• Nicholas Hoult’s Lex Luthor is confirmed as the main villain in 2025’s Superman film.
  • The announcement was made by James Gunn after rumors emerged regarding another villain.
  • Hoult may bring a new twist to Lex by possibly playing Apex Lex Luthor.



The main villain for the upcoming Superman film has been revealed. Like the DCEU before it, the new DC Universe will start with a movie for the Man of Steel. David Corenswet’s Superman will take to the skies alongside multiple other DCU heroes in 2025’s Superman. The film is directed by DCU creative head James Gunn, and he has just revealed the answer to a major question about the movie.

On Threads, James Gunn confirmed that Nicholas Hoult’s Lex Luthor is Superman‘s main villain.

On Threads, James Gunn confirmed that Nicholas Hoult's Lex Luthor is Superman's main villain.

While Lex Luthor has served as the villain of several Superman projects since the character’s live-action debut, there had been no updates about the DCU Superman‘s main villain until now. Rumors claimed that characters like Brainiac, Mongul, Ultraman, and more would be the film’s main villain, with Lex in a supporting role. However, the classic duel between Superman and Lex Luthor will once again be the main force behind the DCU’s Superman.


Every Actor Cast In Superman (So Far)

Superman will be the first film released in James Gunn and Peter Safran’s DC Universe, and the Man of Steel reboot boasts an impressive cast.

How Nicholas Hoult’s Lex Luthor Can Differ From Other Versions Of The Villain

The DCU Superman Reboot Could Follow A Different Lex

Custom image imagining Nicholas Hoult as Lex Luthor for DCU's Superman Legacy

While it would have been cool to see another villain from Superman’s rogues gallery have their time to shine in the DCU movie, it is hard to go wrong with Lex Luthor. As Superman’s nemesis, Lex has become one of DC’s most iconic characters, and an actor as versatile as Hoult is set to do wonders in the role. As there have been many live-action versions of Lex Luthor, there is a way for Superman to make Hoult’s stand out.

When casting for the role was first announced, Lex Luthor was referred to under the code name “Apex.” In the comics, there is a version of the character who is known as Apex Lex Luthor. That Lex is different from the others in the sense that he can take the fight to the Man of Steel with his own hands. Half-human, half-Martian, Apex Lex Luthor is exceptionally strong. Hoult could be playing Apex Lex Luthor in the DCU movie, which would bring a new side of the character to the big screen.

Hoult even confirmed he has been working out to play Lex Luthor. As the character’s physique has never really been a major part of him in live-action, even though it was very important in many comic book runs, that aspect of the villain could be heightened in the film. Lex Luthor could also don his classic green and purple power armor in the film, differing this Lex from other movie versions of the character as he fights the Man of Steel in Superman.

Superman Legacy Comic Cover

Superman (2025)

Written and directed by James Gunn, Superman: Legacy is the first movie in Warner Bros.’ rebooted DC Universe to center around the titular comic book hero. It introduces a new version of the Man of Steel after Henry Cavill’s departure from the role, honoring the character’s roots as “the embodiment of truth, justice and the American way.”

Release Date
July 11, 2025

Warner Bros. Pictures

David Corenswet , Rachel Brosnahan , María Gabriela De Faría

Source: James Gunn/Threads

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