James Gunn to direct Superman: Legacy, aiming for 2025
Gunn, the co-chairman and CEO of DC Studios, also wrote the script, which deals with the superhero's journey to make sense of both his aristocratic Kryptonian heritage and his small town, midwestern upbringing as Clark Kent.
James Gunn is directing a Superman film. Superman: Legacy, which Gunn also wrote, is also set for a Jul 11, 2025, release, he and his co-chair and fellow CEO of DC Studios Peter Safran announced on Wednesday (Mar 15).
The film, Gunn said, deals with the superhero's journey to make sense of both his aristocratic Kryptonian heritage and his small town, midwestern upbringing as Clark Kent.
The legacy of Superman has been somewhat fraught recently. In October, Henry Cavill announced that he would be returning to the role starting with a cameo in Black Adam. Two months later, though, Cavill was back on social media with the news that he was out.
“This news isn’t the easiest, but that’s life,” Cavill wrote. “The changing of the guard is something that happens. I respect that. James and Peter have a universe to build.”
Gunn and Safran were announced as the new DC leaders just a few days after Black Adam opened in October, replacing Walter Hamada, who had headed DC Films for four years. And Cavill as Superman was one of the casualties of the new guard.
“It has been a long road to this point,” Gunn wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. “I was offered Superman years ago – I initially said no because I didn’t have a way in that felt unique and fun and emotional that gave Superman the dignity he deserved. ... Then a bit less than a year ago I saw a way in.”
Gunn also said the release date is the same as his late father's birthday.
“He was my best friend,” Gunn wrote. “He didn’t understand me as a kid, but he supported my love of comics and my love of film and I wouldn’t be making this movie now without him.”
Gunn has for several years been the rare director to bounce between both DC and Marvel films. He first came to DC after directing Marvel’s well-regarded Guardians Of The Galaxy films. When the Walt Disney Co temporarily dropped Gunn over old tweets that joked about rape and paedophilia, he jumped to DC and made the supervillain film The Suicide Squad, a kind of blockbuster do-over that followed David Ayer’s much-maligned Suicide Squad.
He and the veteran producer Safran came aboard with several upcoming DC films already on their way to theatres, including Shazam! Fury Of The Gods (Mar 17), The Flash (out Jun 16) and Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom (Dec 25). And he still has Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 3 coming on May 5.
Superman: Legacy will be the first film in the new iteration of the connected DC Universe, followed by Matt Reeves’ The Batman Part II, which is set for an October 2025 launch. That film, like Todd Phillips' Joker sequel coming in 2024, will lie outside of the DCU.