James Gunn Recasting Lex Luthor for DC Reboot (Rumor)

By Russ Milheim Posted:
James Gunn, Lex Luthor

According to a new rumor, James Gunn will be recasting Lex Luthor, alongside other key Superman side characters, for his upcoming movie Superman: Legacy.

Luthor is a staple character for Clark Kent. Anyone telling a story about the Kryptonian will have to touch upon his arch-nemesis at some point or another—much like Batman and the Joker.

Many might instead want the titular hero to take on an entirely new villain. One possibility could involve Aquaman actor Jason Momoa going up against Superman as the anti-hero Lobos. 

While it’s understandable to want not to retread the same ground, Superman can never truly disassociate from his number one hater.

So, with a new, far younger actor coming in to play Superman (sorry Henry Cavill), it’ll be time for a new Lex Luthor to also take the stage.

Superman: Legacy Bringing New Lex Luthor

Lex Luthor, DC Comics

On The Hot Mic, industry insider Jeff Sneider shared that heard a big-time villain will be joining James Gunn's Superman: Legacy—meaning another recast is on the way following Jesse Eisneberg's big-screen take on the iconic villain in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Sneider revealed that Gunn's film will include Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, and Lex Luthor:

"The thing that I'm told is that Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, and that Lex Luthor are all in the movie [Superman: Legacy]..."

It's important to note that neither Warner Bros. nor DC Studios have confirmed this rumor.

The most recent take on the character is portrayed by Michael Cudlitz for CW's Superman & Lois. He made his debut in the Season 3 premiere, and showrunner Brent Fletcher promised the villain to be "the greatest oppositional force to Superman and Lois that they're ever going to face."

Titus Welliver brought the infamous villain to life for Titans' final season. Unfortunately, while fans got to see the character interact with Joshua Orpin's Superboy onscreen, it didn't last long—Lex was killed in brutal fashion by the end of his debut episode.

What Interpretation of Lex Will Audiences Get?

James Gunn recently shared that one of the key things he wants to avoid with his reboot is redoing any other Superman adaptation. So, if he is going to include Lex Luthor, he's going to either be an extremely different take on the character or have a unique place in the film's plot.

Funny enough, while Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor is disliked by a large portion of the fanbase, that take on the villain is ironically very relevant to the world today. So perhaps Gunn will lean in the same direction but make some adjustments here and there so it lands better with audiences.

But, with a notably fresh Superman, will Gunn also aim for a younger Lex Luthor? Or will he stick with the middle-aged, savvy businessman trailers that are most associated with the bad guy?

A lot is riding on this new Superman film for both James Gunn and Warner Bros. as a whole, so they're no doubt taking everything into consideration.

If Shazam doesn't carry over to this new DCU, perhaps Zachary Levi could take a stab at Luthor—something that was already snatched away from him once.

Superman: Legacy hits theaters on July 11, 2025.

- In This Article: Superman: Legacy
Release Date
July 11, 2025
- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.