Man of Steel is a genuine box office hit for Warner Bros., with the studio announcing last week that Man of Steel 2 is already in development and director Zack Snyder will return to helm. Today, insiders close to the production are claiming that Mark Strong is wanted by both Zack Snyder and Warner Bros. as Lex Luthor for this sequel.

It isn't known if the studio has made an offer to Mark Strong just yet, nor has it been confirmed that Lex Luthor will even be the primary villain in this follow-up. However, eagle-eyed viewers who saw Man of Steel in theaters over the past two weeks may have noticed the LexCorp logo on a truck towards the end of the film. Henry Cavill and Amy Adams are expected to return as Superman/Clark Kent and Lois Lane.

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David S. Goyer is currently working on the first draft of the Man of Steel 2 screenplay, with producer Christopher Nolan overseeing the story development. However, a report from last week has revealed that Christopher Nolan's involvement may not be as "full blown" in terms of this sequel, as he focuses his directorial eye on the sci-fi thriller Interstellar.

An unidentified source close to the studio confirms that pre-production will get started between October and December of this year, with principal photography to start in early 2014. This seems to contradict another report from last week, which claimed that Warner Bros. wants to release this sequel in 2014. Could they shoot in January in time to have the movie in theaters by Christmas 2014?

Mark Strong is no stranger to the DC Comics superhero world, having played the villainous Sinestro in 2011's Green Lantern.