James Gunn Unveils Which ‘Superman’ Stories Are Inspiring His Movie

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The Big Picture

  • James Gunn’s
    Superman
    reboot is influenced by the character’s comic origins, emotional depth, and iconic moments.
  • The film will explore Clark Kent’s role at the Daily Planet and showcase his relationship with Lois Lane.
  • Gunn’s vision for
    Superman
    ties into a larger plan for the new DCU, introducing various superheroes and potential spin-offs.



Story details for James Gunn‘s hotly-anticipated Superman reboot have been relatively few and far between, but we’re starting to get a sense of what his vision for the Man of Steel is as filming gets underway. A few inspirations for the film have been shared previously, including Richard Donner‘s iconic original film as well as Smallville and All-Star Superman for Nicholas Hoult‘s Lex Luthor. In a recent Instagram post, however, Gunn went further and shared a ton more of the Clark Kent stories that have heavily influenced his blockbuster and teased that “there are too many to count” when it came to his take.


Gunn’s primary influences stem back to 1939 as he shared an image of the cover for Superman #1. The first issue of the superhero’s acclaimed comic run depicted his origins and showed how he utilized his skills to win a job at the Daily Planet. Once again, Gunn also cited a specific story from All-Star Superman that shows the more human side of the Man of Steel’s story as he comforts a teenager named Regan after she considered leaping to her death. Animation was also clearly on Gunn’s mind, as he shared a still from the beloved Superman: The Animated Series as well as the 1941 animated flick Superman: The Mad Scientist, an inspiration that makes all the more sense with Perry White (Wendell Pierce) taking up a prominent role. Also among the titles Gunn shared were Superman #423 and Superman: For All Ages which show the emotional toll of Clark’s responsibilities as a superhero.


Announced under the name Superman: Legacy, the first film in the new DCU won’t be yet another origin story for Superman, but it may still highlight elements of that backstory and, specifically, his role at the Daily Planet. Gunn has managed to pack in plenty of other superheroes into the film, including Hawkgirl (Isabela Merced), Mr. Terrific (Edi Gathegi), and even the Green Lantern Guy Gardner (Nathan Fillion), but he’s also been emphatic about it being a story about Clark (David Corenswet) and Lois (Rachel Brosnahan) first and foremost. Some of his other inspirations further hint at how their relationship will take prominence with moments showing their deep love for each other.


What Else Is Coming From the New DCU?


The new Superman is shaping up to be a celebration of the character and his many varied appearances across all of media. It’ll also be connected to Gunn and Peter Safran‘s larger plans for the new DCU, introducing characters like Angela Spica (María Gabriela de Faría), aka The Engineer, ahead of a potential The Authority movie. Beyond the Man of Steel, the new cinematic universe will see its first entry come later this year with the animated Creature Commandos series penned by Gunn. Further off in the horizon, a new Batman movie, The Brave and the Bold, is also due out in the next couple of years, finally offering a big-screen story focused around Robin.

Superman flies into theaters on July 11, 2025. Visit our full guide for everything we know so far about the upcoming superhero flick. Check out Gunn’s post below.

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