‘Superman: Legacy’: James Gunn Explains Why There Are So Many Superheroes

The casting of James Gunn’s Superman: Legacy has been a little confusing for fans. While David Corenswet as Superman and Rachel Brosnahan as Lois Lane are to be expected, it’s the surprising additions of Nathan Fillion as Guy Gardner, Isabela Merced as Hawkgirl, Edi Gathegi as Mister Terrific, and most recently Anthony Carrigan as Metamorpho that has some asking if this is secretly a team-up movie, or just a set up for future DCU movies.

Well, Gunn has the answer, and it’s actually pretty simple. The characters are there to help tell Superman’s story.  Gunn said via Threads

“I’ve never used one movie to set up another movie. The characters are there because they help tell Superman’s story better, not so we can set up separate projects in the franchise. Superman and Lois are the very clear protagonists.”

Fans of superheroes are used to a certain way of storytelling, where each film exists to launch spinoffs and sequels. While this strategy has worked for Marvel, it hasn’t worked so great elsewhere, with the DCEU a prime example. Putting the cart before the horse is never a good idea.

Gunn continued by reminding fans that Superman: Legacy bucks the trend in another way. This is no Man of Steel origin story.  When the story begins, superheroes are already well-established in the world.

“We’re entering a world where superheroes exist and have existed for quite a while,” wrote Gunn. “They’re a part of one side of his world just like Lois and Jimmy are a part of another.”

This is going to be a huge test for Gunn to see if he can turn things around. The pitiful performance of The Flash hangs heavy, especially with all of Gunn’s praise for it. I maintain that Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel was a perfectly good starting point for the DCEU, but his choices afterward killed it. Gunn is taking a very different approach and that’s wise, but what matters is how he builds out from Superman: Legacy after it opens on July 11th 2025.

Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.