Superman: Legacy: Release date, cast, plot as casting rumours surface

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a reboot

Superman: Legacy will be directed by James Gunn. (DC/Getty)
Superman: Legacy will be directed by James Gunn. (DC/Getty)

It's been ten years since Superman last led his own solo movie in Man of Steel, but after many false dawns, Kal-El will finally take flight again in James Gunn's Superman: Legacy.

The fresh start for DC's crown jewel is coming to cinemas in 2025 and is being billed as the first entry in a planned universe of cross-platform storytelling — now known as the DCU. Following the lead of the MCU, the new Superman film will be the start of Phase 1: Gods and Monsters.

Here's everything we know about Superman: Legacy so far...

Superman: Legacy release date

Superman: Legacy is slated to hit cinemas on 11 July, 2025 – 12 years after the release of Man of Steel.

The release date was announced in January 2023 when James Gunn and Peter Safran — the new bosses at DC Studios — revealed their ambitious plan to reboot the DC Universe.

Although, Superman: Legacy will be preceded on the small screen by Creature Commandos and Waller, the movie is considered as the true starting point for the new DCU.

In April 2023, Gunn announced that pre-production had begun on the movie, saying:"Costumes, production design, and more now up and running."

With the first draft of script in place, it's hoped the film won't be too affected by the WGA strike currently impacting Hollywood.

Superman: Legacy cast

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 16: David Corenswet attends the Los Angeles Premiere of Netflix's
David Corenswet at the premiere of Netflix's Look Both Ways in 2022. (Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

The new Clark Kent/Superman, according to Gunn, will be "younger than in his 40s".

In May 2023, The Hollywood Reporter claimed that 29-year-old Pearl star David Corenswet is one of the top contenders to be the new Man of Steel, and will likely screentest for the role soon.

Other names linked with the role by the trade outlet include British actors Tom Brittney (Grantchester/Greyhound) and Andrew Richardson (The Independent/Daughter of the Bride), and Euphoria star Jacob Elordi.

Kacey Ainsworth (Cathy Keating), Robson Green (Geordie Keating) and Tom Brittney (Rev. Will Davenport) in Grantchester (ITV)
Tom Brittney (right) as Rev. Will Davenport in Grantchester (ITV)
Andrew Richardson as Kevin Conrad in the Sky Cinema Original The Independent. (Sky Cinema)
Andrew Richardson as Kevin Conrad in the Sky Cinema Original The Independent. (Sky Cinema)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 20: Jacob Elordi attends the HBO Max FYC event for 'Euphoria' at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on April 20, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/WireImage)
Jacob Elordi attends the HBO Max FYC event for Euphoria in 2022. (WireImage)

Responding to the casting rumours on Twitter, James Gunn neither confirmed or denied they were accurate, but came out to say that he would never comment on potential actors while they were going through the audition process.

Earlier in 2023 one well-known YouTube host suggested that Fury actor Logan Lerman was the "top choice" for the role, Gunn replied in March with a succinct: "For the record, I don't know who that is."

After some found this response a little blunt, the Suicide Squad filmmaker returned to social media to clarify his reply: “Guys, this isn’t a dig at the actor. I don’t know lots of actors’ names,” he added.

“Now that you tell me who he is, I recognise him from stuff and think he’s talented. But I’ve never met him, and he’s never been part of a conversation about playing Superman.”

While previously revealing that he was "making private lists" for possible contenders, he also pointed out that he had yet to have "a single talk with a single actor about the role.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 19: Emma Mackey poses with the EE Rising Star Award during the EE BAFTA Film Awards 2023 at The Royal Festival Hall on February 19, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
Emma Mackey poses with the EE Rising Star Award during the EE BAFTA Film Awards 2023. (Corbis via Getty Images)

As for Lois Lane, Clark Kent's co-worker at the Daily Planet, THR suggested that contenders for the role included Emma Mackey (Sex Education), Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Phoebe Dynevor (Bridgerton), and Samara Weaving (Ready or Not).

And for villains, the only name to surface in THR's report was Nicholas Hoult. The Renfield star is rumoured to have been 'earmarked' to play Superman's arch-nemesis Lex Luthor.

Why isn't Henry Cavill coming back as Superman?

Henry Cavill as Superman in 2013's Man of Steel. (Alamy/Warner Bros.)
Henry Cavill as Superman in 2013's Man of Steel. (Alamy/Warner Bros.)

While we don't know who will play him in Superman: Legacy, we can rule out one name for certain: Henry Cavill. The British actor who donned the Kyptonian cape in Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Justice League and Black Adam has officially left the role.

In December 2022, Gunn tweeted an update on the Superman reboot saying: "In the initial stages, our story will be focusing on an earlier part of Superman’s life, so the character will not be played by Henry Cavill. But we just had a great meeting with Henry and we’re big fans and we talked about a number of exciting possibilities to work together in the future.”

Read more: How did Henry Cavill become an internet darling?

Cavill confirmed his exit, posting on Instagram: “It’s sad news, everyone. I will, after all, not be returning as Superman. After being told by the studio to announce my return back in October, prior to their hire, this news isn’t the easiest, but that’s life.”

As for which other characters may appear in Legacy, we don't yet know. However, as the film is rumoured to cover Clark Kent's early career at the Daily Planet, we can expect to meet new versions of Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, and Perry White.

Superman: Legacy plot

Superman The Movie Christopher Reeve flying in front of The Twin Towers World Trade Center, New York in a publicity pose for the 1978 movie. (Photo by Screen Archives/Getty Images)
Christopher Reeve in 1978's Superman: The Movie. (Screen Archives/Getty Images)

Where previous Superman movies have explored the Man of Steel's origins, James Gunn's script for Superman: Legacy will not.

“It’s not an origin story,” Safran said. “It focuses on Superman balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing. He is the embodiment of truth, justice and the American way. He is kindness in a world that thinks that kindness is old-fashioned.”

Read more: Take our Superman quiz

Sharing an update when Gunn officially signed on to direct the film, Gunn said of the plot: "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.”

The director went on to say that “a bit less than a year ago I saw a way in, in many ways centering around Superman’s heritage — how both his aristocratic Kryptonian parents and his Kansas farmer parents inform who he is and the choices he makes.”

Superman: Legacy is coming to cinemas on 11 July, 2025.

Watch a trailer for Batman v Superman below.