James Gunn Set to Direct Superman: Legacy for DC Studios

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Truth, justice, and — hopefully — a better DC Studios. James Gunn will officially direct Superman: Legacy from a script he himself is writing.

The filmmaker was hired to pen the screenplay before being brought on as DC Studios co-head alongside producer/talent manager Peter Safran. The duo were tasked with overhauling the flailing DC Extended Universe, and announced their plans for a new series of interconnected stories back in the end of January. Superman: Legacy was tapped to kick off what’s being dubbed “Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters,” with a target release of July 11th, 2025.

Gunn was long expected to helm the project, but was only confirmed in the role today (via The Hollywood Reporter). He confirmed the news on Twitter, revealing that he hadn’t realized the planned release date was his late father’s birthday. “I lost my Dad almost three years ago. He was my best friend,” Gunn tweeted. “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.”

He added that he’d been offered a Superman movie “years ago,” but couldn’t crack a story that gave the character “the dignity he deserved.” He finally saw an in by focusing on the Last Son of Krypton’s heritage: “how both his aristocratic Kryptonian parents and his Kansas farmer parents inform who he is and the choices he makes.” See all of Gunn’s tweets below.

With the director’s chair filled, Gunn must now decide who will play the Man of Steel himself, as it was revealed back in December that Henry Cavill would not be wearing the cape again. Cavill, who starred as Superman in Man of SteelBatman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Justice League, made a surprise cameo at the end of Black Adam. The appearance was brokered by Black Adam star Dwayne Johnson to set up Cavill’s return to the iconic role, but Gunn made it clear just a few weeks later that his DC Universe would be going in a different direction.

“Our choices for the DCU are based upon what we believe is best for the story & best for the DC characters who have been around for nearly 85 years,” Gunn said in a tweet.

That story, as far as Superman: Legacy is concerned, called for a younger actor to step into the tights. The story will focus on Superman “balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing,” Safran said during the “Gods and Monsters” press conference, comments Gunn echoed today. “He is the embodiment of truth, justice and the American way. He is kindness in a world that thinks that kindness is old-fashioned.”

Gunn has a strong history of directing DC projects, having helmed The Suicide Squad and a majority of HBO Max’s Peacemaker spinoff. Of course, he also elevated Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy to name-brand heroes, and he’ll finish telling their story when GotG Vol. 3 arrives on May 5th.

After that, his attention will fully turn to the DCU. Shazam! Fury of the Gods, which Safran produced, arrives Friday (May 17th), with The FlashBlue Beetle, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom all arriving before the end of the year. Once the pre-Gunn-and-Safran slate is cleared, fans can anticipate movies including The Authority, a Batman and Robin tale called The Brave and the Bold, and Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow. “Gods and Monsters” TV series include a Green Lanterns show, Suicide Squad spinoff Waller starring Viola Davis, and Wonder Woman prequel Paradise Lost.

James Gunn Set to Direct Superman: Legacy for DC Studios
Ben Kaye

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