DC co-CEO James Gunn discussed the "emotional" and "human" nature of his rebooted Clark Kent in a new interview.
After making fans cry with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3's sentimental story and emotion-driven character arcs, Gunn, along with Peter Safran, will be bringing his directorial style and witty writing to his new role at DC.
The first movie in the new slate of upcoming projects, Superman: Legacy, is the talk of many DC circles, with Gunn promising a serious take on the characters that differ from his Marvel tone with seemingly some of the more lighthearted, comic-like elements missing in the SnyderVerse.
How Emotional Could Superman: Legacy Be?
In an interview with Gizmodo, James Gunn discussed his plans regarding utilizing emotion in Superman: Legacy.
He started by explaining how Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 ended up as emotional as it did, saying "I don’t come to Guardians 3 and say, 'I wanna write a movie that’s gonna make everybody cry.'" Instead, Gunn focused on "treat[ing] the characters with dignity and compassion:"
"You know, listen… I don’t come to 'Guardians 3' and say, 'I wanna write a movie that’s gonna make everybody cry.' I don’t think about that. I just think 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."
As such, as he looks ahead to his upcoming Superman: Legacy, Gunn "[doesn’t] want to deny that" Clark Kent's Superman is an "emotional" character and will be portrayed as such in the reboot:
"And so, I can’t say I’m looking for any particular emotions to bring out through 'Superman,' but I don’t want it to be unemotional. I don’t want it to deny that we are, as human beings, emotional characters and that Superman is also that."
This aligns with previous quotes from Gunn about how he is looking to cast someone with "humanity," "compassion" and the comfort that comes with a "hug." This person will possibly be young, too, adding to the freshness of this story.
Will Superman: Legacy Make Audiences Cry?
Given that James Gunn did not approach Guardians 3 with the goal of making audiences cry and is seemingly treating Superman: Legacy similarly, one may assume the emotion will be in the latter regardless, just as it was in the former.
While this could be true, Gunn is also known for his comedy interspersed with emotion. Potentially, it could be more reminiscent of the first Guardians of the Galaxy, which tells the first story in a new franchise chapter that is full of heart, humor, and, yes, emotion.
It will not be the build-up of almost a decade of movies in the way Guardians 3 was, but it is not meant to serve that role. Rather, it is meant to, as Gunn put it, show that "we are, as human beings, emotional characters and that Superman is also that."
Superman: Legacy will hit theaters on July 11, 2025.