With principal photography on Superman: Legacy set to kick off in just eight months, writer/director James Gunn has begun the process of casting. A series of trade reports have provided some insight into a list of potential frontrunners for some of the 2025 film’s key roles while also giving some more details about what to expect from the all-new, all-different DCU’s first feature film.
It’s not unfair to say that whoever Gunn chooses for his Kal-El could make or break not only Superman: Legacy but also the fledgling DCU. Fortunately, Gunn has an uncanny knack for nailing key castings. Despite a list of monster names having auditioned for the Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy, Gunn famously fought to have Chris Pratt in the role despite the star flubbing his audition. Dave Bautista probably owes his now acclaimed acting career to Gunn, Karen Gillan became a star as Nebula and Chukwudi Iwuji put together one of Marvel Studios’ best villainous turns as the High Evolutionary in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Gunn knows talent and given he also knows Superman: Legacy inside and out, he knows exactly what he’s looking for in the next actor to wear the symbol of the House of El and according to the Hollywood trades, he’s getting close to finding his leading man.
THR reports that after viewing audition tapes for the role of Clark Kent, DC Studios is preparing to screen test a handful of frontrunners. Topping that list are Pearl and House of Cards star David Corenswet and X-Men alum Nicholas Hoult, while Euphoria star Jacob Elordi and Andrew Richardson seem to have been among a larger group of earlier contenders that has since been thinned out.
Finding Lois Lane
When the star of your show is an omnipotent, god-like alien, it’s pretty important that he stay grounded. To that end, Gunn’s selection for Lois Lane is nearly as critical as that of Superman. Much like the casting of Sue Storm is essential for Marvel Studios’ Fantastic Four, Gunn has to land a star as Lois. Despite being married to a nigh-invulnerable hero, it’s Lois who stands tall as the unshakable center of Superman’s life. Appropriately, Gunn has put together quite a list of stars for the role.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s Rachel Brosnahan, Bridgerton’s Phoebe Dynevor, Sex Education star Emma Mackey and neo scream queen Samara Weaving have reportedly made their way through the early screening process. Brosnahan’s audition seems to have caught Gunn’s eye though multiple reports indicate the Emmy-award-winning actress may be just outside of the age range Warner Bros. Discovery has in mind for their new universe.
The Big Bad
While the trades have casually reported the news that the film’s antagonist will be Lex Luthor, it is the first confirmation that Gunn has chosen Superman’s oldest and most well-known foe to occupy his time in the first film. It’s simultaneously the most and least bold choice Gunn could make.
After checking in with an unknown star of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 on their interest in the role, Gunn is reportedly now meeting with Black actors for the role of “Apex.” While that’s just a code name, it does refer to a very recent iteration of the character who was an extremely powerful human/Martian hybrid.
The reports indicate that the casting process for all three roles is expected to pick up steam after Memorial Day. It would certainly be in DC Studios’ best interest to have the cast of Superman: Legacy introduced on stage in two months at SDCC ’23 and given Gunn’s history with the convention, that wouldn’t be a surprise.