Superman: Legacy should refrain from using Lex Luthor as its main villain. James Gunn is rebooting the Man of Steel with his Superman: Legacy story, with the film rumored to focus on a younger Clark Kent starting as a reporter at the Daily Planet. The film will be the first movie released in the new DC Universe, which Gunn spearheads alongside his DC Studios co-CEO Peter Safran. Given the importance of the movie to DC’s future, Superman: Legacy has to succeed, and it is possible that the movie has a better chance of doing so if a different character is the villain.


Superman: Legacy casting reports have revealed the names of actors in the run for Clark, Lois Lane, and Lex Luthor. While reports have conflicted on actor Nicholas Hoult being in the running for Luthor or Superman, Lex himself is confirmed to have a role in the film. One of the Superman: Legacy reports even hints at Gunn bringing a different version of the character to life, with a role in the film being labeled “Apex” during the movie’s casting process. Apex Lex Luthor is a version of the character that matches Superman physically. While that take could be interesting onscreen, that doesn’t mean Lex should be the villain.

RELATED: Who Is David Corenswet, The New Superman Actor Frontrunner?

Lex Luthor Has Been The Go-To Superman Movie Villain For Decades

Lex Luthor looks on from Batman V Superman

Of course, there’s no no denying that Lex Luthor is Superman’s biggest rival, with the two characters constantly facing off against each other through different mediums, be it comics, games, TV, or movies. In the cinematic space, Lex Luthor has been the go-to Superman villain for quite some time. The hero’s first movie saw Christopher Reeve’s Superman go up against Gene Hackman’s Luthor, while the DCEU recently saw Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel fall into the trap laid by Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex. With multiple Lex Luthor actors being the main villains of Superman movies for decades, Gunn’s Superman: Legacy would be wise to use Lex sparingly, setting itself apart from what came before.

Superman: Legacy Should Expand The DC Mythos, Not Repeat It

Official artwork from the All-Star Superman comics featuring Clark Kent sat above the clouds of Metropolis.

Superman: Legacy will be the first major release in the DC Universe, and as such, the film will be used to set up the new universe, expanding on its built-in history and characters. Having Lex Luthor be the main villain of the movie would be an uninspired choice, as the retread might prove itself a weak draw for audiences; who are not entirely on board with DC at the moment, as evidenced by Shazam! Fury of the Gods‘ poor box office numbers. Superman: Legacy needs to expand the DC mythos in order to revitalize DC’s movie output, which has suffered due to the uneven reception of the DCEU’s past movies.

Gunn has a great variety of villains available in Superman: Legacy, with some potential names including Mongul, Metallo, Parasite, Cyborg Superman, Brainiac, and more. Brainiac, for instance, is a fan-favorite choice. Given the DC Universe’s inclusion of Clark’s Kryptonian cousin in the Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow movie, Brainiac would tie both characters’ stories together nicely. Plus, Lex has been overused in live-action just like the Joker, and The Batman‘s small role for that hero’s biggest villain should be the blueprint for Lex’s story in Superman: Legacy.

Everything We Know About Superman: Legacy

Montage of David Corenswet from Hollywood on the left, Superman from the All-Star Superman comics in the center, and Corenswet in a scene from The Politician on the right.

Superman: Legacy‘s casting is underway, and although Gunn only confirmed one actor to be cast in the movie so far, new casting reports have recently emerged for the movie. David Corenswet (Hollywood), who has been fancast in the role for years, appears to be the frontrunner for the main role of Clark Kent/ Superman. According to the reports, Corenswet is already preparing to screen test for Superman: Legacy‘s lead character. There are two other actors also reportedly in the run, although their names are unknown. Tom Brittney and Andrew Richardson were said to be in the early mix for the role, while Jacob Elordi’s name came up at one point.

Initially reported to be eyed for Lex Luthor, Nicholas Hoult (The Great) is another potential actor labeled as a contender for the Superman role. The Lois Lane casting list includes some exciting names, with Phoebe Dynevor (Bridgerton), Samara Weaving (Ready or Not), Emma Mackey (Sex Education), and Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) being among the names. Brosnahan is said to have delivered a strong audition. Superman: Legacy tells the tale of a young Clark Kent and will reportedly feature other DC heroes, as well as classic Superman characters such as Jimmy Olsen and Krypto. With Corenswet’s screen test said to happen in early June at the latest, Superman: Legacy‘s star – and the villain – might soon be revealed.

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