Why Superman Will (Probably) Wear Trunks in the DCU Reboot

Trunks or no trunks? That's the question James Gunn asked fan-Twitter after revealing Superman: Legacy, the upcoming relaunch of the Man of Steel. Gunn is writing and producing the reboot for DC Studios, which he heads with co-chair Peter Safran, as the first film of their new DC Universe. Inspired by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's acclaimed All-Star Superman run, Legacy will introduce a hopeful and youthful Kal-El/Clark Kent: Batman v Superman and Justice League star Henry Cavill, 39, is not reprising the character after his post-credits cameo in last year's Black Adam, and the role will be recast.

But what will the new Superman suit look like? On Wednesday, Gunn tweeted a poll: "Trunks or No Trunks?" Nearly half a million users voted in favor of the classic trunks (59.3%) over the more modern trunks-less look (40.7%). In a subsequent tweet, Gunn clarified the poll is "just for fun. We're not going to decide whether Superman has trunks or no trunks based on an egregiously non-scientific Twitter poll."

During a slate presentation on Monday, Gunn and Safran named All-Star Superman as their inspiration for Superman: Legacy. "I'm a huge fan of All-Star Superman, and it is very inspired by All-Star Superman," Gunn said, noting that Legacy is neither an origin story nor an All-Star adaptation. Still, Morrison's self-described "timeless" take on the mythos depicts a classic-style Superman — trunks and all.


After DC's New 52 relaunch in 2011 and 2013's Man of Steel stripped Superman of his strongman-inspired red trunks, Legacy could mark the first time since 2006's Superman Returns that a live-action movie Superman wears the unabashedly classic costume (as seen in All-Star).

All-Star Superman — along with Morrison's Batman run that reinvented the Dark Knight, Tom King's Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, and Alan Moore's Swamp Thing — are among the comic books inspiring the first chapter of the DCU. "That doesn't mean we're adapting all these comics," Gunn tweeted, "but that the feel, the look, or the tone of them are touchstones for our team."

"It's not an origin story," Safran said of Superman: Legacy. "It focuses on Superman balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing. He is the embodiment of truth, justice, and the American way. He is kindness in a world that thinks that kindness is old-fashioned."

As for Gunn — who is not committed to directing Legacythough that could change — The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker filmmaker described the kind of Superman who would wear an old-fashioned super-suit. 

"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."

Superman: Legacy is slated to open in theaters on July 11th, 2025.

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