirms that Nicholas Hoult will play Lex Luthor in Superman: Legacy

The casting for James Gunn’s Superman: Legacy has been a whole ass event. Casting their Clark Kent and Lois Lane was so much a thing that there were even articles written about the finalists. There’s a lot of pressure on this movie, which stars David Corenswet as Clark Kent/Superman, Rachel Brosnahan as Lois Lane, Skyler Gisondo as Jimmy Olsen, and Sara Sampaio as Eve Teschmacher, to help reinvigorate DC Studios’ struggling franchise. Written and directed by Gunn, it’s supposed to be the first film released under his new, rebooted DC Universe. It’s been called a “workplace origin story” that will explore Superman’s heritage by both his Kryptonian birth parents and his adoptive parents in Kansas. A few weeks ago, news leaked that Nicholas Hoult was cast as villain Lex Luthor. Earlier this week, Gunn finally confirmed the rumors via a post on Threads.

James Gunn took a moment to confirm that Nicholas Hoult will, in fact, be playing Lex Luthor in Superman: Legacy and gave a bit of insight into what fans can expect from his take on the villain. The co-chair and co-CEO of DC Studios posted a photo of him and Hoult on Threads and shared that the two had dinner to celebrate the official casting.

“I couldn’t be happier,” Gunn wrote. “We went out to dinner last night to celebrate & discuss how we can create a Lex that will be different from anything you’ve seen before and will never forget. ‘But, James, we heard this weeks ago, why didn’t you tell us it was true?’ Because, although we were discussing it, it wasn’t final until a couple days ago and I don’t want to tell you all something that isn’t certain.”

News broke in November that Hoult was in talks to portray the classic villain in Gunn’s upcoming Superman movie, which will follow the Man of Steel as he balances his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing.

Superman: Legacy is expected to hit theaters July 11, 2025.

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

Look, I’m a giant nerd and although I may grumble, I generally can’t resist anything superhero-related. But even I’m like, “Do we really need another Superman movie?” He’s like the most overdone superhero outside of Batman at this point. However, I also said that about the Robert Pattinson Batman movie and ended up really enjoying it, despite it being 75 hours long. (Seriously, if it’s not a Lord of the Rings, it does not need to be more than 120 minutes, TOPS. You can tell good stories in under two hours!)

Anyway, I am very intrigued by this Nicholas Hoult casting. I mean, it’s less random than when Jesse Eisenberg played Lex, so there’s that. I grew up with two different Lex Luthors: John Shea in Lois and Clark and Michael Rosenbaum in Smallville. They’re always the ones I see in my mind. When I picture Hoult and ‘superhero,’ I can’t help but picture him as Beast from X-Men. I like Hoult, though, so I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and see what he can do with the role. Honestly, I don’t know whether or not I even want to invest more hours of my life on another DCU movie. They’ve been hit or miss for me, but mostly miss.

Post by @jamesgunn
View on Threads

Embed from Getty Images

Photos credit: Jeffrey Mayer / Avalon, Robin Platzer / Twin Images / Avalon, Getty and via Threads

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

12 Responses to “James Gunn confirms that Nicholas Hoult will play Lex Luthor in Superman: Legacy”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. sparrow says:

    This guy, plus Hiddleston, leave me cold. Apols to the huge number of fans.

    • Gabbygirl2 says:

      To Sparrow, I feel the same about both. I never understood the appeal and still don’t understand the appeal. I will also include Benedict Cumberbactch and Timothee Chalamet. Yes, thee Timothee, gasp!

      • sparrow says:

        Thank you, Gabbygirl2!!! I get you completely, and agree to all on your list. Could I add Cillian Murphy, or is that a name too far?! In terms of famous women, I don’t get the wow for Gillian Anderson, Cate Blanchett or Kim Cattrall. Never understood Tilda Swinton’s appeal at all, either. I think that’s me done.

      • Lurker25 says:

        @sparrow et al, I think the attraction is the androgyny all the people you mention exhibit.

        Even when conventionally femme like Gillian Anderson, there’s something about her energy that’s hard to pin down. Same for Cumberbatch.
        Cattrall was often referred to as playing Samantha like a gay man. Not sure of how she fits in other roles, but that’s basically the common theme I’m seeing here.
        Swinton of course is the most clear cut androgyne listed here. But they all kind of fit a similar mould: Hiddleston, Hoult, Chalamet, Murphy, Cumberbatch… Fine-boned delicate features with sharp cut glass cheekbones atop extremely slender frames.

      • Gabbygirl2 says:

        To Sparrow and Lurker25, thank you! Thank you sparrow for starting this conversation and elaborating your points. Thank you Luker25 for your important insights and evaluations. You both have me rethinking. I will share this thread with many others. Have a great day to the both of you.

    • Gabbygirl2 says:

      You are most welcome Sparrow. I am a big fan of Peaky Blinders and I always thought that Cillian was miscast as Tommy. I am in 100 percent agreement with the women with an added footnote that includes Jennifer Lawrence. Sparrow, I think this the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

      • sparrow says:

        I agree, Gabbygirl2 my friend in “appeal that passes us by”! Lurker25 makes a very interesting point about androgyny in my list, which has got me thinking. I also think character reflects in faces. Swinton is an entitled egocentric and Cattrall is a Polanski supporter. Gillian Anderson is just a poor actor, imo, which I see shining through whenever she appears on covers or the red carpet. But there is something perhaps in the meeting of male/female aesthetic. I find Ben Wishaw very androgynous, tho, and he is gorgeous. Hmmm. Food for thought. ps Jennifer Lawrence yes!

  2. Concern Fae says:

    Watched Birds of Prey recently and became curious about Harley Quinn. Saw the other films, read a bunch of the comics, watched the HBO animated series. I’d always heard the animated DC shows were better than the movies. Always took it to be a bit of reverse snobbery, but it is so true. The characters are alive and fun. The plots move quickly. Maybe DC just works better with shorter, serialized stories.

    That said, James Gunn has made the best Marvel and DC films, so I’m looking forward to his Superman. Still wish we got to see Cavill in a good Superman movie though.

  3. H says:

    My Lex Luthors are Gene Hackman (Christopher Reeve movies) and Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville).

    I thought it was absolutely classy that Rosenbaum congratulated Nicholas on the role. James Gunn and Rosenbaum are friends. I’m on the fence about this reboot. We’ll see.

  4. Robert Phillips says:

    Unless they have already started on this movie. And I mean started like built sets and costumes. I don’t think it will get made. Warner Bros. is shelving movies that are 90% done. Because they are in financial trouble. Any movie that has this much promotion before any cameras start rolling is bound to be a bomb. Gunn needs to keep his mouth shut and put in the actual work. Before touting how great it’s going to be.

  5. Kirsten says:

    I just don’t understand his appeal — he’s so bland in everything.