Superman: Legacy’s James Gunn Clarifies The Age Range Of The Man Of Steel In His Movie

DC Comics artwork of New 52 Superman
(Image credit: DC Comics)

With Henry Cavill’s time as Superman being over as the DC Extended Universe transitions into the DC Universe, it was announced in late June that David Corenswet will play the new Man of Steel for Superman: Legacy, the first of this new franchise’s movies. Written and directed by James Gunn, this reboot will follow a Kal-El/Clark Kent who’s younger than Cavill’s was in the DCEU. However, the filmmaker has now clarified something key about Superman’s age range in this upcoming DC movie.

Back in December 2022, shortly after it was announced a Superman reboot was on the way, Gunn shared that the Kryptonian protagonist is “not meeting the major characters for the first time, either. He's merely younger.” At the time, I thought this meant Superman: Legacy was taking a cue from The Batman by following along with Superman early into his superhero career, but not delving into his origin story. Gunn has indeed confirmed Supes’ origin story won’t be touched in Legacy, but now he’s also made it clear we’re not getting a story set when the character is still learning the crimefighting ropes. In response to a fan who inquired about if Legacy is set in the past, Gunn wrote on Threads:

I was never making a “young Superman” movie, just a Superman movie!

While it’s still unclear when exactly David Corenswet’s Superman decided to put on the ’S’ shield-emblazoned costume for the first time,  James Gunn makes it sound like when we meet this version of the character in Superman: Legacy, he’s been protecting the innocent for a long time now rather than only a year or two in. It makes me wonder if Corenswet’s Clark has been doing this as far back as his teens, i.e. was flying around Smallville and the rest of the world as Superboy. Ok, that might be going a step too far, but the point being, just because Corenswet’s Supes is on the younger side doesn’t mean this movie will be set in the DC Universe’s past.

Of course, given all the actors in Superman: Legacy’s cast playing other superheroes, it makes sense that he’s operating in the present day rather than years earlier, as Superman is traditionally one of the first superheroes, if not the first to publicly debut in the shared DC universe. For Legacy, the Man of Steel will be accompanied by Nathan Fillion as the Guy Gardner incarnation of Green Lantern, Isabela Merced as Hawkgirl, Edi Gathegi as Mr. Terrific and Anthony Carrigan as Metamorpho. It’s also been rumored that members of The Authority will appear ahead of leading their own movie. 

Additionally, Rachel Brosnahan has been perfectly cast as Lois Lane, and brothers Bill and Alexander Skarsgard are reportedly among the contenders for Lex Luthor. Although Creature Commandos will be the first DC Universe project to be released, debuting to Max subscribers sometime in 2014, James Gunn and Peter Safran, who co-run DC Studios together, have said they consider Legacy to be the “true beginning” of this new continuity. Filming is expected to begin in early 2024, and the reboot is slated for a July 11, 2025 release.

Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more news on Superman: Legacy’s progress, and look through our upcoming DC movies and upcoming DC TV shows guides to discover what other projects are comprising the DC Universe’s Chapter One slate, a.k.a. Gods and Monsters.

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.