Superman Legacy: Everything to Know About James Gunn's Superman Movie

Superman: Legacy is taking flight at DC Studios. Co-Chairmen and CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran in January announced the Superman reboot as the first film of their unified DC Universe — part of Chapter One: Gods and Monstersa line-up that includes five films and five television series. Though the animated Creature Commandos and the live-action Suicide Squad spin-off series Waller will release first, Gunn has called Superman: Legacy the "foundation of our creative vision for the DC Universe" and the "true beginning of the DCU."

This first chapter of the DC Universe will feature "some of our most well-known characters as well as the next generation of marquee characters," Safran said in a statement. "Chapter 1 tells cohesive stories that highlight love, compassion, and the innate goodness of the human spirit, all designed to minimize audience confusion and maximize audience engagement across platforms."

As part of a slate that includes Batman: The Brave and the Bold and Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, the franchise-relaunching Legacy "is the true foundation" of the new DC Universe, said Gunn. "Not only is Superman an iconic part of DC lore, he is also a favorite character for comic book readers, viewers of earlier movies, and fans around the world. I can't wait to introduce our version of Superman who audiences will be able to follow and get to know across films, movies, animation and gaming."

Below, read on to find out everything you need to know about Superman: Legacy.

James Gunn Superman Movie Release Date

Superman: Legacy will open in theaters on July 11th, 2025, as the first film of the DC Universe Chapter One: Gods and Monsters.

Who Is Making the New Superman Movie?

James Gunn is writing and directing Superman: Legacy, with Peter Safran producing. Gunn's credits as writer-director include Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy, and for Warner Bros. and DC, 2021's The Suicide Squad and the HBO Max spin-off series Peacemaker. Before heading DC Studios with Gunn, Safran served as a producer on The Conjuring Universe films and DC Films' AquamanShazam!The Suicide SquadShazam! Fury of the Gods, and the upcoming Blue Beetle and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.

Is There a Superman Legacy Comic?

Gunn has named All-Star Superman as an inspiration for Superman: Legacy, which will focus on Superman balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing on a farm in Smallville, Kansas. Writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely's Eisner Award-winning 12-part series was envisioned as a "timeless" take on the Man of Steel mythos, featuring such classic characters as Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Ma and Pa Kent, Krypto the Superdog, the Fortress of Solitude, Bizarro, and Lex Luthor. 

While Superman: Legacy is not an adaptation of the All-Star comic book run, Gunn has said his Superman film "is very inspired by All-Star Superman."

After a trip to the Sun exposes Superman to critical levels of stellar radiation, All-Star Superman follows the solar-powered alien as he sets out to accomplish the Twelve Labors of Superman before succumbing to his terminal illness. Lois Lane describes her bumbling Daily Planet co-worker, the clumsy Clark Kent, as a "big country lummox," unaware of his secret double life as Superman.

"I really love the idea of Superman. He's a big old galoot. He is a farm boy from Kansas who is very idealistic," Gunn said. "His greatest weakness is that he'll never kill anybody, doesn't want to hurt a living soul. And I like that sort of innate goodness about Superman as his defining characteristic." In Legacy, Superman is "the embodiment of truth, justice, and the American way."

Superman: Legacy Cast

In February, Gunn debunked rumors of reported frontfunners for the Superman role. The new Superman has not been cast, but Legacy will focus on a younger Clark Kent/Superman in a story that Gunn has clarified is "not an origin story." Henry Cavill — who played the DC Extended Universe Superman in Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Justice League, and Black Adam — is not returning as Superman, and the role will be recast with a younger actor.

Superman: Legacy Synopsis

The official synopsis states: "Superman: Legacy tells the story of Superman's journey to reconcile his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing as Clark Kent of Smallville, Kansas. He is the embodiment of truth, justice and the American way, guided by human kindness in a world that sees kindness as old-fashioned."

Is Superman: Legacy Part of the DCEU?

No. Superman: Legacy is the first film set within the new DC Universe (DCU), separate from the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) launched with 2013's Man of Steel. Gunn has confirmed that the The Flash film's collision with the DC multiverse "resets many things, not all things," adding that "some characters remain the same, some do not." Cavill's Superman is among the DCEU characters who won't carry over into the new DCU.

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