James Gunn’s Superman: DCU movie release date, confirmed cast, plot rumors, and more

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Superman’s DCU movie: key information

– Releasing in theaters worldwide in July 2025
– First film to be released as part of DCU Chapter One
– Previously called Superman: Legacy
– Filming underway as of March 2024
– DC Studios co-head James Gunn wrote the script and will direct the movie
– Full cast confirmed
– No trailer or plot details revealed yet
– Could draw inspiration from Kingdom Come comic book miniseries
– Might set up other movies and TV shows in rebooted DC Cinematic Universe

James Gunn's Superman movie will usher in a new era of big-screen storytelling for DC Studios. 

With the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) having run its course, the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy filmmaker has joined forces with Peter Safran to co-develop DC's rebooted cinematic universe – known as the DCU – and potentially deliver Marvel-style money-spinning results for parent company Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD).

Spearheading the DCU's silver screen charge is Superman (formerly called Superman: Legacy), which arrives in theaters in mid-2025. Now that filming is underway on the highly anticipated DCU Chapter One movie, you'll want to read everything we know so far. In this guide, you'll find a complete round-up of the news and rumors surrounding Gunn's Man of Steel-starring film, including its official release date, confirmed cast, plot speculation, and more. Potential spoilers follow for 2025's Superman.

Superman release date

Superman is set to take flight on July 11, 2025. The legendary DC superhero's next theatrical outing was revealed in January 2023 when Gunn confirmed the full DCU Chapter One movie and TV show line-up.

July 2025 is looking like a tasty month for fans of superhero movies. The Fantastic Four, which marks the iconic quartet's MCU debut, will be released two weeks later on July 25. If the DCU Chapter One and Marvel Phase 5 films' launch dates don't change, the world's two biggest comic book companies will go head-to-head on the big screen in a battle for the ages. Color us excited.

Superman cast

Here's the confirmed cast for Gunn's Superman movie so far:

  • David Corenswet as Clark Kent/Superman
  • Rachel Brosnahan as Lois Lane
  • Nicholas Hoult as Lex Luthor
  • Nathan Fillion as Guy Gardner/Green Lantern
  • Isabela Merced as Hawkgirl
  • Edi Gathegi as Michael Holt/Mister Terrific
  • Anthony Carrigan as Rex Mason/Metamorpho
  • Maria Gabriela de Faria as Angela Spica/The Engineer
  • Sara Sampaio as Eve Teschmacher
  • Skyler Gisondo as Jimmy Olsen
  • Wendell Pierce as Perry White
  • Terence Rosemore as Otis
  • Sean Gunn as Maxwell Lord
  • Milly Alcock as Supergirl

Following months of speculation, Corenswet (The Politician, Pearl) was confirmed to be the latest actor tasked with bringing Krypton's most famous son to life in a live-action project. His hiring was revealed in June 2023 alongside Rachel Brosnahan's (Prime Video's The Marvelous Mrs Maisel), who was unveiled as Clark Kent's perpetual love interest and Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane.

Meanwhile, Hoult (X-Men, Mad Max: Fury Road) will play Superman's most iconic adversary; the actor reportedly accepted the role of Lex Luthor in November 2023 before his casting was officially announced days later. He'll be joined by Teschmacher (played by Sombra's Sampaio), aka Luthor's assistant and love interest in the comics. It's unclear if they'll be the primary villains of Gunn's Superman film or if they're being set up as the Kryptonian's antagonists-in-chief for a later project. Rosemore (Outer Banks) will portray one of Luthor's henchmen, Otis.

There are plenty of other Superman-adjacent characters who'll appear. Pierce (The Wire) has been cast as Perry White, the Daily Planet's tough but fair editor-in-chief, while Gisondo (Licorice Pizza) is on board as Jimmy Olsen, the Daily Planet's photographer and friend to Kent and Lane. Maxwell Lord, who is ordinarily a Wonder Woman villain, will also make a brief appearance: Sean Gunn, James' brother and frequent collaborator (he appeared in the Guardians films and The Suicide Squad), will play him.

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There'll be more superpowered individuals than just Corenswet's Superman, however. We expect most to have minor supporting roles in one of the DCU Chapter One's most exciting movies, but they're nonetheless fascinating inclusions.

The most notable of those is Supergirl, who'll be played by Milly Alcock (House of the Dragon). She was one of two finalists Gunn was considering for Supergirl, aka Kara Zor-El, before her casting as Superman's cousin was confirmed on January 29. However, according to Gunn on Threads, Supergirl might not cameo in Superman after all, so this might be one cast addition that isn't actually true. Batman won't show up, either, as Gunn confirmed on Threads.

Even without Supergirl, plenty more superheroes will show up. Fillion (The Suicide Squad, Firefly) is playing the Guy Gardner version of Green Lantern, one of many individuals who have assumed the role of one of the Green Lantern Corps, i.e. the galaxy's intergalactic law enforcers. Merced (Madame Web, The Last of Us season 2) is on board as Hawkgirl – a Justice League of America member who's a near-identical character to Black Adam's Hawkman. She can fly, uses various weapons, and comes equipped with the usual superhuman strength, stamina, reflexes, and ability to heal quickly, among others.

Gathegi (For All Mankind, The Harder They Fall) portrays Mister Terrific, a scientist-turned-superhero who uses floating orbs known as T-spheres to imbue himself with superhuman abilities. Carrigan (Barry) is set to play Metamorpho, an archaeologist who acquires superpowers that enable him to alter his body's atoms to change shape, become more elastic/stronger, and survive attacks that few other heroes could. 

Last on the metahuman front, De Faria (Deadly Class) will tackle the role of Spica/The Engineer, a member of another DC supergroup known as The Authority. This super team – one unafraid to resort to extreme measures to save the day – is getting a standalone Chapter One movie, too, so expect Superman to put some loose plot threads in place before The Authority enters full development.

Superman story speculation

A screenshot of a comic book cover showing Superman and other DC superheroes in the Kingdom Com comic miniseries

There’s evidence that 2025’s Superman will be partly inspired by the Kingdom Come comic book series. (Image credit: DC Comics)

Predictably, there's no plot synopsis for Superman yet, but Gunn hasn't been shy about revealing the comic book series that are influencing his Man of Steel movie.

For starters, it's not another origins story for Krypton's most famous son. Taking to Threads in February, Gunn categorically said his Superman movie would begin with Kal-El already living on Earth, adding there would be no re-treading of old ground when it comes to his well-known backstory.

Meanwhile, when the flick's director teased the DC superhero's new suit on Instagram in early March, it all but confirmed that 2025's Superman movie was seeking inspiration from Mark Waid and Alex Ross' Kingdom Come. A 1996 Elseworlds miniseries, the four-issue run showed a world-weary Clark Kent come out of retirement (alongside the rest of the Justice League) to put a bunch of new, morally complex, and violent superheroes in their place.

It's highly unlikely that Gunn's Superman film will be a beat-for-beat retelling of Kingdom Come – indeed, the Kent in that comic series is older than Corenswet's iteration, who's reportedly in his mid-20s. It won't see Kent battle his fellow metahumans, either. However, users on Reddit seem to think we'll see a reverse-engineered version of Kingdom Come's story unfold in this film, with Corenswet's youthful, enthusiastic Supes potentially helping some of Earth's battle-hardened superhumans to rediscover their protection-based sense of purpose.

@rachelbrosnahan

A supervillain, a journalist and an alien walk into a bar…

♬ Superman 1978- Main Theme – Geek Music

Before Kent embarks on a quest to re-energize his fellow superheroes' commitment to protecting Earth, he'll need to deal with his own demons – chief among those being his sense of isolation.

To that end, Kent will spend most of his superhero life living alone in his iconic Fortress of Solitude. Norwegian outlet vg.no has already revealed that Superman is filming in Svalbard, and Gunn says his flick will show the Kryptonian “fleeing” to his Arctic base of operations at some point. It's unclear when or why Kent does so, but you can expect his character arc to center on feelings of alienation before he finds the courage to move past his trauma and sense of being an outcast. Speaking to Variety in April 2023, Gunn confessed to wanting a protagonist “who you want to give a hug”, further underlining his penchant for wanting the DCU's Kent to be a solitary figure.

Amid all that, Kent will also be employed as a roving reporter for the Daily Planet – Metropolis' news outlet – where he works alongside Lois Lane, Perry White, and Jimmy Olsen. We're not sure how much of Kent's civilian life we'll see in the film but, if he's not actively operating as his superhero alias until later in the movie (well, in the public eye, anyway) we suspect its first act will be based around his Daily Planet job, interactions with his colleagues, and finding his place in the universe.

Fans can also expect other Superman comics, themes, and imagery to be woven into his latest cinematic adventure. Grant Morrison's All-Star Superman, Jeph Loeb's Superman For All Seasons, Phillip Kennedy Johnson's Superman: The Warworld Saga, Tom King's Superman: Up In The Sky, and the character's Golden Age comics are all big influences (per Gunn's Threads account). Richard Donner's Christopher Reeve-starring Superman movies, particularly the first two, have also impacted its development.

As for other possible plot threads, we can't comment on anything else. There's a chance snippets about Superman's story may leak out while it's being filmed, such as its primary villain and when Supes will meet his fellow metahumans. For now, this is as much as we can speculate on.

Superman trailer: is there one?

Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel in 1978's Superman

James Gunn’s Superman will draw inspiration from the Christopher Reeve-starring Man of Steel movies. (Image credit: Columbia Pictures)

No – and we won't get one until Q1 2025 at the very earliest. We'll update this section once one is eventually released.

Where to watch every Superman movie to date

Henry Cavill's Superman stands in court in Batman vs Superman

Henry Cavill’s Superman movies are available to stream on Max in the US. (Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Want to know where to stream every Superman movie (or films that he features in) to date? Read the list below to see which streaming services you'll need to watch them:

  • Superman (1978) – Max (US), Sky (UK), Binge (Australia)
  • Superman II (1981) – Max (US), Sky (UK), rent or buy (Australia)
  • Superman III (1983) – Max (US), Sky (UK), rent or buy (Australia)
  • Superman IV: The Quest For Peace (1987) – Max (US), Sky (UK), rent or buy (Australia)
  • Superman Returns (2006) – Max (US), Sky (UK), Binge/Foxtel (Australia)
  • Man of Steel (2013) – Max/Netflix (UK), Sky (UK), Netflix/Binge/Foxtel (Australia)
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) – Max/Netflix (UK), Sky (UK), Netflix/Binge/Foxtel (Australia)
  • Justice League (2017) – Max/Netflix/TNT (US), Sky (UK), Binge/Foxtel (Australia)
  • Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021) – Max (US), rent or buy (UK), Binge/Foxtel (Australia)

How will Superman set up other DCU movies and TV shows?

A screenshot of Zor-El sitting down in Tom King's Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow comic book series

Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow is sure to be influenced by Superman if Kara Zor-El appears in the latter flick. (Image credit: DC Comics/Warner Bros. Discovery)

We suspect 2025's Superman will set up two of its fellow DCU Chapter One (also known as Gods and Monsters) movies.

The first of those could be Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, which will star Alcock's Kara and be inspired by Tom King's comic book series of the same name. In November 2023, a bunch of new Supergirl movie updates were released, which included confirmation that Ana Nogueira would pen its script and that Krypto the Superdog would accompany Kara Zor-El in her solo flick. If Kara shows up in Superman, her cameo may lay the foundations for her first standalone film since 1984's Supergirl, which starred Helen Slater.

As for The Authority, very little is known about who's involved in its development. De Faria's The Engineer will definitely show up, mind you, so she'll be the connective tissue between her superteam's first big-screen team-up and Superman. Matthew Vaughn (Argylle, Kick-Ass) has tentatively been linked as its director.

On the TV front, one show that Superman might impact is Lanterns, a Max TV series that's been described as a superhero version of True Detective. Gunn suggested (via Threads) that Fillion's Guy Gardner will appear in one of Gods and Monsters' many TV productions, so it's plausible Superman will be the jumping-off point for Lanterns' story, too. We wait with bated Super-Breath for more details, Messrs Gunn and Safran.


For more DC-based coverage, find out how to watch the DC movies in order. Alternatively, get the lowdown on the best Batman movies or see which DCEU films made it onto our best Max movies list.

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