In one of the most significant new castings after the SAG-AFTRA strike, Superman: Legacy has found its Lex Luthor, with Nicholas Hoult in talks to play the classic villain. No deal has been struck yet, but talks have been underway before the strike.
Warner Bros. had no comment.
James Gunn writes and directs Superman: Legacy, the first feature film from his and Peter Safran’s new DC Studios universe. David Corenswet will star as Clark Kent/Superman, while Rachel Brosnahan will play Lois Lane. The duo will get the roles in June after a long search for a casting.
Long in contention for the role of Luthor, Holt also put his hat in the ring to play Superman and was one of the finalists for that role.
Luthor made his debut in the 1940s Action comics No. 23, created by Superman duo Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Gene Hackman played Luthor opposite Christopher Reeves Superman (1978), as Kevin Spacey took on Brandon Routh’s version of the character Superman returns (2006). More recently, Jesse Eisenberg played a version of the character that was reinvented along the lines of a tech CEO who wears sneakers in Zack Snyder’s Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016).
Hoult previously played the Marvel/X-Men character Beast in the film series that was released between 2011 and 2019. The busy actor’s relationship with Warners dates back Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), and his recent credits include last year’s The menu and the Universal monster photo Renveld, released earlier this year. He was also one of the stars of Hulu’s period drama The bigfor which he earned an Emmy nomination in 2022.
Hoult is represented by UTA and manager 42.