Meet David Corenswet, the new Superman

David Corenswet
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We have a new Man of Steel. David Corenswet has been cast as the next Superman in DC's "Superman: Legacy." DC Studios Co-CEO James Gunn, who's directing the "Superman" relaunch, confirmed the news on Tuesday. "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" star Rachel Brosnahan will also portray Lois Lane. "They are not only both incredible actors but also wonderful people," said Gunn.

In selecting Corenswet, Gunn has centered the all-important 2025 film around a relative unknown. But even if Corenswet's name doesn't ring a bell, you may have seen the 29-year-old's face.

Choosing his own adventure

Corenswet grew up in Philadelphia, and his father was a New York actor. "I didn't have a dream of being an actor, even though my dad was a theater actor for many years," he told MTV News. But Corenswet auditioned for his first play in Philadelphia when he was 9 years old, and he was cast in a production of "All My Sons."

"I started putting all these hours in as a young actor in Philadelphia and then doing musicals at my school," he told MTV, and he said to C Magazine that his "dad was mostly responsible for taking me to all my theater gigs when I was a kid." He wears a New York subway token from the 1980s in honor of his father and as a good luck charm. Corenswet's grandfather also reportedly came up with the idea for "Choose Your Own Adventure" books.

Corenswet studied acting at New York's Juilliard School, graduating in 2016. Starting in 2014, he starred in a series of web comedy sketches called "Moe & Jerryweather," which he also created with Adam Langdon. "It's fun to recognize that just a few years ago I was the silly kid making the silly things with very small silly toys — and I still am," he told Refinery29.

Corenswet appeared in a 2015 episode of the MTV show "One Bad Choice" and a 2017 episode of "Elementary." He also starred in a pilot for a Rob Reiner show that wasn't picked up to series. But one of his first major roles was in the 2018 political thriller "Affairs of State," in which he starred as a congressional aide. He exhibited a "star-making combination of traditional good looks and a compelling deadpan voice" in the movie, Forbes said at the time, comparing him to a young Armie Hammer. From there, Corenswet popped up on shows like "Instinct" and "House of Cards." In the latter series' final season, he played Claire Underwood's (Robin Wright) college boyfriend in a flashback.

Breaking out

Corenswet's breakout role came in 2019 with Ryan Murphy's Netflix series "The Politician," where he played River Barkley, the opponent and ex-boyfriend of Ben Platt's character. Murphy quickly cast Corenswet again as a lead, aspiring actor Jack Castello, in his 2020 Netflix series, "Hollywood." Corenswet also produced that show set in 1940s Hollywood. "It was the first role that I was ever offered without an audition, which is awesome," he told Variety, and Murphy said to The Hollywood Reporter that the actor is "that unicorn in this business," as he "looks like an old-time movie star and he can act, too." Also in 2020, Corenswet had a role in the Jenny Slate film "The Sunlit Night."

The year 2022 was a big one for Corenswet, as he played investigator David McDougall in HBO's "We Own This City," starred in the Netflix romantic dramedy "Look Both Ways" and portrayed the projectionist in the A24 horror film "Pearl" opposite Mia Goth. On top of "Superman: Legacy," his upcoming projects include a sequel to "Twister" starring Daisy Edgar-Jones and Glen Powell and the Apple TV+ series "Lady in the Lake" starring Natalie Portman. Corenswet told V Magazine he also aspires to get behind the camera, following in the footsteps of actors turned directors like Olivia Wilde and Bradley Cooper.

From the moment Corenswet burst onto the scene, there was online chatter that he would be perfect as Superman, in part because he looks exactly like a young version of Henry Cavill, the previous Superman. Platt's character even tells Corenswet in "The Politician," "You look like Superman."

And the actor hasn't been shy about his interest in the role. "My pie-in-the-sky ambition is definitely to play Superman," he told Entertainment Weekly in 2019. "I would love to see somebody do an upbeat, throwback [take on Superman]. I love the Henry Cavill dark and gritty take, but I would love to see the next one be very bright and optimistic." This seems to fit with Gunn's vision for the character, as the director previously said Superman should be "somebody that you want to give a hug."

Corenswet reportedly beat out Tom Brittney and Nicholas Hoult for the lead role in "Superman: Legacy," which couldn't be more important to the future of DC. It will be the first film in a rebooted shared universe that will seek to get audiences back on board with the superhero brand following several box office failures, most recently "The Flash." So is Corenswet the savior DC needs to help bring the studio back to life faster than a speeding bullet? The pressure's on.

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