Why James Gunn is directing Superman: Legacy

The cover of comic book All-Star Superman.DC Comics

There was exciting Man of Steel news yesterday when James Gunn announced he would be directing Superman: Legacy. Thanks to a social media post, we now know why.

In February, James Gunn and Peter Safran – the men charged with the task of shepherding the Warner Bros. slate of DC shows and movies – announced a huge slew of imminent projects.

One was a movie called Superman: Legacy, which would introduce a younger version of the Kryptonian. Meaning actor Henry Cavill was out of a job.

A release date was announced – July 11, 2025 – as was the fact that James Gunn was writing. But the film didn’t have a director. Until now.

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Why James Gunn is directing Superman: Legacy

James Gunn took to Instagram to explain why he’s decided to direct Superman: Legacy, with the main reason being his discovery of a “way in” to the story, with his script focussing on the character’s twin heritage. Here’s Gunn’s statement in full…

“Yes, I’m directing Superman: Legacy to be released on July 11, 2025. My brother Matt said, when he saw the release date, he started to cry. I asked him why. He said, ‘Dude, it’s Dad’s birthday.’ I hadn’t realized.

“It has been a long road to this point. 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.”

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How Krypton and Kansas will influence script

Gunn continues: “Then 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.

“So I chose to finally take on writing the script. But I was hesitant to direct, despite the constant pestering by Peter Safran and others to commit (sorry, Peter).

“Just because I write something doesn’t mean I feel it in my bones, visually and emotionally, enough to spend over two years directing it, especially not something of this magnitude.

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“But, the long and the short of it is, I love this script, and I’m incredibly excited as we begin this journey.”

So with that script ready and the director in place, Gunn’s next job is to find a young actor to fill Henry Cavill’s sizeable Superman boots…

Superman: Legacy will hit screens on July 11, 2025, and you can read everything we know about the project here.