James Gunn Didn’t Want His “Favorite” Lex Luthor Actor in Superman: Legacy

Fans believe that James Gunn should have cast Smallville actor Michael Rosenbaum as DCU's Lex Luthor

James Gunn Didn't Want His "Favorite" Lex Luthor Actor in Superman: Legacy

SUMMARY

  • James Gunn confirmed Nicholas Hoult as DCU's Lex Luthor via Threads but he faced one objection.
  • Fans suggested that he should have cast Smallville's Lex Luthor Michael Rosenbaum in the role.
  • Gunn admitted that he was a fan of Rosenbaum's work, but explained that Rosenbaum didn't fit his Lex Luthor vision.
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James Gunn confirmed the casting of Nicholas Hoult as Lex Luthor in Superman: Legacy just a couple of days ago. While many were excited about the casting, a few fans expressed their disappointment in Gunn not selecting Michael Rosenbaum for the character. Rosenbaum portrayed the archnemesis of Superman in The CW series, Smallville.

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Nicholas Hoult and James Gunn
Nicholas Hoult and James Gunn (credits: @jamesgunn on Threads)

James Gunn shared that Rosenbaum was also one of his favorite Lex Luthor actors. However, Rosenbaum is much older to play the supervillain against a younger David Corenswet. Hoult, who just turned 34 a few days back, would be a great contemporary to the 30-year-old Corenswet.

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Also Read: James Gunn Blasts Cameo P*rn in Superhero Films But Forgets He Called The Flash “One of the greatest superhero movies ever made”

James Gunn Didn’t Want To Cast Michael Rosenbaum As Lex Luthor

Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor in Smallville
Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor in Smallville

James Gunn‘s Superman: Legacy received some exciting updates in recent weeks. The first film in the Gods and Monsters chapter will also mark the launch of the newly restructured DC Cinematic Universe. Nicholas Hoult, who excelled in roles in films including X-Men, Mad Max: Fury Road, and The Menu, was initially considered for the Superman role. However, Gunn found him more fit for the Lex Luthor role and the announcement was made via his Threads account recently.

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While many celebrated the announcement, some used the platform to remind Gunn that Smallville’s Lex Luthor, Michael Rosenbaum, was a better choice. Rosenbaum has been a fan favorite for the role ever since Gunn announced Superman: Legacy. The Suicide Squad director shared that Rosenbaum, now 51, wouldn’t fit his vision of Lex Luthor.

He wanted his supervillain to be a contemporary of David Corenswet’s young Superman. Gunn’s concern is justified because the actors would have to maintain their roles for at least a few years. Nevertheless, he added that Rosenbaum was his favorite Lex Luthor.

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James Gunn also revealed that the Impastor actor was his close friend. Interestingly, Gunn cast Rosenbaum as Martinex in his Marvel films, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Vol. 3. It appears that Rosenbaum still has a chance to play Lionel Luthor if the character gets featured in the first DCU film.

Also Read: “We wanted Zack not James Gunn”: Zack Snyder Says He Wants to Make His Return in DC Universe Under This Condition and Fans Are Already Hyped

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James Gunn’s Superman: Legacy — Casting Updates

James Gunn on the sets of The Suicide Squad
James Gunn on the sets of The Suicide Squad

David Corenswet was officially confirmed as Clark Kent / Superman in June 2023, replacing Henry Cavill in the newly restructured DCU. Corenswet has previously appeared in projects like Hollywood and The Politician. Alongside Corenswet, Rachel Brosnahan was announced as the female lead in the film, playing Superman’s love interest, Lois Lane. Brosnahan is best known for her role in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Licorice Pizza actor Skyler Gisondo was later confirmed to play Superman’s friend Jimmy Olsen in the film. Lex Luthor’s assistant Eve Teschmacher will be played by actress Sara Sampaio. María Gabriela De Faría of Deadly Class fame will play another villain, The Engineer. Another interesting casting choice was The Rookie’s Nathan Fillion, who will play Guy Gardner aka Green Lantern.

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Also Read: Tom Cruise’s Top Gun Co-Star Gets Envisioned as a DC Hero in Magnificent Fan Art, Making him a Potential Candidate for James Gunn’s DCU

Other cast also include Isabela Merced, Edi Gathegi, and Anthony Carrigan as the Hawkgirl, Mister Terrific, and Metamorpho, respectively. Superman: Legacy is scheduled to be released on July 11, 2025.

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Written by Hashim Asraff

Hashim, Entertainment Writer. With over 500 published articles on FandomWire, he covers a wide range of topics from celebrity life to comic book movies. He holds a Masters degree in Sociology and his expertise proves invaluable in handling sensitive news. His passion for crime investigation thrillers has turned him into a detective, exploring the darkest corners of the internet during his research.