James Gunn Bluntly Reacts to Daniel Craig's Lex Luthor Casting Rumor

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Daniel Craig Superman Lex Luthor

DC Studios chief James Gunn debunked another DCU casting rumor about Lex Luthor that involves Daniel Craig.

Gunn previously teased that the portrayal of the DCU's Lex Luthor will be "grounded and real” while also pointing out that he "never said" that there's a version of the villain in Superman: Legacy

Still, this didn't stop the fan-casting train for Luthor.

While some have campaigned for Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston to play the iconic Superman villain, the actor dismissed those fancasts by noting that he felt that it was just simply "lazy casting."

James Gunn Responds to New Lex Luthor Rumor

Lex Luthor

Giant Freakin' Robot (GFR) shared that its trusted and proven sources claimed that "DC Studios has officially offered Daniel Craig the role of Lex Luthor" in Superman: Legacy. 

Daniel Craig is best known for his role as James Bond in several 007 movies and for portraying detective Benoit Blanc in Knives Out and Glass Onion

However, DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn responded to the news on Threads by bluntly saying, "That is not true."

Lex Luthor has been making headlines in the past months after a rumor noted that Gunn is looking for an actor to replace Jesse Eisenberg as the new Superman foe in the upcoming reboot. 

In April, The Hollywood Reporter (THR) shared that X-Men: First Class and Warm Bodies star Nicholas Hoult is reportedly the top choice to portray the Superman villain in the DCU.  

However, in June, THR reported that the studio had a "shortlist" of actors for Lex Luthor for the DC reboot. Aside from Hoult, Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood) and Bill Skarsgard (IT, IT Chapter 2) were also in the running for the role.

Is Daniel Craig a Good Fit for the DCU?

Although James Gunn debunked the latest DC scoop about Daniel Craig's supposed involvement as Lex Luthor, the former James Bond actor could still have a place in the new DCU. 

Craig's talent is undeniable and there's a good chance that he could be an asset to what Gunn is building under the DC banner. 

Considering DC's vast library of heroes and villains, there are a lot of characters that Craig can portray if he's willing to join the expansive superhero franchise. 

In fact, in March 2020, the Knives Out lead star pointed out to Saga Magazine, via CBR, that one of his dreams is to portray Superman: 

"I dreamed of being all sorts of other things – Superman, Spider-Man, the Invisible Man, even a good old-fashioned cowboy. But Bond not so much, which seems ironic now."

If given the right opportunity anchored by Gunn's vision, Craig could end up being one of the new recruits of the DC reboot in the future

As for the identity of the next Lex Luthor actor, the fact that DC Studios already has a shortlist could hint that an announcement could be made soon. 

Superman: Legacy is set to premiere in theaters on July 11, 2025.

- In This Article: Superman: Legacy
Release Date
July 11, 2025
- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.