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After missing out on roles as Batman and Superman, Nicholas Hoult is finally confirmed as DC's next Lex Luthor

They stopped him from being the hero twice, so he became the villain instead

Nicholas Hoult and James Gunn confirm Hoult's casting as Lex Luthor
Image credit: James Gunn via Threads

What do you do with an actor who missed the chance to play two of the most iconic comic book heroes of all time? Cast him as one of the most iconic villains, of course. That seems to be the case for Nicholas Hoult, who has finally been officially confirmed as Lex Luthor in Superman: Legacy.

The casting has been one of the worst-kept secrets in Hollywood thanks to a series of leaks last month, but it does complete a remarkable casting journey for Hoult. He was in the running to play the starring role in DC’s efforts to reboot their film franchise with Superman: Legacy before ultimately losing the role to David Corenswet.

This wasn’t the first near-miss Hoult had with donning the tights over at DC, though. The Great star was nearly the Dark Knight before being passed over in favor of Robert Pattinson in Matt Reeves’ The Batman. Not that he is bitter, of course – Hoult has since said that he “didn’t fit as well into that world as [Pattinson] did,” which is a generous way of saying that he just wasn’t right for the role.

All that seems to have led to something arguably better for Nicholas Hoult. He’s already had a go at playing a hero when he played Beast in the X-Men franchise, so it seems time to find out if being the bad guy is more fun. To confirm the casting – which had been unofficial knowledge in Hollywood for several weeks – James Gunn posted a picture of himself with Hoult on social media with the message that the pair were working to “create a Lex that will be different from anything you’ve seen before and will never forget.”

That’s quite the statement considering the people who have played Luthor in the past. From film greats like Gene Hackman to the iconic portrayal of the character by Clancey Brown in Superman: The Animated Series, there are few characters with more gravitas than Lex Luthor. Hoult has big shoes to fill but we will have to wait until 2025 to find out if he pulls it off.

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