‘Superman: Legacy’ Casting Heats Up With Nicholas Hoult, Rachel Brosnahan in the Mix

Writer/director James Gunn is also looking at Black actors to find his Lex Luthor for the DC reboot

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With “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” now out in theaters and James Gunn’s commitment to Marvel Studios complete, his full attention is now being turned to filling out the cast for his upcoming DC reboot “Superman: Legacy.”

Gunn is now watching audition tapes, and those in the mix for the role of Superman include Nicholas Hoult, David Corenswet (“Pearl”), Jacob Elordi (“Euphoria”) and Andrew Richardson (“A Call to Spy”), sources tell TheWrap.

Additionally, sources say Emmy-winning “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” star Rachel Brosnahan delivered a “strong” audition for Lois Lane, with Emma Mackey (“Sex Education”) and Samara Weaving (“Ready or Not”) among those also auditioning for the part.

There’s another major role to fill as well: Lex Luthor. Sources indicate the antagonist role is labeled as “Apex” and that Gunn has been seeing Black actors for the part. In the comics, Apex Lex Luthor had a hybrid human/Martian body and could physically go toe-to-toe with Superman, although it’s unclear if the Lex Luthor in Gunn’s film is actually Apex Lex Luthor.

This isn’t Hoult’s first dash with a major superhero film — he was in the running to play Batman in Matt Reeves’ reboot, which eventually went to Robert Pattinson. Brosnahan, meanwhile, is just coming off the end of “Maisel” so her schedule is freed up.

“Superman: Legacy” — which Gunn wrote and will direct — is slated for release on July 11, 2025 and will tell the story of Superman’s journey to reconcile his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing as Clark Kent. Per DC Studios, “he is the embodiment of truth, justice and the American way, guided by human kindness in a world that sees kindness as old fashioned.”

The film will kick off a new era of the DCU in earnest, as Gunn and Peter Safran are spearheading a new interconnected series of films and TV shows much like the Marvel Cinematic Universe as part of their duties as DC Films co-CEOS. Matt Reeves’ “The Batman” sequel will follow “Legacy” in October 2025, although the Robert Pattinson film will continue to exist in its own separate universe – an outlier in Gunn and Safran’s overarching plans.

Those plans also include an additional, separate Batman movie with a different actor in the lead role called “The Brave and the Bold,” a “Supergirl” movie, a “Swamp Thing” film from director James Mangold, and an animated series called “Creature Commandos” for which Gunn has written all the scripts. There’s also an Amanda Waller spinoff series starring Viola Davis that will include much of the cast from Gunn’s DC HBO Max series “Peacemaker.”