Nicholas Hoult is rumored to be one of the top contenders for the role of Superman: Legacy's Lex Luthor.
Could the Man of Steel be meeting the bouncing, blue Beast in the upcoming Superman: Legacy? That’s the rumor. According to the Hollywood Reporter, X-Men: First Class star Nicholas Hoult is being talked about for the role of Lex Luthor in James Gunn‘s Superman reboot.
Hoult previously played merry Marvel mutant Hank McCoy—AKA the Beast—in four different X-Men movies for Fox before being considered for the role of Superman’s archnemesis. The Mad Max: Fury Road star is just one of the young Hollywood actors rumored to be up for roles in Superman: Legacy.
Both Emma Mackey of Sex Education fame and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel herself, Rachel Brosnahan, are allegedly vying for the role of ace reporter and Supe’s love interest Lois Lane. Broshahan specifically is rumored to have delivered an “outstanding audition” for Lane, but at 32 might be a little too old for the early-to-mid ’20s vibe Gunn wants for the characters in Superman: Legacy.
Euphoria’s Jacob Elordi, along with British actors Tom Brittney and Andrew Richardson, are all names that have been discussed for the big blue boy scout himself. It’s no secret that James Gunn has a soft spot for the Christopher Reeves iteration of Superman and will most likely cast a young actor that can live up to the late actor’s legacy.
Speaking of Gunn, it’s important to note that all the casting rumors are, so far, just that: rumors. The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 director took to Twitter recently to address the Superman: Legacy casting discourse. Gunn stressed that he would never comment on who is or isn’t auditioning for a movie role as he considers it “the actor’s business” and not something he would make public unless the actor did it first.
Ever since James Gunn and Peter Safran announced their first slate of upcoming DCU projects titled Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters, Superman: Legacy has been living rent-free in the minds of most DC fans, and with good reason. Like Zack Snyder before him, James Gunn is looking to kick off his new DC cinematic universe with the Man of Tomorrow, making Legacy the film that will set the tone for all the DC projects that come after it. That means that it’s crucial for Gunn and Safran to absolutely nail the casting right out of the gate.
So far, Nicholas Hoult is the only real name that’s been attached to the Lex Luthor role, lending even more weight to the rumor that he’s being considered for the bald megalomaniac. If Hoult does get the part, he’ll be joining a long list of prestigious actors who have portrayed Luthor in live-action and animation. Hollywood legend Gene Hackman, Spongebob Squarepants veteran Clancy Brown, The Social Network‘s Jesse Eisenberg, and The Mandalorian‘s Giancarlo Esposito are just a few of the actors to play the evil billionaire in the past.
Given that Superman: Legacy isn’t expected to hit theaters until 2025—possibly later if the writer’s strike continues—it will most likely be quite a while before we find out if there’s any truth behind the casting rumors.