Nicholas Hoult May Explore His Villainous Side as Superman: Legacy’s Lex Luthor

Depending on who you believe, Nicholas Hoult (The Great) may be in talks to play Lex Luthor for James Gunn, or it may be a done deal. Either way, it’s an intriguing twist: Hoult was previously in the running to play Clark Kent himself.

But maybe Hoult wanted a superhero change of pace, having previously played Hank McCoy/Beast in several X-Men films. Once upon a time, he was best known for playing Hugh Grant’s young friend in About a Boy, but since has become all grown up, he has reshaped his pop cultural legacy quite endearingly. There’s his extremely memorable turn in Mad Max: Fury Road; there’s the sadly forgettable Tolkien, in which he was better than the movie itself; and, of course, there is his delightful performance as a truly terrible ruler in The Great (pictured above), which gave us a whole new way to say “Huzzah!”

Superman: Legacy is writer-director-DC Studios head James Gunn’s new super-flagship, a film that will—reportedly—focus “on Superman balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing.” It stars David Corenswet (We Own This CityPearl) as the Man of Steel and Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) as Lois Lane—alongside Nathan Fillion as Green Lantern, Edi Gathegi as Mister Terrific, Isabela Merced as Hawkgirl, Anthony Carrigan as Metamorpho, and María Gabriela de Faría as the Engineer.

Superman: Legacy is written and directed by Gunn, and will fly into theaters on July 11, 2025.

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