James Gunn Explains Why He's Directing Superman: Legacy

James Gunn is up, up, and away at work on Superman: Legacy. The DC Studios co-chairman and CEO confirmed on Wednesday he'll direct his script for the previously-announced Superman reboot that will launch the newly unified DC Universe's first chapter, titled Chapter One: Gods and Monsterswhen it hits theaters on July 11th, 2025. Gunn's next feature film after Marvel Studios' upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 comes after the filmmaker, who directed 2021's The Suicide Squad and the HBO Max spin-off series Peacemaker for DC, turned down a Superman movie in favor of following up David Ayer's Suicide Squad.

In a series of tweets, Gunn explained his decision to direct Superman: Legacy, the first film in the new DCU. Like Legacy, which "tells the story of Superman's journey to reconcile his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing as Clark Kent of Smallville, Kansas," it's a personal story of legacy for Gunn.

"Yes, I'm directing Superman: Legacy to be released on July 11, 2025. My brother Matt told me when he saw the release date he started to cry. I asked him why. He said, 'Dude, it's Dad's birthday.' I hadn't realized," Gunn wrote. "I lost my Dad almost three years ago. He was my best friend. He didn't understand me as a kid, but he supported my love of comics and my love of film and I wouldn't be making this movie now without him."

Gunn continued: "It has been a long road to this point. I was offered Superman years ago — I initially said no because I didn't have a way in that felt unique and fun and emotional that gave Superman the dignity he deserved. Then a bit less than a year ago I saw a way in, in many ways centering around Superman's heritage — how both his aristocratic Kryptonian parents and his Kansas farmer parents inform who he is and the choices he makes."

The filmmaker went on to say he "chose to finally take on writing the script," which his co-chairman and CEO Peter Safran is producing. "But I was hesitant to direct, despite the constant pestering by Peter Safran and others to commit (sorry, Peter). Just because I write something doesn't mean I feel it in my bones, visually and emotionally, enough to spend over two years directing it, especially not something of this magnitude. But, the long and the short of it is, I love this script, and I'm incredibly excited as we begin this journey. #UpUpandAway."

When announcing the first ten projects of the DC Studios slate in January, Gunn revealed he took the DC job because of a childhood love for comics that extended to his father. 

"My parents sent me to a psychiatrist when I was 11 years old to try to figure out what was wrong with me because I never went to school. I just stayed home, read comic books, wrote and drew comic books. And the psychiatrist said to my dad, 'Why don't you take an interest in what your son does?' Because my dad's very much a St. Louis, Missouri guy. Loves Cardinals baseball, loves things that I didn't care about. And my dad did. And really the most wonderful thing my dad ever did was, he started asking me about comics," Gunn said, adding one of the "happiest moments of my life [was] walking upstairs and seeing my dad reading a copy of Superman. And I wanted to take care of these characters."

Superman: Legacy will open in theaters on July 11th, 2025.