Superman Reboot: 3 Actors Rumored to Replace Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Nicholas Hoult, Alexander Skaarsgard, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor

After a mixed reception toward the DCEU's Lex Luthor, portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg, DC's upcoming reboot is now poised to find new actors for the coveted Superman villain role. 

While the casting for Clark Kent in Superman: Legacy narrows down to three actors, the conversation is now slowly shifting on who will portray Lex Luthor. 

In fact, Superman: Legacy director James Gunn previously assured fans that the portrayal of the DC reboot's new Lex Luthor will be "grounded and real."

Latest Report Teases DC Reboot’s New Lex Luthor Actor

The Hollywood Reporter (THR) shared that there is already a "shortlist" of actors for Superman: Legacy's Lex Luthor. 

THR noted that the casting process for the Superman villain will start once the decisions on which actors will portray Clark Kent and Lois Lane are made by DC Studios co-CEO and Superman: Legacy director and scribe James Gunn

In the DCEU, Lex Luthor was portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg, and while a few DCEU actors like Amanda Waller star Viola Davis will be reprising their role in the new DCU, most will be recast. 

Below are the three actors who are reportedly in the running to portray the new Lex Luthor. 

1.) Alexander Skarsgard

Alexander Skarsgard
Alexander Skarsgard

Alexander Skarsgard became popular due to his portrayal of Eric Northman in HBO's True Blood series. Moreover, many fans regarded that his best performance can be seen in Big Little Lies, a series where he played Perry Wright. 

Skarsgard's other famous roles include Dr. Nathan Lind in 2021's Godzilla vs. Kong, Tarzan in 2016's The Legend of Tarzan, and Randall Flag from The Stand.

2.) Bill Skarsgard

Bill Skarsgard
Bill Skarsgard

THR's sources shared that the shortlist includes siblings Alexander and Bill Skarsgard. 

Perhaps Bill Skarsgard's most iconic role is playing the shape-shifting monster known as Pennywise the Clown in Andy Muschietti's IT and IT Chapter Two

Skarsgard also portrayed Marquis Vincent de Gramont, the main villain opposite Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 4. The actor's past credits include The Devil All The Time, Nine Days, and Allegiant

3.) Nicholas Hoult

Nicholas Hoult
Nicholas Hoult

Nicholas Hoult is one of the actors in the running to portray the Man of Steel in the upcoming reboot, but THR noted that he was "initially wanted" for the Lex Luthor role before trying his luck to portray Clark Kent. 

Hoult is best known for portraying Hank McCoy/Beast in Fox's X-Men movies and for playing R in Warm Bodies.

As per THR, it is unclear if Hoult "would put himself in the running again."

Which Actor Could Portray Lex Luthor?

The three frontrunners in the Lex Luthor casting for Superman: Legacy are all equipped with the acting prowess to portray the Superman villain. 

Alexander Skarsgard has been usually cast as a stone-cold villain, as evidenced by his stints in Big Little Lies and The Kill Team. That said, seeing him portray another iconic foe to Superman, who is a literal embodiment of hope, would be quite fitting for the actor. 

Meanwhile, Bill Skarsgard's terrifying portrayal of Pennywise combined with his calming yet threatening role as Marquis Vincent de Gramont in John Wick: Chapter 4 would fit the bill of an egoistical billionaire on the inside, but a cunning public figure on the outside. 

While Nicholas Hoult has often been typecast as a quirky supporting character, seeing the actor portray Lex Luthor would allow him to tackle a role that is completely new, thus expanding his talents. 

Whatever the case, it is a win-win situation for director James Gunn

Superman: Legacy is set to premiere in theaters on 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.