James Gunn’s relaunch of the DC cinematic universe (mark eleventy hundred or whatever) is his Superman film, Superman: Legacy. It is tipped to start filming in January, multiple strike statuses pending, of course. But casting is happening right now, and The Hollywood Reporter has the rundown on the potential new faces of Metropolis…sort of. I cannot emphasize how early this is, premature even, and even THR has a source who says some of these names are “a chatroom list”.
A lot of this is basically watercooler talk, but since whoever is tapped to play the new, 20-something Clark Kent will have to undergo a body transformation—I assume, because the internet nerds would spontaneously combust if someone tried the strung-out physicality Robert Pattinson got away with in The Batman for uber-mensch Superman—they will have to cast that role soon-ish. THR’s timeline puts screen tests after the US Memorial Day holiday, which means casting in June, the actor would then have six months to get in (even better) shape, so that all tracks.
But let’s talk about these names, which again, are at least somewhat wishful thinking on some studio flak’s part. The alleged early frontrunner for Clark Kent is David Corenswet, a 29-year-old Julliard graduate who lists his height as 6 ft 4, the same height as Christopher Reeve. He appeared in Pearl opposite Mia Goth, and also had a small role in We Own This City, the devastating corrupt cop drama from George Pelecanos and David Simon that no one watched (but it is really, really excellent, and a great antidote to procedural copaganda).
No one else in the early running has their name circulating in public, which sort of makes me think Corenswet’s team is one of THR’s sources and they’re trying the classic “Jessica Alba intimidation tactic”, that if they get his name out and make it seem like he’s all but got it in the bag, his competition might just throw in the towel (it worked on Rachel McAdams, back in the Fantastic Four days). Also, Euphoria’s Jacob Elordi was an early tip to play Superman, but apparently, he never even threw his hat into the ring.
As for the role of villain supreme Lex Luthor, Nicholas Hoult is apparently the one to beat. Now, no one will warn you about counting chickens and all that more than Nicholas Hoult, who got down to final-round casting of Top Gun: Maverick, Mission: Impossible VII, and The Batman only to lose out on every role. Hoult is one of cinema’s best silly boys and would make a SPECTACULAR Luthor—in the vein of Gene Hackman’s camp-adjacent performance in the Richard Donner films—but again, this THR exclusive is laced with caveats and maybes, and Nicholas Hoult, in particular, has a bad track record with being tipped for major roles only for it not to come through, so let’s all keep our saltshakers handy.
As for intrepid reporter Lois Lane, there is a list of names: Emma Mackey, Rachel Brosnahan, Samara Weaving, and Phoebe Dynevor. Right off the bat, I can see Samara Weaving or Rachel Brosnahan playing a great Lois, but Phoebe Dynevor has the most potential to be a pleasant surprise as a hard-charging investigative reporter. The key to playing Lois is that she has to be believable as both a savvy journalist, but also a compassionate enough person to catch Superman’s eye. She appeals to both sides of Clark/Kal-El. Weaving and Brosnahan can definitely deliver that. But again, this list might be 80% bullsh-t, it’s still early in the process.
However, THR notes that Brosnahan “may be in the older range” to play Lois. Rachel Brosnahan is 32. THIRTY-TWO. Also, David Corenswet, supposed Superman frontrunner, is 29. Not only is the age difference between 32 and 29 negligible, but if you’re looking for a 20-something Superman, casting a 29-year-old defeats the purpose. He’ll turn 30 before the movie ever comes out and spend most of his time with the franchise in his 30s. If you want a 20-something, you’re going to have to cast someone who will be in their 20s for a while, otherwise, what you’re really talking about is a 30-something Superman. I just cannot believe in the year of our lady 2023 some idiot somewhere uttered into existence the notion that Brosnahan at 32 might be “too old” to play opposite a 29-year-old Superman. I mean, I can believe it, but STILL.