Before Cavill’s Return, James Gunn Was Hired to Pen Superman: Legacy Movie
James Gunn was working on the upcoming DC Universe movie, Superman: Legacy, for months before Henry Cavill’s return as Superman in Black Adam, according to a tweet from the writer and director himself. Cavill’s last appearance as Superman was in the 2017 Justice League, which was not well received, and his return to the role in a cameo alongside Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in Black Adam last October was initially celebrated, only for it to be revealed two months later that he would not continue in the role.
Gunn is rebooting the Superman character for the DC Universe, but it appears that the movie was already in development before Cavill even returned to the role. Gunn’s tweet indicates that he was hired by DC to write Superman: Legacy over six months ago, putting the original plan to have both a Cavill-led franchise and a rebooted Clark Kent running at the same time into question. The news is interesting, as Gunn and Peter Safran were only confirmed as the new heads of DC Studios at the end of October, making the original Superman plan of the old DC Extended Universe (DCEU) hard to understand.
Gotcha. I think there was some confusion being you said Superman Legacy was there before you and Peter came in.
— J Go T A (@RogueGau) February 19, 2023
There have been multiple reported Superman projects, including the cameo plan for Cavill’s Superman that would begin with Black Adam and was then dropped altogether in favor of Superman: Legacy being the only canon version of the hero in the new DC Universe. Before Gunn revealed that Cavill would not be playing the DCU Superman, it was reported that a Man of Steel sequel was in the works, with DC even starting to look for writers to join the movie. If Cavill had continued in the role, it would have made little sense to have two cinematic franchises focused on Clark Kent going at the same time, especially since the way Cavill’s Superman has been written in the past was fairly divisive.
However, Cavill was not fired by Gunn from Superman, but the director understood that DC needed a change and did not sign a new contract with the star. In the end, the decision to reboot the character and allow Superman: Legacy to present the main DC Universe Clark Kent was the best one, as it allows the new DCU to start with a younger Superman who is free of the baggage associated with Cavill’s time in the role. The new Superman will also share the spotlight with Tyler Hoechlin’s charming Clark Kent from the Superman & Lois series, as well as the in-development black Superman movie at DC.
Gunn’s reveal puts into question the continuity and planning of the DCEU. It is unclear how the old management intended to have both a Cavill-led franchise and a rebooted Clark Kent running at the same time, and why they would have begun developing a new Superman movie before the new DC Studios co-CEO’s hiring was even confirmed. The confusing Superman situation and multiple reported projects make it difficult to understand what the original plan was for the character in the DCEU. With this movie, Gunn has the opportunity to bring a fresh perspective to the character and create a new version of Superman that is both exciting and modern.
The movie is set to reboot the franchise, which will allow DC to explore new avenues and characters within the DC Universe. As of now, it remains to be seen who will play the lead in the upcoming Superman movie, but it is expected that DC will look for a younger actor who can bring a new perspective and energy to the role. In conclusion, James Gunn had been working on the upcoming DC Universe movie Superman: Legacy for months before Henry Cavill’s return as Superman in Black Adam, indicating that the original plan for the character in the DCEU was not well thought out.
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