Gunn’s announcement from December 2022 regarding Henry Cavill’s departure shocked many viewers with the DCU set to undergo a serious overhaul. And as the new head of DC Studios looks to tell hopefully the biggest DC story that’s ever been told, a new take on the Man of Steel seems to be of the highest priority with Clark Kent still being the franchise’s most popular character.
Before the end of 2022, Gunn revealed that he would share the first plans for his new slate of movies in January, which was expected to include a new solo story for the last son of Krypton.
Now, that day has finally come as Superman is put into the spotlight once more.
James Gunn Drops New Superman Movie
Via Variety, DC Studios co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran announced that a solo Superman movie will kickstart his new slate of projects in the DC Universe, the first part of which is being billed as "Chapter 1: God and Monsters."
The movie will go under the title of Superman: Legacy, and it will release on July 11, 2025 as it marks "the start of the DCU," according to Safran. However, it won't be an origin story for the Man of Steel.
Gunn is confirmed to write the movie, and Safran noted that he hopes Gunn "can be persuaded, perhaps, to direct it as well," although nothing further was confirmed. Henry Cavill won't be returning to play the role for the new solo movie, as was confirmed by Gunn in December 2022.
Safran explained that this movie will show Clark Kent trying to balance his Kryptonian heritage with his Earthbound origins, getting back to the themes of "truth, justice and the American way:"
"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 of kindness as old-fashioned."
After Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav put a Superman reboot at the top of his priority list, it’s no shock to see Gunn and Safran kickstarting the new DCU with this movie.
Gunn continued by noting that "Superman is for everyone," teasing that this movie needs to land with Superman fans of every level:
"Superman is for everyone... That’s a four quadrant film that should speak to everyone in the world."
“We didn’t’ fire Henry. Henry was never cast. He was in a cameo, and that was the end of his story."
The studio head also made it clear that it wasn't about getting rid of Cavill but rather finding somebody that he wants to play the Man of Steel and see move the story forward:
“A lot of people made assumptions which weren’t true. But for me, it’s about who do I want to cast as Superman and who do the filmmakers want to cast.”
Gunn went further in saying that Cavill was done dirty by the former heads of the DC franchise in recent years, calling him "a great guy" even while he noted that he wouldn't be continuing in the role:
“For me, for this story, it isn’t Henry. I like Henry. He’s a great guy. I think he’s gotten dicked around by a lot of people, including former regimes of this company. But this Superman isn’t Henry for a number of reasons.”
Henry Cavill Passing the Torch to New Superman
At the end of the day, many fans will certainly be disappointed to see Henry Cavill's time as Superman come to an end, especially considering all the turmoil he had to deal with under the old regime. Not only has he been absent from the canon story since 2017's Justice League outside of his celebrated appearance in 2021's Zack Snyder's Justice League, but reports about other cameos that have been added and dropped in the time since have put him in a constant state of flux with the role.
Cavill himself is certainly disappointed with how the situation turned out, especially after hearing that his long-awaited second Man of Steel movie was canceled as Gunn and Safran took over their positions. But even during the mourning period, he showed support for the new DC leaders as they embark on their new venture, and he'll almost certainly show more support for this new movie as a new actor takes on the red-and-blue suit after him.
As for Superman: Legacy, Gunn and Safran are looking forward to giving Superman the best aspects of his story from the comics as they focus on the struggle Clark Kent deals with in balancing the two halves of his upbringing. How he plays into the larger universe with new projects for Batman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern on the way is still a mystery, although the film will be a chance for the Kryptonian hero to be reborn in grand fashion on the big screen under Gunn's watch.
Superman: Legacy is confirmed to debut in theaters on July 11, 2025.