Nicholas Hoult Reveals His Shaved Head to Play Lex Luthor in ‘Superman: Legacy’ Cast Photo

The actor was seen in a new image alongside his castmates, shared by the CEO of DC Studios, James Gunn. 

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Image Credit: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

Nicholas Hoult dedicated himself to his role as villain Lex Luthor for Superman: Legacy. According to a new cast photo shared by the head of DC Studios, James Gunn, the 34-year-old actor revealed he shaved his head for his performance. 

“After the table read with the #Superman cast. Eve, Mr. Terrific, Superman/Clark, Otis, Lex, producer Peter Safran, Jimmy, Metamorpho, Lois, Hawkgirl, me, Guy, The Engineer all together for the first time [sic]!” James captained the Instagram picture on Thursday, February 22. “What a wonderful day.” 

Nicholas appeared in the back of the gang. Other cast members David Corenswet (Superman), Rachel Brosnahan (Lois Lane), Skyler Gisondo (Jimmy Olsen), Isabela Merced (Hawkgirl) and several more smiled for the snapshot. Their film is scheduled for a theatrical release on July 11, 2025. 

In December 2023, James announced that the Warm Bodies actor was officially cast as Lex after weeks of reports. 

“Yes, finally I can answer, Nicholas Hoult is Lex Luthor in #SupermanLegacy and I couldn’t be happier,” the DC boss wrote via Threads at the time. “We went out to dinner last night to celebrate & discuss how we can create a Lex that will be different from anything you’ve seen before and will never forget [sic].”

James pointed out that many fans would have noted, “We heard this weeks ago, why didn’t you tell us it was true?” 

“Because, although we were discussing it, it wasn’t final until a couple days ago, and I don’t want to tell you all something that isn’t certain,” the filmmaker concluded. 

Nicholas, however, was initially in talks to play Superman before David was selected. The character Lex Luthor has been played by a handful of industry big leagues — Jesse Eisenberg in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, Kevin Spacey in Superman Returns and Gene Hackman in the 1970s and ‘80s Superman flicks. 

This isn’t Nicholas’ first rodeo in an action movie. He previously played Hank in the X-Men franchise. Most recently, the British actor starred as an egotistical villain in The Menu and the protagonist in Renfield. He will also appear in Nosferatu, which is slated to premiere this year. 

During a November 2022 interview with Slash Film, Nicholas explained how he approaches playing an antagonist in a movie. 

“I think there’s ultimately a way, a thing whereby you can’t judge the characters too strongly, and you’ve got to have an understanding of why they’re going about the thing,” he noted while opening up about his performance in The Menu. “Obviously, all their decisions that they’ve made are, by their standards in those moments, acceptable. So, you have to go in with a kind of empathy for the character, I guess. So, it’s partly that. But I think it is fun to play them, because then, you can try and figure out what it is that’s caused them to be that way.”