James Gunn Rejected These 6 Actors for His Superman Movie During Auditions (Report)

By Nathan Johnson Posted:
DC, Nicholas Hoult, Bill Skarsgård

A lot of actors tried their luck at landing a role in James Gunn's upcoming DCU film, Superman: Legacy, and while a handful have already been picked and announced, quite a few big names were rejected.

Superman: Legacy will be the first theatrical release in James Gunn's new DCU when it comes out on July 11, 2025.

It was already confirmed that actor David Corenswet will be suiting up as the Man of Steel himself, and alongside him will be Rachel Brosnahan as Lois Lane.

As of writing, 10 actors and their respective roles have been announced, but as Superman's filming start date (Spring 2024) creeps closer, fans can expect to learn of even more names that will be in the movie.

6 Actors Who Didn't Make the Cut for Superman: Legacy

The full cast of Superman: Legacy is slowly being revealed to the public, with the latest additions being Sara Sampaio and Skyler Gisondo as Eve Teschmacher and Jimmy Olsen, respectively.

However, over the past months, some of the actors who auditioned for Superman: Legacy that didn't end up being cast were also revealed.

Here are the six major names that were rejected from the roles they tried out for:

Tom Brittney - Superman

Tom Brittney and Superman
Tom Brittney

Tom Brittney, who is best known for his role in the ITV series, Grantchester, was reportedly one of James Gunn's final picks for the role of Clark Kent aka Superman. However, he ultimately didn't get chosen and the part was given to David Corenswet instead.

Some actors who didn't get the role they first auditioned for were still offered another part in Superman, and while Brittney is not one of those names, he could still possibly show up in another DCU project, especially if he impressed Gunn.

Emma Mackey - Lois Lane

Emma Mackey and Lois Lane
Emma Mackey

Emma Mackey has already been credited in some major recent projects such as Sex Education and 2023's highest-grossing movie, Barbie, but the 27-year-old actress was rejected from the role of Lois Lane.

Mackey was reportedly one of three actresses who made it to the test screening process of auditions, but Rachel Brosnahan ended up winning the role.

Like Tom Brittney, there still could be a place for Mackey somewhere else in the DCU as it is clear that she made a good impression on Gunn by making it to the final three choices of who would play Lois Lane.

Phoebe Dynevor - Lois Lane

Phoebe Dynevor and Lois Lane
Phoebe Dynevor

Bridgerton's Phoebe Dynevor was also reportedly high up on the list of actresses who were being considered for the part of Lois Lane.

It is unclear exactly how close Dynevor came to being cast in the role, but rumors suggested that she was also one of the final few who were being considered.

Bill Skarsgård - Lex Luthor

Bill Skarsgard and Lex Luthor
Bill Skarsgård

On one hand, the character of Lex Luthor has to possess arrogance, ruthlessness, and many other villainous traits, but on the other, he must also be charming, intelligent, and respectable. 

It, Barbarian, and The Devil All the Time star Bill Skarsgård is arguably one of the few actors who can cover all of those bases, but he was rejected from the role, and it was given to Nicholas Hoult instead.

Alexander Skarsgård - Lex Luthor

Alexander Skarsgard and Lex Luthor
Alexander Skarsgård

Bill Skarsgård was not the only member of his family to be interested in playing Lex Luthor. His brother, Alexander Skarsgård, also reportedly tried out for the role, but, like Bill, he didn't land the part.

Both Skarsgård brothers are generally held in high regard for their acting talents, so it would be no surprise if they were to be cast in different DCU roles in the future.

Madison Beer - Unknown Female Role

Madison Beer
Madison Beer

During a sit-down with KISS, Madison Beer revealed that she had sent in an audition tape for "the new Superman movie."

Beer, who played a role in 2013's Louder than Words, also stated that she didn't know which character "[she] was auditioning for" and that everything was kept fairly "vague:"

"Well, I’ve done a few. I don’t know what I was referring to there, but that might’ve been for, I think, the new 'Superman' movie, which I’m like, sorry, if that’s not announced… I didn’t get the part… Unfortunately not… So, they don’t give too many specifics, especially for a film like that huge. They kind of keep the character vague. They make up something new, so I don’t know what the actual character I was auditioning for was."

BONUS: Nicholas Hoult - Superman

Nicholas Hoult and Superman
Nicholas Hoult

Mad Max: Fury Road and X-Men: Days of Future Past star Nicholas Hoult also auditioned to play Superman in the upcoming film, but like Brittney, he was ultimately passed on.

However, Hoult's hard work paid off as he was eventually cast as Lex Luthor, a role that will likely be just as important as Superman in the upcoming franchise.

Why Were These Actors Not Picked for Superman: Legacy?

A lot of factors go into the casting and audition process, and even though all the above-mentioned people are fairly popular names, James Gunn and his crew carefully picked exactly who they thought would be the best fit for the roles in question.

The Skarsgard brothers, Tom Brittney, Emma Mackey, and Phoebe Dynevor all could have probably done fantastic jobs playing the roles they auditioned for, but David Corenswet, Rachel Brosnahan, and Nicholas Hoult ultimately brought something special to the table in Gunn's eyes.

As previously mentioned, all these actors made it extremely far in the audition process, so fans shouldn't be surprised if their names pop up again when the casts of other DCU projects are revealed.

After all, Gunn did state that he was "blown away" by the auditions for the upcoming movie, so if there is another place that some of these actors to fit into, they will likely be at the top of his list.

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

- In This Article: Superman: Legacy
Release Date
July 11, 2025
- About The Author: Nathan Johnson
Nathan is a writer at The Direct where he covers Star Wars, the MCU, and DC news. He joined The Direct in April 2021 and currently writes news and feature articles about all three brands mentioned above, but his main specialty is his knowledge about anything and everything Star Wars.