Superman: Legacy's James Gunn confirms X-Men star will play Lex Luthor

Lex Luthor
X-Men star confirmed to play Lex Luthor in DCUDC Comics

Former X-Men star Nicholas Hoult has been cast in writer-director James Gunn's Superman: Legacy.

Gunn has announced that Hoult will be joining the already-cast David Corenswet (who plays Superman) and Rachel Brosnahan (who plays Lois Lane) as the iconic DC villain Lex Luthor.

The news was first rumoured last month, but Gunn has now confirmed that a deal has closed that will make Hoult part of the new DCU.

nicholas hoult
Dia Dipasupil - Getty Images

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"Yes, finally I can answer, @nicholashoult is Lex Luthor in #SupermanLegacy and I couldn’t be happier," Gun 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.

"'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. Anyway, here’s to Lex (and Nicholas!), one of my very favorite characters in the DCU.

Hoult is perhaps best known for portraying Dr Hank McCoy / Beast in the X-Men universe, and also memorably played Tony Stonem in the first two series of the groundbreaking series Skins.

Earlier this year, Hoult was one of numerous actors who was reportedly in contention to play Superman before David Corenswet officially landed the part.

In taking on the role of Lex Luthor, Hoult follows in the footsteps of Gene Hackman in the original Superman films and, most recently, Jesse Eisenberg in director Zack Snyder's Justice League universe.

james gunn at the guardians of the galaxy vol 3 world premiere
Rich Polk - Getty Images

The casting of Luthor comes a few weeks after Gunn confirmed Deadly Class star María Gabriela De Faría was joining Superman: Legacy as Angela Spica, aka The Engineer — one of the characters from WildStorm Comics who'll also be part of Gunn's The Authority movie.

Gunn recently spoke out to assure fans that his Superman movie would not be facing delays due to the strike, unlike many other superhero movies.

The filmmaker wrote on social media: "Thanks to the efforts of our talented crew, who never lost faith during the longest strikes in Hollywood history, and who never let their foot off the pedal, continuing to barrel forward, creating the most amazing character and set designs I've seen in my entire career, #SupermanLegacy will be making the originally planned release date of July 11, 2025."

Prior to the strike, Gunn had indicated Superman: Legacy will not be an origin story but is still one of the first two projects that is connected to his rebooted DC Universe (alongside Blue Beetle).

Superman: Legacy premieres in cinemas July 11, 2025.

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