James Gunn Dooms DCU With Latest ‘Superman’ Developments

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All Star Superman comic panel

Credit: DC Comics

Fans have been in an uproar over James Gunn’s takeover of DC Studios and the DCU. While the director was generally praised for his work with Marvel and Guardians of the Galaxy, he’s been struggling to get DC off the ground since taking over earlier this year.

To be fair, the DCU has been struggling in the film department for decades now. While Marvel built up the biggest franchise with the Avengers, DC has suffered from a seemingly non-stop series of reboots and incohesive films. With the release of Man of Steel in 2013, fans got a fresh look at Superman, with Henry Cavill becoming a fast fan-favorite Superman. Eventually, it would lead to the “Snyder-Verse” or the DCEU, an attempted Justice League team-up consisting of Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as Flash, and Ray Fisher as Cyborg.

The Justice League
Credit: DC Studios/Warner bros.

Unfortunately, the entire lineup seemed doomed from the start, with Affleck’s Batman and Fisher’s Cyborg never getting a solo movie, fans hating on Gadot’s Wonder Woman, Aquaman (2018) and its yet-unreleased sequel being mired in controversy, and The Flash (2023) becoming Warner Bros.’s biggest flop of all time. It didn’t help that when Gunn announced he was taking over, he also announced he was rebooting the entire DC Universe, meaning everything released up to now wouldn’t exist or matter going forward.

With the release of Blue Beetle later this week, Gunn’s version has effectively kicked off, as it’s been described as the first official movie in Gunn’s universe, even though Gunn didn’t work on the film. The first official project to be spearheaded by the new DC head is the upcoming Superman: Legacy, which has been rumored to be a younger Superman story, a different Superman story, and something completely different altogether.

Henry Cavill as Superman in 'Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice' (2016). Credit: Warner Bros.
Credit: Warner Bros.

With the news that it would be a different version of events, Gunn announced that Cavill was no longer DC’s Superman, a move that prompted fierce backlash and outrage from fans. This came with the news that Cavill was also being dropped from his starring role in Netflix’s The Witcher series, replaced by Liam Hemsworth.

Fans slammed the decision, even more outraged when alleged news on Wonder Woman 3 leaked, namely that Gadot would be staying on as the titular character in the new universe even though no one else was (which has since been disputed with news that there’s nothing in development for Gadot’s Wonder Woman at this time). Although her films were generally well-praised by critics and initial reviews, since Wonder Woman: 1984 (2020) was released, there’s been a hate campaign for the film and Gadot, similar to what Brie Larson has faced as Captain Marvel.

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman on the battlefield in the DCU
Credit: Warner Bros. / DC

Now, however, Gunn has stirred some confusion with his recent comments about the Superman film over on Threads. A fan poised a question asking, “so in blue beetle at least in the commercial Jaime knows who Superman is, and you’ve said Blue Beetle is in your DCU. So is your young Superman movie set in the past?”


Post by @jamesgunn
View on Threads


In response, Gunn replies, “I was never making a ‘young Superman’ movie, just a Superman movie!” Gunn had previously stated that the upcoming Superman story would be “focusing on an earlier part of Superman’s life, so the character will not be played by Henry Cavill.” Afterwards, he walked back his statements, explaining that it isn’t an origin story, but would focus on Superman balancing the two sides of his identity: his Kryptonian background and his human upbringing.

The replies to the Threads comment are full of fans demanding to know why Cavill wasn’t kept on if the story won’t be about “young Superman.”

“Then why not Henry?” asked @smr0se. “Oh, so there was no reason to get rid of the best part of the DCEU then, seeing as it’s barely a reboot now. Was it just you wanted to erase Man of Steel?” demanded @ultimatemoviegeek. “Wait, so why not Cavill then? If you’re making a Superman movie that’s not about a younger Superman, why did you say Cavill was too old? Your worlds [sic],” @ntmoviereviews pointed out.

Henry Cavill as Superman in the DCU
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

The comment does seem to directly contradict his previous statements about the direction of Superman: Legacy, and fans are already upset about the possibility of Gadot staying on while Cavill was dropped. Between that and the confusion about what exactly fans need to know before going into Gunn’s future DCU, it’s clear that DC’s troubled reputation isn’t going away anytime soon.

What do you think about Gunn’s comments? Let us know in the comments below!

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