DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn has addressed speculation about whether his upcoming film 'Superman: Legacy' was originally intended to be 'Man of Steel 2'.
The announcement of the rebooted Superman franchise with a new, younger actor playing the Kryptonian hero, instead of Henry Cavill, who played the role in previous films, led to emotional tributes from Cavill's DC co-stars on social media and confusion among fans about the relationship between the two projects.
In a recent Instagram story, Gunn clarified that both Creature Commandos and Superman: Legacy were already in development before he and Peter Safran took over as the studio's chiefs in October 2022, responding to claims that the former was being "fast-tracked".
He also confirmed that Superman: Legacy was always a separate project from the reportedly scrapped Man of Steel 2, when asked if it had any connection to Cavill's Superman sequel on Twitter.
Superman Legacy was always a separate project.— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) February 19, 2023
It has been reported that Cavill returned as Superman in October's Black Adam during a time when Warner Bros. was developing a Man of Steel sequel. However, Gunn's confirmation that he was hired to write Superman: Legacy "over six months ago" suggests that the new film was being developed concurrently with Man of Steel 2.
It was. I was hired to write Superman Legacy over six months ago.— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) February 19, 2023
The success of Superman: Legacy is critical for the future of the DCU franchise, with some describing it as the anchor that will move the franchise forward. However, the revelation that Gunn was developing his Superman movie before Cavill's cameo in Black Adam is unfortunate for the actor, suggesting that a return to the franchise may not be in the cards for him.
Despite this, Cavill has expressed his commitment to the franchise, leading some to believe that there may still be a chance for his return, though it remains to be seen in what capacity. Superman: Legacy is currently slated for release on July 11, 2025.