Mark Strong is reportedly being considered to play Lex Luthor in 'Man of Steel 2'.

The 'Kick-Ass' actor is said to be director Zack Snyder's favourite choice for the iconic role of Superman's arch nemesis in a follow-up to the comic book movie, according to

Additionally, it's reported that pre-production on the new film will begin later this year and the highly anticipated sequel will begin filming next year.

In the 'Superman' comic books, Lex Luthor is considered to be the superhuman hero's most feared rival, who takes advantage of his weakness to Kryptonite - a fragment of poisonous rock from Superman's home planet of Krypton.

The character has previously been played by Kevin Spacey in 2006's 'Superman Returns' and Michael Rosenbaum in TV show 'Smallville', but the part is perhaps most associated with Gene Hackman, who portrayed the bald villain in 1978's 'Superman' opposite Christopher Reeve as the titular character.

Strong has previously had a brush with another DC Comics character, playing villain Sinestro in the critically panned 'The Green Lantern' in 2011.

'Man of Steel' opened to strong box office numbers around the world earlier this month and has thus far grossed $400 million globally.

The film stars Henry Cavill in the role of Superman and his human alter-ego Clark Kent, as well as Amy Adams as his love interest Lois Lane, and Russell Crowe as his biological father Jor-El.

Warner Bros. has tasked 'Man of Steel' screenwriter David S. Goyer with writing the follow-up, while Zack Snyder is expected to return to the director's chair.