Following months of speculation, director James Gunn confirmed this week that David Corenswet is set to rip off the glasses and thrust on the iconic red cape, taking on the titular role in the upcoming Superman: Legacy – the first DC Studios film in Gunn’s new cinematic universe. Since his appointment, comments made by Corenswet back in 2019 have started circulating, encouraging fresh postulation to the direction the new franchise will take…
Towards the end of last year, the DC cinematic universe was decidedly taking a leaf out of Marvel’s book and pushing multiple storylines simultaneously – except these weren’t entirely scripted. The introduction of Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn ushered in a new era for the perennial placers DC Comics; igniting a fresh and exciting direction for its well-loved heroes such as Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, as well as paving the way for new franchises in an attempt to knock Marvel off its prominent perch.
It was confirmed that everyone’s favourite hero Henry Cavill would not be returning as the Man of Steel in Gunn’s new regime, cutting Cavill shortly after the studio asked him to announce his return in the role. It was a messy divorce, but one Cavill understood:
“After being told by the studio to announce my return back in October, prior to their hire, this news isn’t the easiest, but that’s life. The changing of the guard is something that happens. I respect that. James and Peter have a universe to build.”Henry Cavill
And with the news that DC have found their Clark Kent and Lois Lane, comments made by David Corenswet have resurfaced recently, in which he suggests a new direction, and persona, Superman could take. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Corenswet said: “I love the Henry Cavill dark and gritty take, but I would love to see the next one be very bright and optimistic.”
It certainly aligns with Gunn’s recent filmmaking vision, as the director was the jovial mind behind one of Marvel’s more satirical movies The Guardians of the Galaxy volumes 1 through 3. Perhaps this is exactly what Gunn was brought in to achieve with DC, shifting from the noir framing of recent DC projects to present a sunnier disposition. Think Man of Feel rather than Man of Steel.
The casting of a younger Superman also allows for an extended era within the DCU; a retelling of a beloved character at its origin, beginning an exciting and bold new chapter in this story. Corenswet’s appointment will realise Gunn’s idea of what – and who – Superman is.
Speaking with Variety, Gunn said: “The next Superman has to be someone who has all the humanity that Superman has but he’s also an alien. It’s gotta be somebody who has the kindness and the compassion that Superman has and be somebody who you want to give a hug.”
Somebody grab a tissue.