James Gunn's Superman Legacy Movie: Release, Cast & Everything We Know

By Sam Hargrave Updated:
David Corenswet as Superman, James Gunn, Superman DC logo

Superman: Legacy is continuing to push through development at DC Studios, here's everything we know so far about the release, plot, cast, and more. 

As James Gunn and Peter Safran prepare to launch their new DCU, the reboot is set to officially open with Superman: Legacy, a brand-new iteration of the Man of Steel written and directed by Gunn himself following the exit of Henry Cavill.

Superman Legacy Release Date: When Will It Come Out?

David Corenswet as Superman, Rachel Brosnahan as Lois Lane

DC Studios co-CEO and Superman: Legacy director James Gunn called his upcoming Man of Steel movie the "true beginning of the DCU," meaning the film will be breaking new ground when it arrives on July 11, 2025.

Superman: Legacy isn't the only DC movie confirmed to hit theaters in 2025, as it will officially be followed by Matt Reeves' The Batman 2 - an Elseworlds tale taking place outside the DCU - on October 3.

Despite being called the official beginning of the DCU, Superman: Legacy isn't expected to be the first release of the new universe, with the animated Creature Commandos series set to arrive on Max before then at some point in 2024.

According to a report from The Wrap, Gunn handed in the first draft for Superman: Legacy only days before the writers' strike began on May 2. 

Filming on the movie is planned to begin in January 2024, so, provided the actors' strike is also concluded by then, Superman: Legacy ought to make its 2025 date.

Superman Legacy's Cast & Characters: Who Will Appear?

Superman logo, Nathan Fillion, David Corenswet, Rachel Brosnahan, Ed Gathegi
The Direct

Heading up Superman: Legacy and taking over the role of Clark Kent from the DCEU's Henry Cavill is the 30-year-old David Corenswet. The Philadelphia-born star is best known for his performances in Pearl, The Politician, and Hollywood.

Joining Corenswet as Lois Lane and the movie's co-lead is Emmy-winning actress Rachel Brosnahan, who famously led the five-season series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

James Gunn will also be seeking actors for billionaire villain Lex Luthor, Daily Planet editor Perry White, and Clark Kent's photographer best friend Jimmy Olsen.

While Luthor has been confirmed to appear in Superman: Legacy, he is not expected to be the movie's main antagonist. The actors reportedly in contention to portray the DC villain are Bill and Alexander Skarsgard, along with Nicholas Hoult.

On the topic of Superman-related characters, many expect Legacy to feature Krypto the Superdog following the character's last on-screen appearance in DC League of Superpets.

Joining the usual arsenal of Metropolis icons are four more Justice League heroes who have already been cast: Nathan Fillion's Guy Gardner/Green Lantern, Isabela Merced's Hawkgirl, Edi Gathegi's Mr. Terrific, and Anthony Carrigan's Metamorpho.

As Gunn begins his new universe, reports claimed Superman will also be joined by members of The Authority ahead of their undated ensemble movie.

The confirmed cast of Superman: Legacy so far can be seen below:

  • David Corenswet - Superman
  • Rachel Brosnahan - Lois Lane
  • Nathan Fillion - Guy Gardner/Green Lantern
  • Isabela Merced - Kendra Saunders/Hawkgirl
  • Edi Gathegi - Michael Holt/Mr. Terrific
  • Anthony Carrigan - Metamorpho

Superman Legacy Plot: What Will Happen?

Superman, David Corenswet, Brainiac, General Zod, DC logo

James Gunn has confirmed Superman: Legacy will be a "workplace origin story,” however, the movie will not be an actual origin tale for the Man of Steel, as the director stated, "I think we've seen his origin enough in film at this time!"

Following the recast of the 40-year-old Henry Cavill, Gunn confirmed the Man of Steel will be the same age as David Corenswet, placing him around 30 years old.

The movie's official synopsis confirms how it will explore both his "Kryptonian heritage" and "human upbringing," noting his aristocratic alien birth and his youth growing up as a Smallville farmboy: 

"'Superman: Legacy' tells the story of Superman’s journey to reconcile his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing as Clark Kent of Smallville, Kansas. He is the embodiment of truth, justice, and the American way, guided by human kindness in a world that sees kindness as old-fashioned.”

The filmmaker teased before how he will be looking to treat the characters of Legacy with "dignity and compassion" while also offering a "surprising" and "moving" emotional tale for Superman:

“I want to tell a story that treats the characters with dignity and compassion and is the best, most surprising, most moving story I can possibly tell. And if that ends up being just moving, because it’s a fun blast of a film, or if it ends up being moving because you’re sobbing, or it makes you feel that rage, or whatever it makes you feel, I’m good with all of those things as long as it works."

While unconfirmed who Superman will face off against, there have been teases that point toward Brainiac being Legacy's main villain, with the iconic Lex Luthor also set to feature in an unknown capacity.

DC's New Superman: Why Isn't Henry Cavill Returning?

Superman, David Corenswet, Henry Cavill, DC logo

As the DCEU and the SnyderVerse have a sizable cult following, the news of Henry Cavill's recast came as a blow to many. The announcement hit particularly hard given the British star had only just returned to his Superman role in October 2022 in Black Adam after a five-year absence since 2017's Justice League.

After initially announcing Superman: Legacy, James Gunn explained how the story would explore "an earlier part" of the hero's life, and, as such, the character would not be played by the 40-year-old Cavill:

"Among those on the slate is Superman. 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."

Reports claimed Gunn was looking at actors as young as 25 for Superman, with the top four reported candidates - David Corenswet, Tom Brittney, Nicholas Hoult, and Andrew Richardson - ranging from 30 to 33 years old.

Despite opting to recast Cavill's Superman, Gunn teased he had a "great meeting" with the actor where they discussed "a number of exciting possibilities" for him at DC in other roles:

"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."

Superman: Legacy hits theaters on July 11, 2025.

- In This Article: Superman: Legacy
Release Date
July 11, 2025
- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.