Comic book artwork of Lex Luthor's power suit combined with David Corenswet's Superman reveal image

Superman’s Costume Reveal Teases a Major Lex Luthor Weapon in the Movie

All the hubbub around our first proper look at James Gunn’s Superman has (understandably) focused on David Corenswet’s Man of Steel. But fans shouldn’t sleep on background detail in the reveal image that seemingly teases a major weapon from Lex Luthor’s comic book arsenal.

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The Lex Luthor Tease in David Corenswet’s Superman Costume Reveal, Explained

It’s easy to miss the Superman reveal’s nod to Lex Luthor, given Corenswet’s Man of Tomorrow is the only character visible in the image. But take a closer look at the energy beam in the window over the Big Blue Boy Scout’s shoulder: it’s purple and green. This may not seem like much, however, these have been Luthor’s signature hues since the mid-1970s. Notably, pretty much all of the bald baddie’s power armor suits have sported a purple-and-green paint job. Lex recycled this color palette for his fascist-lite look in seminal 2000s limited series All-Star Superman, as well. And given Gunn’s familiarity with DC lore – he didn’t wind up co-head of DC Studios without reading a few comics – there’s no way the Superman reveal image’s purple-and-green explosion is an accident.

Related: Superman: Legacy Finds Its Lex Luthor in Nicholas Hoult

Does this mean Nicholas Hoult’s Luthor will don a green-and-purple exoskeleton? Or that he’ll get superpowers, as Lex does in All-Star Superman? Nobody but James Gunn and his cast and crew know for sure. For his part, Gunn’s remaining schtum regarding the legendary supervillain’s next big screen outing. Hoult’s been slightly more forthcoming, confirming that his Lex will pump iron like his All-Star Superman counterpart. This isn’t a guarantee that this version of the character will also gain superhuman abilities, though. But regardless of whether Superman‘s purple-and-green light show is caused by superpowers or a powered suit, count on Luthor being behind it!

What Else Do We Know About Nicholas Hoult’s Lex Luthor?

Aside from (apparently) unleashing an energy blast in his preferred color scheme, what else do we know about Hoult’s Luthor? Not a whole lot, although Gunn has promised “a Lex that will be different from anything you’ve seen before and will never forget.” That said, Hoult later told the Inside of You podcast that he researched “all the other” screen portrayals of Luthor while preparing for the role. Of his predecessors, Hoult named Smallville‘s Michael Rosenbaum “the best.”

Related: Sara Sampaio Joins Superman: Legacy as Eve Teschmacher

Despite Hoult drawing inspiration from Smallville, Gunn’s Superman movie likely won’t rehash the Man of Steel’s first encounter with his arch-nemesis. Gunn has repeatedly stated that he’s not telling an origin story and that Superman is already acquainted with his core cast (which presumably includes Lex) when the flick kicks off. As such, the Superman/Luthor rivalry is probably at least a couple of years old in Gunn’s film.

Superman arrives in cinemas on July 11, 2025.


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Author
Leon Miller
Leon is a freelance contributor at The Escapist, covering movies, TV, video games, and comics. Active in the industry since 2016, Leon's previous by-lines include articles for Polygon, Popverse, Screen Rant, CBR, Dexerto, Cultured Vultures, PanelxPanel, Taste of Cinema, and more.