'Superman: Legacy': James Gunn Confirms Nicholas Hoult Will Play Lex Luthor

'Superman: Legacy' will be the first DC Studios film developed since James Gunn and Peter Safran's takeover.

Superman: Legacy has officially found its Lex Luthor. On Monday, director James Gunn confirmed that actor Nicholas Hoult has been cast as the iconic supervillain. 

Gunn made the announcement on his Instagram page, promising his followers that Hoult will portray a "Lex that will be different from anything you've seen before and will never forget."

"Yes, finally I can answer, @nicholashoult is Lex Luthor in #SupermanLegacy and I couldn't be happier," Gunn captioned a photo of him and Hoult. "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."

Gunn explained that he couldn't announce the news when rumors began circulating because the casting hadn't been finalized. "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," he wrote. "Anyway, here's to Lex (and Nicholas!), one of my very favorite characters in the DCU. 🙌🧬🔬⚗️"

Hoult joins previously announced co-stars Nathan Fillion, Isabela Merced, Edi Gathegi, David Corenswet and Rachel Brosnahan in the upcoming DC Comics film, which will be the first under the new DC Studios mantle following the hiring of Gunn and Peter Safran as co-chairs and co-CEOs.

As first reported by Vanity Fair, Merced will play Hawkgirl, Gathegi will be Mister Terrific and Fillion will portray a Green Lantern. Warner Bros. has confirmed the casting news to ET. 

Gunn also shared the news on Twitter, elaborating on which version of Green Lantern Fillion will be playing. 

"Welcome to the cast of Superman: Legacy:@NathanFillion as Green Lantern Guy Gardner, @isabelamerced as Hawkgirl, and @iamedigathegi as Mister Terrific," he posted.

Last month, the studio revealed that Corenswet and Brosnahan would be taking on the roles of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, respectively. 

The film, set for a July 2025 release, will be written and directed by Gunn, who has said he's drawing from the All-Star Superman comic run by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. While not an origin story, the film will focus on Clark's younger years as a reporter at the Daily Planet and budding superhero in Metropolis.

Corenswet is best known for his roles in Ryan Murphy's Netflix series The Politician, as well as the Mia Goth-led A24 horror film Pearl, while Brosnahan just wrapped her acclaimed five-season run as the titular lead of Prime Video's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which netted her an Emmy Award and two Golden Globes.

Gunn also confirmed the lead casting news on Twitter, writing that his stars are "not only both incredible actors, but also wonderful people."

The casting came after Henry Cavill announced last October that he would be returning to play Superman after making a cameo in the credits of Dwayne Johnson's DC debut, Black Adam. However, after Gunn and Safran took over DC Studios, Cavill returned to social media to share that he would not, in fact, be suiting up again.

"I will, after all, not be returning as Superman," Cavill wrote at the time. "After being told by the studio to announce my return back in October, prior to their hire, this news isn't the easiest, but that's life. The changing of the guard is something that happens. I respect that."

For his part, Gunn said the upcoming DC films -- which includes Bat-family-focused The Brave and the Bold, a standalone Supergirl movie and a James Mangold-directed Swamp Thing feature -- are simply headed in a different direction.

"Peter and I have a DC slate ready to go, which we couldn’t be more over-the-moon about; we’ll be able to share some exciting information about our first projects at the beginning of the new year," he shared late last year. "Among those on the slate is Superman. In the initial stages, our story will be focusing on an earlier part of Superman's life, so the character will not be played by Henry Cavill."

"But we just had a great meeting with Henry and we’re big fans and we talked about a number of exciting possibilities to work together in the future," Gunn added.

Superman: Legacy is set for release on July 11, 2025.