In one of the most important new castings after the SAG-AFTRA strike, Superman: Legacy has found its Lex Luthor, with Nicholas Hoult in talks to play the role of the classic villain. No deal was reached, but talks were underway well before the strike.
Warner Bros. made no comment.
James Gunn writes and directs Superman: Legacy, the first feature film in his and Peter Safran’s new DC Studios universe. David Corenswet will play the role of Clark Kent/Superman, while Rachel Brosnahan will play Lois Lane, with the duo landing the roles in June after a lengthy casting search.
Holt has long been in the running for the role of Luthor, but has also put his hat in the ring to play Superman and was one of the finalists for the role.
Luthor debuted in the 1940s Action Comics No. 23, created by the Superman duo Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Gene Hackman played Luthor opposite Christopher Reeves in Superman (1978), while Kevin Spacey faced Brandon Routh’s iteration of the character in The Return of Superman (2006). More recently, Jesse Eisenberg played a reimagined version of the character in the vein of a sneaker-wearing tech CEO in Zack Snyder. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016).
Hoult previously played the Marvel/X-Men character Beast in the film series released from 2011 to 2019. The actor’s highly charged relationship with Warners dates back to Mad Max: Road to Fury (2015), and his recent credits include last year’s The menu and the photo of the universal monster Renfield, released earlier this year. He was also among the stars of Hulu’s period drama Greatfor which he earned an Emmy nomination in 2022.
Hoult is replaced by UTA and manager 42.
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