Chances are when you hear the word superhero, the first name that pops into your head is Superman. Easily the face of DC Comics (sorry Batman), the story of Metropolis’s red-capped protector from the planet Krypton is universally known by fans both hardcore and casual, and a big reason for his popularity can easily be attributed to his history in cinema. Starting all the way back with Richard Donner‘s Superman (1978). The iconic interpretation of the character may be a bit dated and corny, but its lighthearted attitude that was accentuated by the infectiously charming Christopher Reeve has made it stand the test of time as a true classic, even spawning a total of three sequels and a Supergirl (1984) spin-off.
Although technically it’s four sequels, Superman Returns (2006) functioned as a continuation of the Donner films whilst ignoring Superman III (1983) and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987). While far from a horrible film, Superman Returns still performed under box office expectations and wasn’t able to capture the magic of the original films. Still, even the response to that film pales in comparison to that of Man of Steel (2013), which is easily the most polarizing and controversial Superman film to date. Fans of the film love Henry Cavill‘s more grounded take on the character and found the various action sequences to be visually stunning. However, the film’s critics felt that the film’s melodramatic tone missed the point of the Superman character and branded its wanton destruction as violence for the sake of violence. Things didn’t get much better for the DC Extended Universe’s Superman when Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and Justice League (2017) also weren’t exactly warmly received.
Since then, Superman’s film future has been in a state of limbo. Man of Steel 2 was in development hell for who knows how long and whispers of a potential reboot starring Michael B. Jordan failed to come to fruition. Now, with new DC Studios CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran mapping out a new plan for a connected DC Cinematic Universe, it’s no surprise that a new version of Superman is a part of that plan. Superman: Legacy is the latest feature film to star Clark Kent, and represents the true start of DC’s new generation and the first part of what Gunn has titled the “Gods and Monsters” phase.
Since it was only just announced at the time of this writing and is still in very early production, we still have some details we can glean about the anticipated project. To find out what those are, read below to learn everything we know so far about Superman: Legacy.
What is “Superman: Legacy”?
“Superman: Legacy” is the title of the new Superman movie which, according to James Gunn, will act as “the launch of the new DCU”.
The first of a new slate of films and television shows focusing on the DC Universe of characters, the script for “Superman: Legacy” is being written by James Gunn himself.
What the movie will be about remains unknown, but we do know that it won’t be an origin story, it will however tell the story of a younger Superman.
Co-CEO of DC Studios Peter Safran said, “It’s not an origin story. It focuses on Superman balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing. Superman represents truth, justice, and the American way. He is kind in a world that thinks of kindness as old fashioned.”
While DC promoted the “Superman: Legacy” announcement using an image from Grant Morrison’s “All-Star Superman,” it’s doubtful that the new movie will be an adaptation of that 2005 comic book series. There’s no doubt however that Gunn is drawing some inspiration from Morrison’s take on the character in some form or fashion.
Does it Have a Trailer Yet?
No trailer for Superman: Legacy has been released yet, and seeing as how we don’t even know who will be playing the titular Man of Steel yet, we likely won’t be getting one for quite some time.
All we have to go off of so far is James Gunn’s announcement video where he shares only the vaguest of announcement details for the Son of Krypton’s next big-screen adventure.
We don’t know too much about the plot for Superman: Legacy, and technically, neither does James Gunn, as he said he was only halfway through writing the film at the time of his “Gods and Monsters” announcement. We’ve known for a while that Gunn would be writing the film in addition to producing, and he did share a pretty significant detail. Unlike the original Superman and Man of Steel, Gunn has confirmed that Superman: Legacy will not be an origin story. That means when this Superman takes to the skies, it won’t be the first time he’s done so, as he’ll already have some experience protecting Earth’s inhabitants as the costumed superhero. That being said, there’s always the possibility that we’ll see flashbacks showing Clark’s days before taking on the Superman mantle.
It’s also anyone’s guess whether or not we’ll see other popular Superman characters, such as his lifelong love interest Lois Lane, make an appearance in the film. That goes double for whoever the film’s villain or villains might be, but given that this is a wholly new version of Superman, we’re going to guess it might be someone we haven’t seen on screen before. Lex Luthor and General Zod are great and all, but there are many other classic Superman villains to choose from, with characters like brutal alien mastermind Mongul and the morally confused Bizzaro being potential candidates. Not to mention that one of Superman’s and the DC Universe as a whole’s greatest villains, the kleptomaniac AI conqueror Brainiac, has yet to make an appearance in a live-action theatrical film, which is honestly pretty shocking given how popular of a villain he is. That all being said, there’s a good chance that we’ll see Luthor and Zod make an appearance or at the very least get referenced.
Lastly, we really hope Jimmy Olsen makes an appearance to make up for his unceremonious death in Batman v Superman.
Who Is Making?
The main crew has not yet been revealed outside of James Gunn penning the film’s script. Gunn’s journey with DC films began with him writing and directing The Suicide Squad (2021), which successfully rebooted the team of anti-heroes after a poorly received first installment. Gunn’s history in comic book movies also began long before being the co-CEO of DC Studios as he also wrote and directed the first two Guardians of the Galaxy films and its upcoming third installment.
Who Will Play Superman?
Well, we know for sure that the one person who won’t be playing Superman in Superman: Legacy is Henry Cavill, which has caused quite a bit of division among the fanbase. Despite making a surprise return in Black Adam (2022), the announcement of Cavill proved premature, as Gunn would go on to say that Cavill wasn’t fired, he just wasn’t hired.
We’ve seen that some pre-established projects are also being retweaked to fit into Gunn and Safran’s new vision, such as the long-delayed The Flash (2023) and the long-in-development Lanterns. With that, maybe it’s possible that the canned Michael B. Jordan project may find new life in the DCU.
What Is the Release Date for Superman: Legacy?
It was confirmed during James Gunn’s address that an all-new all-different Superman will be flying into theaters to save the day on Friday, July 11th, 2025. Just one week after the Fourth of July, which seems appropriate for a hero whose motto historically has been “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” (which is kind of weird given Superman is an alien created by Canadian authors but hey why not be a little patriotic?).