Superman: Legacy release date, cast and plot as Lex Luthor revealed

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a reboot

Superman: Legacy will be directed by James Gunn. (DC/Getty)
Superman: Legacy will be directed by James Gunn. (DC/Getty)

Superman last led his own solo movie in Man of Steel 10 years ago, but after many false dawns, Kal-El will finally take flight again in James Gunn's Superman: Legacy, with newcomer David Corenswet in the title role.

The fresh start for DC's crown jewel is coming to cinemas in 2025 and is being billed as the first entry in a planned universe of cross-platform storytelling — now known as the DCU. Following the lead of the MCU, the new Superman film will be the start of Phase 1: Gods and Monsters.

Here's everything we know about Superman: Legacy so far...

Superman: Legacy release date

Superman: Legacy is slated to hit cinemas on 11 July, 2025 – 12 years after the release of Man of Steel.

The release date was announced in January 2023 when James Gunn and Peter Safran, the new bosses at DC Studios, revealed their ambitious plan to reboot the DC Universe. Gunn confirmed the recent writers and actors strikes would not affect the release date.

Although, Superman: Legacy will be preceded on the small screen by Creature Commandos and Waller, the movie is considered as the true starting point for the new DCU.

In April 2023, Gunn announced that pre-production had begun on the movie, saying:"Costumes, production design, and more now up and running."

Superman: Legacy cast

David Corenswet is Gunn's new Superman. (Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)
David Corenswet is Gunn's new Superman. (Emma McIntyre/Getty Images) (Emma McIntyre via Getty Images)

After months of searching and secret auditions, Gunn finally announced his two leads for Superman: Legacy in late June 2023. Newcomer David Corenswet will be our new Clark Kent, Kal-El and Superman, while The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel's Rachel Brosnahan will be his Lois Lane.

Mad Max: Fury Road star Nicholas Hoult will be going bald once again to play Superman's nemesis Lex Luthor, according to The Hollywood Reporter, while Skyler Gisondo will play Daily Planet photographer Jimmy Olsen, and Sara Sampaio will appear as Eve Teschmacher.

Vanity Fair reported that Isabela Merced, of Dora and the Lost City of Gold, will play Hawkgirl, X-Men: First Class star Edi Gathegi will play Mister Fantastic and fan fave Firefly actor Nathan Fillon will play a Green Lantern. As far as the latter is concerned, it is not believed that Fillion will be the Green Lantern of Gunn's new DCEU.

Anthony Carrigan has joined Superman: Legacy as Metamorpho. (Invision/AP)
Anthony Carrigan has joined Superman: Legacy as Metamorpho. (Invision/AP) (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Barry stand-out Anthony Carrigan was later revealed to be playing DC hero Metamorpho, the alter-ego of Rex Mason, a comic-book adventurer and archaeologist who has his DNA super-powered after handling a cursed artefact.

In mid-November, Deadline revealed that Venezuelan actress María Gabriela de Faría had signed on to play the villainous Angela Spica, a character otherwise known as The Engineer. In the comics, The Engineer gains powers through nanotechnologies added to her body.

Actor María Gabriela de Faría wearing a shiny rose gold blazer standing in front of a red backdrop.
María Gabriela de Faría will play villain The Engineer in Superman: Legacy. (Getty Images) (Paul Butterfield via Getty Images)

She's also featured in the comic arc The Authority, something which Gunn is reportedly eyeing to include in his upcoming film. Despite starring in a number of projects throughout her career so far, Spica is expected to be Faría's breakout role.

When it comes to Superman: Legacy's two main leads, Corenswet and Brosnahan secured their roles after impressing DC bosses Safran and Gunn during an audition in full make-up and costume, according to Deadline.

Rachel Brosnahan will be our new Lois Lane. (Invision/AP)
Rachel Brosnahan will be our new Lois Lane. (Invision/AP) (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

This news lines up with comments Gunn had previously made about his new Clark Kent/Superman, saying he will be "younger than in his 40s". However, it also follows a long list of rumours linked to the project.

According to a report from The Hollywood Reporter in June, Gunn held screen tests for several potential Clark Kent/Lois Lane pairings: Nicolas Hoult and Rachel Brosnahan, Tom Brittney and Phoebe Dynevor, and David Corenswet with Emma Mackey.

The publication then claimed Hoult, Brittney and Corenswet had further screen tests in costume alongside Mackey, who they reported was the only Lois Lane contender to return. As it turned out, this wasn't the case, with Brosnahan bagging the role of the Daily Planet's top reporter.

Gunn is also reportedly looking into introducing The Authority in the DC film, a supergroup that Clark is expected to join during the course of the film which will feature a number of different heroes.

Kacey Ainsworth (Cathy Keating), Robson Green (Geordie Keating) and Tom Brittney (Rev. Will Davenport) in Grantchester (ITV)
Tom Brittney (right) as Rev. Will Davenport in Grantchester (ITV)

Samara Weaving (Ready or Not) was previously said to be considered for the role of Lois, Clark Kent's co-worker at the Daily Planet.

Andrew Richardson (The Independent/Daughter of the Bride) and Euphoria star Jacob Elordi were also considered for the part of Kal-El but do not appear to have made it to the screen test stage.

Responding to the casting rumours on Twitter in May, James Gunn neither confirmed or denied they were accurate, but came out to say that he would never comment on potential actors while they were going through the audition process.

Earlier in 2023 one well-known YouTube host suggested that Fury actor Logan Lerman was the "top choice" for the role, Gunn replied in March with a succinct: "For the record, I don't know who that is."

After some found this response a little blunt, the Suicide Squad filmmaker returned to social media to clarify his reply: “Guys, this isn’t a dig at the actor. I don’t know lots of actors’ names,” he added.

“Now that you tell me who he is, I recognise him from stuff and think he’s talented. But I’ve never met him, and he’s never been part of a conversation about playing Superman.”

While previously revealing that he was "making private lists" for possible contenders, he also pointed out that he had yet to have "a single talk with a single actor about the role.”

Why isn't Henry Cavill coming back as Superman?

Henry Cavill as Superman in 2013's Man of Steel. (Alamy/Warner Bros.)
Henry Cavill as Superman in 2013's Man of Steel. (Alamy/Warner Bros.) (Cinematic Collection)

Henry Cavill, the British actor who donned the Kyptonian cape in Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Justice League and Black Adam has officially left the role.

In December 2022, Gunn tweeted an update on the Superman reboot saying: "In the initial stages, our story will be focusing on an earlier part of Superman’s life, so the character will not be played by Henry Cavill. But we just had a great meeting with Henry and we’re big fans and we talked about a number of exciting possibilities to work together in the future.”

Read more: How did Henry Cavill become an internet darling?

Cavill confirmed his exit, posting on Instagram: “It’s sad news, everyone. I will, after all, not be returning as Superman. After being told by the studio to announce my return back in October, prior to their hire, this news isn’t the easiest, but that’s life.”

As for which other characters may appear in Legacy, we don't yet know. However, as the film is rumoured to cover Clark Kent's early career at the Daily Planet, we can expect to meet new versions of Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, and Perry White.

Superman: Legacy plot

Superman The Movie Christopher Reeve flying in front of The Twin Towers World Trade Center, New York in a publicity pose for the 1978 movie. (Photo by Screen Archives/Getty Images)
Christopher Reeve in 1978's Superman: The Movie. (Screen Archives/Getty Images) (Screen Archives via Getty Images)

Where previous Superman movies have explored the Man of Steel's origins, James Gunn's script for Superman: Legacy will not.

In a message shared on social media BlueSky, Gunn told a fan that he was keen not to repeat the past, writing: "I think we've seen his origin enough in film at this time!"

“It’s not an origin story,” Safran said. “It focuses on Superman balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing. He is the embodiment of truth, justice and the American way. He is kindness in a world that thinks that kindness is old-fashioned.”

Read more: Take our Superman quiz

Sharing an update when Gunn officially signed on to direct the film, Gunn said of the plot: "I was offered Superman years ago — I initially said no because I didn’t have a way in that felt unique and fun and emotional that gave Superman the dignity he deserved.”

The director went on to say that “a bit less than a year ago I saw a way in, in many ways centering around Superman’s heritage — how both his aristocratic Kryptonian parents and his Kansas farmer parents inform who he is and the choices he makes.”

Superman: Legacy is coming to cinemas on 11 July, 2025.