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James Gunn to Direct Warner Bros. ‘Superman: Legacy’ to Kick Off the DC Universe

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Superman has a director. Warner Bros. announced today that James Gunn, Co-Chairman and CEO of DC Studios, will be directing the first official film in the DC Universe, Superman: Legacy. In January, Gunn and DC Studios formally announced the first chapter of plans for the DCU, labeled “Gods and Monsters”. Part of that announcement included the fact that Gunn was writing the screenplay for the next Superman movie, which he described as “the true foundation of our creative vision for the DC Universe.”

No director was announced at that time, and it’s not clear why Gunn wasn’t set to direct the film from the very beginning. It could be nothing more than having many moving parts involved with leading the new era of DC films, combined with the fact that Gunn’s latest film for Marvel Studios, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3, is also releasing later this year. He’s obviously an absurdly busy individual, so it’s very possible he needed some time before being able to fully commit to directing Superman: Legacy.

This is absolutely the right move for both Gunn and DC Studios. Superman is the single most important character to DC, even more important than Batman. Batman may be more popular and sell more, but Superman has long been the central figure in DC, and getting the character right is critical in setting the tone for the DCU as a whole. Considering the importance of getting the character right in the first film of the DCU, there isn’t a better director than Gunn to kick off the new era of DC films.

Gunn has made clear from the beginning that All-Star Superman by Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly is one of the main reference points for his film. The book is considered one of the very best depictions of Superman, if not the best, and drawing from such a beloved source material is a great start.

Personally, I hope that Gunn doesn’t overlook another exceptional Superman story, Superman Smashes the Klan by Gene Luen Yang, which is one of my favorite books and shows much of what makes the character great.

Superman: Legacy is set to be released on July 11, 2025.

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JAMES GUNN TO HELM WARNER BROS. PICTURES’ HUGELY ANTICIPATED 

BIG SCREEN EPIC SUPERMAN: LEGACY 

Gunn also penned the screenplay for the all-new action adventure as he and fellow 

Chairman & CEO Peter Safran launch the first phase of their connected DC Universe.

Burbank, CA – March 15, 2023 – Kicking off theirmulti-platform connected DC universe – Chapter One, Gods and Monsters ­– DC Studios’ Co-Chairmen & CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran announced today that Gunn, who penned the screenplay, will also take the helm of the hugely anticipated Superman Legacy, with Safran producing. The all-new action adventure is set to soar into theaters worldwide on July 11, 2025.

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.  

Gunn will direct from his screenplay based on characters from DC. Superman was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

Superman Legacy is the trailblazing first title in a dynamic slate of films, with writer/director Matt Reeves’ The Batman Part II hitting theaters on October 3, 2025.

Safran’s most recent film, New Line Cinema’s Shazam! Fury of the Gods, is in theaters worldwide this Friday, March 17, from Warner Bros. Pictures. 

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Ron is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of POC Culture.  He is a big believer in the power and impact of pop culture and the importance of representation in media.

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