James Gunn's Superman Confirmed to Differ In Tone from His Marvel Movies

By Jennifer McDonough Updated:
Superman, Guardians of the Galaxy

DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn indicated that his upcoming movie, Superman: Legacy won’t share much with his Guardians of the Galaxy movies from Marvel Studios in terms of tone.

Superman has long been thought of as a beacon of hope. He’s someone who represents optimism and goodwill in their purest forms, at least in most incarnations that have come to the big and small screen.

Zack Snyder’s take on the character was a bit too grim and edgy for some viewers. That’s not to say his and Henry Cavill’s overall portrayal of Clark wasn’t without his merits, but it was far more intense than what many fans were looking to see from the character.

Gunn Promises a Tone Shift for Superman

James Gunn, Superman

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, James Gunn revealed that Superman: Legacy will, perhaps expectedly, feature a different vibe than the Guardians of the Galaxy films that he’s made for Marvel Studios:

“I learned so much from making these movies. But it’s not like Superman is going to have exactly the same vibe as a Guardians movie. It’s actually quite different.”

Gunn was also asked if this meant that he’d consider including Superman’s dog Krypto in Legacy, prompting the director to draw comparisons to Rocket from the MCU:

“I think I would have an interest in a live-action Krypto whether or not I had anything to do with Rocket.”

Previously, the director offered his thoughts via Twitter, revealing that he was once approached about directing a project for the Man of Steel years ago. He turned it down because he didn’t have a good angle for the character at the time:

“It has been a long road to this point. 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.“

Gunn continued, remarking on just how crucial the impact that Jonathan and Martha Kent as well as Jor-El and Lara had on Clark’s development.

“Then 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.”

He concluded his thoughts by hyping up the eventual release of Superman: Legacy, which is still a couple of years away:

“But, the long and the short of it is, I love this script, and I’m incredibly excited as we begin this journey. #UpUpandAway”

Gunn Has the Right Idea About Superman

Just going by the thoughts he has shared on the character, James Gunn might just truly understand what makes Superman tick.

Detractors have long criticized Clark as being “boring” and a “boy scout” and claiming there’s nothing all that exciting about a near-indestructible alien with a vast array of superhuman abilities.

But Superman’s true nature lies in his ability to do good. He may have godlike powers, but he chooses to use them for the betterment of humanity, even though he’s not a human himself, all whilst remaining kind, approachable and humble.

All the best versions of Clark Kent get that element right. Look at Tyler Hoechlin’s portrayal of the character on The CW’s Superman & Lois. Hoechlin’s incarnation retains his wholesome Kansas farm boy demeanor while simultaneously going to any length to keep Earth protected.

Gunn’s indication that the DCU’s forthcoming Superman will be “fun” and “emotional” is a step in the right direction. Cavill and Synder’s interpretation was not fun -the guy hardly ever smiled!

Hopefully, James Gunn’s Superman: Legacy will breathe new life into the character and right a few past wrongs. DC’s flagship hero deserves it.

And if he succeeds at bringing Krypto in, all the better.

Superman: Legacy soars into theaters on July 11, 2025.

- In This Article: Superman: Legacy
Release Date
July 11, 2025
- About The Author: Jennifer McDonough
Jennifer McDonough has been a writer at The Direct since its 2020 launch. She is responsible for the creation of news articles and features. She also has a particular affinity for action figures and merchandise, which she revels in discussing in the articles she writes, when the situation calls for it.