Nicholas Hoult to Play Lex Luthor in ‘Superman Legacy,’ James Gunn Confirms

Gunn promises a “Lex that will be different from anything you’ve seen before and will never forget”

James Gunn Nicholas Hoult Superman: Legacy Lex Luthor
James Gunn's Instagram

It’s official. Nicholas Hoult will in fact play Lex Luthor in “Superman: Legacy,” director James Gunn confirmed on Monday.

Gunn made the announcement on social media, promising a “Lex that will be different from anything you’ve seen before and will never forget.”

“Yes, finally I can answer, @nicholashoult is Lex Luthor in #SupermanLegacy and I couldn’t be happier,” Gunn wrote. “We went out to dinner last night to celebrate and discuss how we can create a Lex that will be different from anything you’ve seen before and will never forget.”

He added an explanation for why he hadn’t responded to earlier rumors of Hoult playing the Superman archnemesis.

“‘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,” Gunn added. “Anyway, here’s to Lex (and Nicholas!), one of my very favorite characters in the DCU.”

The actor will face off against David Corenswet’s Man of Steel. He will also presumably menace and/or imperil Rachel Brosnahan as Lois Lane in the upcoming DC Studios tentpole.

Hoult steps into the shoes of previous actors like Gene Hackman, Kevin Spacey and Jesse Eisenberg who have brought the character of Lex Luthor to life on the big screen in previous “Superman” films.

In the DC comic books, Lex Luthor fancies himself the hero in his own warped narrative, justified in abusing his genius and vast resources to clear the stage of alien interlopers like Superman. So when he debuts his latest invention — a battlesuit or deadly nanobots perhaps — the city holds its breath, knowing calamity follows in the wake of this antagonist extraordinaire. Love him or hate him, Lex Luthor’s exploits never fail to both horrify and captivate Metropolis.

Rumors run rampant about Luthor’s hidden schemes as CEO of LexCorp, his megacorporate empire built on high-tech innovation that purports to better mankind even as he gets richer. Yet behind his veneer of altruism lurks an ego-driven thirst for control and recognition that fuels Luthor’s obsession with Superman. He forever plots to emerge from the Kryptonian’s shadow by sabotaging Metropolis’ champion.

The businessman and inventor casts an inescapable shadow over the city, his formidable intellect matched only by his bald head.

Written and directed by Gunn as part of a franchise relaunch, the latest Superman reboot will open theatrically on July 11, 2025.

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