James Gunn Explains Why He's Now Making A Superman Movie After Previously Turning Down The Opportunity

Just because James Gunn is now running DC Studios with Peter Safran doesn’t mean his time is solely being consumed by overseeing an entire franchise. Gunn is also keeping busy with some singular projects, which includes writing Superman: Legacy, the first movie that will be released in the new DC Universe shared continuity. However, some of you reading may recall that Gunn had the opportunity to make a Superman movie years back, and now the filmmaker has explained why he turned it down then and is tackling it now.

This revelation came when James Gunn responded to a fan on Twitter who accused him of being “something of a professional liar,” specifically claiming that Gunn had said he’d never wanted to make a Superman movie and never wanted to run DC. Gunn debunked both claims with these words:

Neither of those were lies. I was offered Superman but did Squad instead. A few years later I saw how to tackle Superman & took it on. I didn’t want to be the sole CEO of DC, but when they came & offered it to me AND Peter I said yes because I could focus on the creative side.

As far as the Superman aspect of this statement goes, remember that during the months when James Gunn had been dismissed by Marvel Studios from directing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, he signed on to write and direct The Suicide Squad, the standalone sequel to 2016’s Suicide Squad. Before that though, Warner Bros. Pictures asked Gunn if he’d be willing to make a Superman movie, but at the time, he was more interested in crafting a story around DC Comics’ Task Force X. That proved to be a wise course of action, because in addition to The Suicide Squad being met with positive critical reception (albeit underperforming in theaters), it launched the Peacemaker spinoff series, and HBO Max subscribers can also look forward to a show focused on Amanda Waller.

Fast-forward a few years, James Gunn is now ready to craft his own cinematic Superman story, although it remains to be seen if he’ll direct this movie. We’re still in the early days of Superman: Legacy’s development, but Gunn has already said that unlike Man of Steel, it will not be an origin story. Instead, it will follow a younger version of Kal-El/Clark Kent who already knows key characters from the Superman mythology, indicating this reboot is taking a page from The Batman’s book. Gunn has also said Superman: Legacy is inspired by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s All-Star Superman, and he debunked that anyone has been cast as the hero yet.

James Gunn’s work on Superman: Legacy follows after Henry Cavill cameoed as Superman in Black Adam, his first time playing the character since Justice League. At the time, Cavill was expected to reprise the Man of Steel in more projects, but it was later announced the that reboot button was being pressed on the Superman film franchise yet again. Gunn also revealed in February that he’d been hired to write Superman: Legacy “over six months ago,” meaning that Warner Bros. already knew Gunn was taking Superman in a different direction when the company let Cavill let the public know his tenure as Superman would continue. Now Cavill’s Superman tenure is officially over, and the wait continues to learn who will lead Superman: Legacy and what the story will be about.

Superman: Legacy opens in theaters on July 11, 2025. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on its progress and other upcoming DC movies.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.