Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Nicholas Hoult reveals shaved head for role as Lex Luthor in Superman: Legacy

Hoult was cast as the supervillain after David Corenswet beat him to the role of Superman

Tom Murray
Thursday 22 February 2024 21:52 GMT
Comments
James Gunn reveals Superman: Legacy is 'about to start production'

Nicholas Hoult has debuted his striking new look as Superman villain Lex Luthor.

On Instagram on Thursday (22 February), Superman: Legacy showrunner James Gunn shared the first cast photo of the forthcoming superhero movie.

The film stars David Corenswet as the Man of Steel while The Marvellous Mrs Maisel’s Rachel Brosnahan will play Lois Lane.

In the group selfie shared by Gunn, English actor Hoult is seen with a shaved head, mirroring the original depictions of Luthor from the DC comic books originated in 1940.

Gunn, who is also the CEO of DC Studios, captioned the post: “After the table read with the #Superman cast. Eve, Mr. Terrific, Superman/Clark, Otis, Lex, producer Peter Safran, Jimmy, Metamorpho, Lois, Hawkgirl, me, Guy, The Engineer all together for the first time! What a wonderful day.”

In the past, Luthor has been played by Gene Hackman, Kevin Spacey, Jesse Eisenberg and, in the TV show Smallville, Michael Rosenbaum.

According to reports, Corenswet won the role of Superman over Grantchester actor Tom Brittney and Hoult.

Milly Alcock was also recently cast as Supergirl, although it remains unclear whether she will make her DCU debut in Superman: Legacy.

Hoult, who shot to fame as a child star in About a Boy and the TV show Skins, previously played the young version of Kelsey Grammer’s Beast in the X-Men franchise and had a starring role in the 2015 film Mad Max: Fury Road.

He also starred alongside Elle Fanning in Hulu series The Great, which was cancelled after three seasons last year.

Apple TV+ logo

Watch Apple TV+ free for 7 days

New subscribers only. £8.99/mo. after free trial. Plan auto-renews until cancelled

Try for free
Apple TV+ logo

Watch Apple TV+ free for 7 days

New subscribers only. £8.99/mo. after free trial. Plan auto-renews until cancelled

Try for free

The actor had to reject a role alongside Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One due to scheduling conflicts caused by the show’s production.

Hoult’s casting came after former Luthor actor Rosenbaum asked Gunn to pick someone who was “grounded” and “real” as opposed to an actor who would play the role in a more over-the-top manner.

When Rosenbaum said: “I’m not saying anybody’s done that,” Gunn replied: “Maybe someone has done that.”

Last week, Gunnhit back at speculation that comedian and TV host Bassem Youssef was fired from the upcoming Superman: Legacy for speaking out about the conflict in Gaza.

Gunn, 57, reposted an IGN article on his X/Twitter account, which reported that the character Youssef had been approached to play was entirely cut from the script prior to his comments about Palestine.

Gunn wrote about the article: “This is accurate.”

Youssef had told Salon that he believed he had been let go from the project due to a viral interview with Piers Morgan regarding the Israel-Hamas conflict.

“In the United States of America, you can talk about Joe Biden, you can talk about Donald Trump, but you cannot criticize a foreign government which is kind of, like, very sad, you know?” Youssef said in the Salon interview.

“And then because of that, I was cast in the movie Superman, and then they told me, ‘We changed the script’ after this Piers Morgan interview, and I want to assume good faith.”

Superman: Legacy is expected to arrive in cinemas on 11 July 2025.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in