James Gunn’s “Superman: Legacy” Deep Into Casting Clark Kent, Lois Lane & More
One of Superman’s many abilities is super-hearing, and this is sort of what many of the outlets that cover Hollywood are attempting to deploy as they track the casting process on James Gunn’s Superman: Legacy.
The names that seem confirmed as the finalists for the two lead roles of Clark Kent and Lois Lane are Nicholas Hoult, David Corenswet, and Tom Brittney all vying for the role of Clark Kent/Superman, and Rachel Brosnahan, Phoebe Dynevor, and Emma Mackey going for Lois Lane. The Hollywood Reporter scoops that writer/director Gunn, who is also the new co-chief at DC Studios, held screen tests over the June 17 weekend with the above-mentioned list and then assembled the footage to show to a deciding committee of top executives.
THR’s sources say that Gunn assembled the performers in predetermined pairs: Nicholas Hoult was paired with Rachel Brosnahan; Tom Brittney was paired with Phoebe Dynever; and David Corenswet joined Emma Mackey. The pairs filmed several scenes with the men in makeup and wardrobe as the Daily Planet‘s Clark Kent and the women dressed as journalist Lois Lane.
On Sunday, the men did more screen tests, but this time, in full costume as Superman. Mackey came back to portray Lois Lane opposite each of the three Supermen. THR‘s sources caution that although Mackey was the only woman asked back on Sunday, it doesn’t necessarily mean the part is hers, although one would be forgiven for wondering.
Casting is, of course, one of the most—if not the most—crucial parts of pre-production, and casting for Superman and Lois Lane in a movie that’s meant to kickstart the new DC Studios era under Gunn and co-chief Peter Safran is extra critical. For Superman, Gunn needs someone who can appear credibly wholesome, believably dorky as Clark Kent, and then look stellar in the Superman costume and believable as the Man of Steel. Whoever gets the role will be the first new Superman in more than a decade since Henry Cavill stepped into the role for Zack Snyder in 2013’s Man of Steel.
Superman and Lois Lane aren’t the only huge roles Gunn is casting for. The villain Lex Luthor is already drawing big names, with brothers Alexander and Bill Skarsgård both being mentioned. What’s interesting is Nicholas Hoult was initially wanted for the part, but he decided to try for Superman. Other roles include a new group of superheroes called the Authority, who make up part of a world in which superheroes already exist.
Once these huge decisions are made, Gunn will move towards filming Superman: Legacy in early 2024 in an effort to hit the July 11, 2025 release date. It will be the first movie to come out of his and Safran’s new look DC Studios, reintroducing the most iconic Superhero in the DC canon (we can hear Batman groaning in their Batcaves). There are still two movies from the previous DC regime yet to premiere—Blue Beetle and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom—yet Gunn’s Superman: Legacy will be the film that officially begins a new era at the studio. It makes sense to start with Superman, which is why getting the right man in the red cape and the perfect romantic and professional foil in Lois Lane are so important.
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Featured image: LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 22: L-r: Featured image: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – APRIL 18: Director James Gunn attends the press conference for “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.3” at the Conrad Hotel on April 18, 2023 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images); A Superman costume from the 2013 Man of Steel film worn by Henry Cavill and designed by Michael Wilkinson and James Acheson is on display at the DC Comics Exhibition: Dawn Of Super Heroes at the O2 Arena on February 22, 2018 in London, England. The exhibition, which opens on February 23rd, features 45 original costumes, models and props used in DC Comics productions including the Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman films. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)