In one of the most significant new castings post-SAG-AFTRA strike, Superman: Legacy has found its Lex Luthor, with Nicholas Hoult in talks to star as the classic villain. No deal is done, but talks have been in the works since before the strike.
Warner Bros. had no comment.
James Gunn is writing and directing Superman: Legacy, the first feature from his and Peter Safran’s new DC Studios universe. David Corenswet will star as Clark Kent/Superman, while Rachel Brosnahan is playing Lois Lane, with the duo landing the roles in June after a lengthy casting search.
Holt was long in contention for the role of Luthor but also put his hat in the ring to play Superman and was one of the finalists for that role.
Luthor debuted in 1940’s Action Comics No. 23, created by Superman duo Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Gene Hackman played Luthor opposite Christopher Reeves in Superman (1978), while Kevin Spacey squared off against Brandon Routh’s iteration of the character in Superman Returns (2006). More recently, Jesse Eisenberg played a version of the character reinvented in the vein of a sneakers-wearing tech CEO in Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016).
Hoult previously played the Marvel/X-Men character Beast in the series of films released from 2011 to 2019. The busy actor’s relationship with Warners dates back to Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), and his recent credits include last year’s The Menu and the Universal monster pic Renfield, released earlier this year. He was also among the stars of Hulu’s period drama The Great, for which he earned an Emmy nomination in 2022.
Hoult is repped by UTA and manager 42.