James Gunn has gotten off to a spectacular start with his DC universe’s world-building projects and the foremost kickoff to the new and improved DC 2.0 has rightfully been awarded to the franchise’s biggest IP aka Superman.
In the recent past, credit points were lost ever since the Man of Tomorrow had taken a backseat with appearances scattered only over series and animation projects. But an excellent recovery was made when Zack Snyder’s bold and disruptive attempt at a darker, more grim, and mature Superman racked up the biggest numbers and fan frenzy witnessed since the Donner-Reeve Superman days.
Also read: James Gunn Teases Greatest Superman Story For DCU After Henry Cavill Exit: “I’ve read it many many times”
But while the people’s taste for gore and brutality may have enjoyed a joyride over the course of Snyder’s trilogy, now the symbol of hope and beacon of light, and his fight for truth, justice, and a better tomorrow will be envisioned in its entirety in the new DCU Chapter that begins with Superman: Legacy.
Superman’s Casting Roster Struggles Without a Candidate
While the latest reboot and the franchise’s fresh start do come with perks – like the independence awarded to James Gunn to model the DC universe in the best possible way without the hindrance of past narratives – it also comes with its fair share of criticism. The casting choice of Superman, for one, is a subject that will either make or break the career of whichever actor succeeds Henry Cavill as the Kryptonian god-hero.
Also read: Dave Bautista Supports Marvel Colleague James Gunn for Kicking Henry Cavill Out of DCU for a Younger Superman Actor: “You need to start with younger actors”
As such, talks surrounding the new protagonist who will not only be the face of the franchise but decide the fate of its survival has been a heavily broached subject in fan circles. While one faction busies itself with collecting every potential actor who is approximately 25 years of age, the others rally their favored casting choices all over social media in the hopes that one catches the eye of James Gunn.
For now, Wolfgang Novogratz remains the most-voted choice, while James Norton and Jacob Elordi climb up the charts as a tie-in for the close second.
James Gunn Responds to Claims of Superman Casting
With the director and co-Chairman of DC Studios recently coming online, one DC fan account took the opportunity to present Luke Eisner as a favorable candidate as Superman, only to be immediately shot down by James Gunn. While the move only serves to strike off one name from the list boasting dozens of established actors, a possibility that DC might be on the lookout for a completely new face from outside Hollywood has rarely been considered as an option by the fandom.
False (casting has not begun).
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) February 4, 2023
The current opinions are driven by fan favoritism in the absence of a better alternative, and as such, will continue to be so until DC announces the protagonist of the Legacy film. Considering how volatile the fan reaction and responses were when Henry Cavill was announced as Superman, the same can be expected now, although for drastically different reasons.
At the time of Snyder’s Man of Steel, criticism levied at Cavill was mostly based on his lack of experience and popularity in popular culture and mainstream media, but the DC landscape a decade later now places him on a pedestal – where Cavill reigns solely as the people’s Superman, and has almost acquired a deified status among the fandom.
Also read: “He’s gotten di-ked around by a lot of people”: James Gunn Blames Dwayne Johnson for Henry Cavill’s Firing from Superman Role, Claims Actor Was Never Hired for New DCU
The actor who now “replaces” Henry Cavill and becomes the next successor has a lot to live up to, especially in the wake of the incendiary backlash that has followed Cavill’s exit and encroached into the fledgling territories of Gunn’s new DCU.
Superman: Legacy premieres on July 11, 2025.
Source: James Gunn