The new Superman movie might have just found its Lex Luthor in the form of an actor who was initially in the running to play the Man of Steel.
Earlier this year, it was revealed by DC Studios that David Corenswet would play Superman in James Gunn’s Superman: Legacy, which is set to be released in 2025. The Marvellous Mrs Maisel star Rachel Brosnahan will play Lois Lane.
According to reports, Corenswet won the role over two other contenders: Grantchester actor Tom Brittney and Nicholas Hoult. It’s now being reported that British actor Hoult will instead play the film’s villain.
In the past, Luthor has been played by Gene Hackman, Kevin Spacey, Jesse Eisenberg and, in the TV show Smallville, Michael Rosenbaum.
According to Deadline, Hoult, 33, will be added to that list, with a deal set to be reached now the Hollywood strikes are over.
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 2015 film Mad Max: Fury Road.
He also starred alongside Elle Fanning in Hulu series The Great, which was cancelled after three seasons earlier this year.
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 alleged casting comes 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.”
Many then jumped to Eisenberg’s defence due to the assumption this was who Gunn was talking about. Eisenberg played the role in 2016 film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Gunn denied the claims, though, and tweeted “I was not referring to Jesse” in response to a tweet that read: “What is with the diss to Eisenberg? He’s one of the best actors of our generation.”
He then revealed that he was actually referring to Hackman, who played Luthor in Richard Donner’s 1978 film Superman and its 1980 sequel Superman II.