Rumor: James Gunn Seeking Black Actor For “Apex” Lex Luthor In ‘Superman: Legacy’

Lex Luthor could be the villain of Superman: Legacy, but James Gunn might make a change to his race and power level.

Superman hasn’t been cast yet for the reboot James Gunn is writing and directing, but we are getting an idea of his criteria regarding Superman: Legacy, and not just for the Man of Steel. Reports are coming in, claiming to have a lead on what Gunn is looking for with respect to the Kryptonian’s archnemesis.

Lexiac in Justice League Unlimited Season 2 Episode 12 “Divided We Fall” (2005), Warner Bros. Entertainment

RELATED: James Gunn Looking For A Superman With “Humanity” And Qualities Of “Somebody You Want to Hug” In His DCU

TheWrap is circulating the story that the movie’s villain is being called “Apex” internally and Gunn is seeking a Black actor for the role. But that’s not all, Gunn and DC could be performing some subterfuge and Apex might simply be a code name for somebody else.

Not only is it alleged Gunn will race-bend Lex but he is also going to, supposedly, power him up to raise the stakes, as Lex Luthor, yet again, becomes one of the main characters in a Superman movie.

Apex Lex Luthor
Apex Lex in Justice League #38 by Scott Snyder, Jorge Jimenez, Daniel Sampere, Juan Albarran, Alejandro Sanchez, and Tom Napolitano; DC Comics

RELATED: James Gunn Explains Warner Bros. Will Not Be Providing Notes On ‘Superman: Legacy,’ Reveals Warner Bros. And DC Studios Are ”Two Separate Entities”

Things get interesting as Deadline author Justin Kroll, in his reporting of the Superman: Legacy casting rumor, takes to social media to provide additional information pertaining the casting choice for Lex Luthor.

“One thing not mentioned, while they have been taking submissions for the Lex Luthor role, sources tell me Gunn has been talking to one of his Guardians for the part,” claimed Kroll, adding, “Sounds like its probably not happening but there certainly were discussions during GOTG 3 press tour.”

Justin Kroll offers additional information regarding James Gunn’s Superman: Legacy project via Twitter

In the hours preceding Kroll’s article, however, Gunn had already addressed the many rumors surrounding his Superman project, reiterating that he is simply not commenting on the audition process.

“For all of you asking, I would never comment on who is or isn’t AUDITIONING for a role. That’s the actor’s business only & isn’t something I’d make public unless they did it first after the fact (like @GlennHowerton or @ZacharyLevi having auditioned for Star-Lord & being top choices),” said Gunn.

He then concluded, “For now, only one person has been CAST in Superman: Legacy, and it isn’t any of the regular players in the Superman world,” sharing a rather cryptic emoji of a merman.

James Gunn addresses Superman: Legacy casting rumors via Twitter

During “The Year of the Villain,” Luthor became the “Apex Predator” dubbed “Apex Lex” when he was granted Martian powers by Perpetua to defeat the Justice League. Gunn could derive inspiration from this concept although, unless he is going to feature or openly reference Martian Manhunter, he would have to rework it. But first, he has to cast his Lex.

There’s some serious competition too. Depending on what site you read or outlet you consult, Renfield actor Nicholas Hoult is considered the leading candidate for Lex and David Corenswet is back in the running for Supes. Others, however, say Hoult is closer to gaining the cape. That’s intriguing when he almost got the role of Batman over Robert Pattinson.

Apex Lex punches out Superman
Apex Lex punches out Superman in Justice League #38 by Scott Snyder, Jorge Jimenez, Daniel Sampere, Juan Albarran, Alejandro Sanchez, and Tom Napolitano; DC Comics

At 33, Hoult is younger than Henry Cavill which is one demand Gunn has, but Corenswet, 29, has both Brits beat. Known for the 2022 thriller Pearl and House of Cards, Corenswet was first rumored to be up for Superman when J.J. Abrams was hovering over a reboot aside from his and Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Elseworlds treatment.

NEXT: Rumor: Henry Cavill Could Lose Superman Role to David Corenswet

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