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James Gunn reveals his Superman inspiration mood board and it’s proof the character is in good hands

 Christopher Reeve as Superman in Superman (1978).
Christopher Reeve as Superman in Superman (1978).

James Gunn has revealed which pieces of Superman media have inspired his take on the iconic DC hero ahead of the release of his 2025 movie.

When asked on Threads about his inspirations for Superman – aside from Richard Donner’s 1978 movie – Gunn replied with a series of images from past adaptations.

The first image is from Superman #1 in 1939 – with the rest of the assembled collection winding its way through Superman’s long history in comics, shows, and other media.

Among the collected stories are Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s A Superman for All Seasons, the 1990s cartoon Superman: The Animated Series, and – curiously – The Superman Family from the Silver Age of comics.

Perhaps the most eye-catching of the mood board-of-sorts, though, are the second and third images. The second is taken from Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's All-Star Superman, and sees the Kryptonian rush to save and console a suicidal teen by talking her down off a ledge, while the third is an image from Max Fleischer’s 1940s Superman cartoons, an adaptation that cemented the popularity of Superman and also saw acclaim for its kinetic animation work.

The final image shown is from 2021’s Action Comics #1035, a panel that heavily suggests Clark and Lois’ relationship will be the beating heart of 2025’s Superman.

While we’ll have to wait and see how these fragments of Superman’s history fully end up shaping James Gunn’s take on the character, it’s clear to see that the director’s head and heart is in the right place. And he certainly knows his history, that's for sure.

Superman, previously titled Superman: Legacy, is set for release on July 11, 2025. Alongside the first glimpse of Superman’s new suit, we’ve also had confirmation of a returning Fortress of Solitude.

Superman stars David Corenswet, Rachel Brosnahan, and Nicholas Hoult. It’s all set to be the first live-action instalment of the DCU. For more, read our complete guide to DCU Chapter One: Gods and Monsters.