James Gunn Reveals Who Won’t Play Superman in ‘Superman: Legacy’ and What Traits He’s Looking for in the New Actor

As James Gunn closes the door on his time at Marvel Studios, he’s already firmly entrenched in his new job at DC Studios and working hard on bringing the first chapter of the all-new, all-different DCU to life. A major part of that first chapter, Gods and Monsters, is Superman: Legacy, a film that’s being written and directed by Gunn and is slated to hit theaters in the Summer of 2025. Production on that film is reportedly kicking off in Atlanta in January and the search for the next actor to bring Kal-El to life is already underway. While at the world premiere of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Gunn was asked what he’s looking for in his new Superman.

It’s hard but we’re looking and we actually have some really great choices which I’m excited about. It has to be somebody who has all the humanity Superman has but he’s also an alien. It’s gotta be somebody who has the kindness and compassion that Superman has. And it has to be somebody that you want to give a hug. All the Supermen have been good and so we just have to add to that story.

James Gunn

Just in case that sounds like Gunn is describing Guardians star Chris Pratt, he was quick to confirm that’s not the case; in fact, it sounds increasingly more likely that Gunn will be looking to cast a relative newcomer as Kal-El, rather than an already established Hollywood star. It goes without saying that much of the success of the new DCU will rest on the shoulders of Superman: Legacy and the audience’s perception of the actor portraying the Man of Steel. As Gunn and co-chair Peter Safran took over the future of DC films for Warner Bros. Discovery, they moved on from much of the Snyderverse era of projects, including actor Henry Cavill who portrayed Superman in several of those projects. The new actor will have to live up to audiences’ perception of Cavill’s Superman in addition to Christopher Reeve, Brandon Routh and others who have forged the live-action legacy of the character.

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