The new DC Universe has found its new Lex Luthor. Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road, Renfield) has officially signed on to play the villain in Superman: Legacy. The film is set to be directed by James Gunn, best known as the filmmaker behind Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy. But Gunn is now the co-head of DC Studios and is set to help shepherd the new DC Universe for Warner Bros. in the coming years.
According to Variety, Hoult is in talks to play Superman’s arch-enemy in the upcoming film, which is set to begin production early next year. David Corenswet (Pearl) is playing our new Clark Kent/Superman, with Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) on board as the new Lois Lane. Interestingly, Hoult was said to be in the running to play Superman before Corenswet was cast. Hoult also got down to the wire to play Bruce Wayne in The Batman before Robert Pattinson landed the role.
While this is the actor’s first major DC role, he’s no stranger to comic book films. Hoult previously played Beast in several X-Men films beginning with X-Men: First Class. His run in that franchise came to an end with 2019’s Dark Phoenix. Gunn is writing the screenplay for Legacy in addition to directing.
Here is the synopsis for Superman: Legacy.
“Superman: Legacy tells the story of Superman’s journey to reconcile his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing as Clark Kent of Smallville, Kansas. He is the embodiment of truth, justice and the American way, guided by human kindness in a world that sees kindness as old-fashioned.”
The cast for the upcoming film is already very robust. Hoult joins an ensemble that also includes María Gabriela de Faría (The Engineer), Green Lantern (Nathan Fillion), Hawkgirl (Isabela Merced), Mister Terrific (Edi Gathegi) and Metamorpho (Anthony Carrigan). This is just the first of many projects Gunn and his DC Studios co-head Peter Safran have planned for the new DCU. The initial slate of movies and TV shows was revealed earlier this year. After Legacy hits theaters, everything that arrives from that point on will exist in a unified DC multiverse.
This means that the DCEU as we knew it will soon be a thing of the past. December’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is expected to be the last project tied to the old universe that kicked off with Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel in 2013. Most of the actors will not be reprising their roles in the new DCU, though some of them might return in new roles.