“We’re good”: James Gunn Clears the Air on Egyptian Actor Being Kicked Out of Superman Legacy for Israel-Palestine Conflict Comments

James Gunn states no hard feelings for Bassem Youssef

"We're good": James Gunn Clears the Air on Egyptian Actor Being Kicked Out of Superman Legacy for Israel-Palestine Conflict Comments


  • Bassem Youssef wrongly assumed his role was cut due to his Israel-Palestine remarks.
  • His character was already written out before his controversial interview.
  • James Gunn confirmed there's no bad blood with Youssef.
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Earlier this week, Egyptian actor and political satirist Bassem Youssef indicated in an interview that he lost a role in the upcoming DC Studios film Superman: Legacy due to comments he made criticizing Israel’s actions against Palestine. This led to speculation that Youssef had been kicked out of the film over those remarks. However, James Gunn, CEO of DC Studios, has now spoken out to clarify that this is not the case.


James Gunn Indicated No Bad Blood Between Studio and Bassem Youssef

James Gunn
James Gunn via Inside of You

According to Entertainment Weekly, in a post on social media, James Gunn endorsed an IGN article reporting that Youssef’s potential role as dictator Rumaan Harjavti was already written out of Superman: Legacy before his controversial October interview on Piers Morgan Uncensored. While Youssef had been in talks for the role, he was never officially cast. “This is accurate,” Gunn wrote, sharing a link to the IGN story.

In a follow-up, Gunn added:


“There isn’t one word against another. [Youssef] and I talked and we’re good. I understand how he thought things might be (which he was clear about in his interview), and I told him the whole story.”

Bassem Youssef via The Late Show
Bassem Youssef via The Late Show

While Bassem Youssef will not appear in Superman: Legacy, James Gunn has made it clear that there is no animosity between the studio and the actor. Gunn took the time to personally speak with Youssef and explain why his role was cut from the film. He understands Youssef’s initial assumption that his outspoken political views had cost him the job, but Gunn reassured him that was never the case. 

According to inside sources, Youssef was considered for the role of Rumaan Harjavti in early script drafts of Superman: Legacy. As a popular Middle Eastern actor and comedian, he seemed a sensible choice. However, Gunn explained that Harjavti’s character simply didn’t make it into the final script. The decision had nothing to do with Youssef’s political views.

Does Speaking Out on Israel vs. Palestine Impact DC Studios Roles?

James Gunn via DC
James Gunn via DC

Youssef clearly felt his Israel-Palestine remarks had cost him the Superman gig. Given how controversial that topic is, it’s an understandable assumption. However, Gunn asserts that Youssef was never formally offered the role before it was cut.


Meanwhile, newly cast Supergirl actress Milly Alcock has also spoken out in support of Palestinian liberation without apparent career repercussions. So politics seem not to be an issue for DC Studios’ casting decisions.

Ultimately, while the circumstances understandably confused Youssef, Gunn has clarified that his Superman: Legacy role evaporated long before that interview simply due to script rewrites. There appears to be no bad blood between the actor and the studio.

With a release date set for July 2025, Superman: Legacy remains highly anticipated as the kick-off to DC Studios’ rebooted cinematic universe. James Gunn directs the film and stars David Corenswet as Superman alongside Rachel Brosnahan as Lois Lane. The impressive ensemble cast also includes Nicholas Hoult, Anthony Carrigan, Nathan Fillion, and more.


The decision to remove Youssef’s character Rumaan Harjavti from Superman: Legacy preceded and had nothing to do with his viral interview comments regarding Israel and Palestine. Ultimately, Gunn smoothed things over and reaffirmed that DC Studios holds no grudge against the actor.


Written by Nivedita Dubey

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Nivedita Dubey has 3 years of extensive experience in copywriting and content writing. She has written news articles for websites like, essentially sports, Comic Book Resources, Nerdstash etc.