Superman: Legacy Teaser Hints at a Radical Direction for the Man of Steel
James Gunn announced Superman: Legacy with art from the best Superman comic ever.
In the tenth issue of All-Star Superman, Superman flies to the rescue, not to save a cat from a tree but a teenage girl contemplating suicide. “You’re much stronger than you think you are,” he tells her in a reassuring voice. This single page of just 25 words and four panels speaks volumes about the character of Superman. It’s little wonder the page makes the occasional rounds on Twitter and Tumblr, with anyone coming across it expressing wonderment towards its emotional elegance.
All-Star Superman was published between 2005 and 2008, sporting the combined talents of Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely. This seminal work is not only an uplifting story about the Man of Steel, but it arguably remains a great modern American epic with its effortless fusion of timeless sensibilities and unbound imagination.
Simply put, it is one of the best Superman comics of all time.
As such, it’s really not all that surprising that DC Studios is trying to make it into a movie — or at least that’s how things appear. On January 31, DC Studios co-chair James Gunn announced a new slate of DC movies and TV via a five-minute social media video. The planned projects include a new Batman reboot titled The Brave and the Bold, a Green Lantern series described as a sci-fi True Detective, and something called Creature Commandos.
But a movie designed to launch the new DCU is Superman: Legacy, written by Gunn and slated for theatrical release on July 11, 2025. Gunn didn’t speak at length about the project, only that it is the “true beginning” of the new DCU and that he’s writing the script. “I’m in the middle of it, I’m having a great time doing it,” he said.
Tellingly, Gunn’s quick breakdown of the movie used a very interesting image to summarize the movie: The cover of All-Star Superman #1, depicting Superman sitting on a cloud before a morning sun in Metropolis.
Gunn never said Superman: Legacy is an adaptation of any book, even All-Star Superman, but at an in-person press event for DC held that same week, allusions were made to the comic. Gunn’s DC co-chair Peter Safran said (via IGN) that Superman: Legacy isn’t an origin story. “It focuses on Superman balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing,” Safran said. “He is kind in a world that thinks of kindness as old-fashioned.”
“He's a big old galoot,” added Gunn. “He is a farm boy from Kansas who is very idealistic. His greatest weakness is that he'll never kill anybody [and] doesn't want to hurt a living soul. And I like that sort of innate goodness about Superman as his defining characteristic.”
Many of DC’s comics deal with Superman and his mixed heritage. Superman For All Seasons and Superman: Birthright are other great comics that poke and prod at the complexities woven into a seemingly simple character. But All-Star Superman is that story to a T. It tells of Superman, now suddenly mortal, who is trying to do all he can for the universe in the dwindling time he has left. And yes, it finds Superman splitting between his Kryptonian heritage and human existence, and the weird ways they unexpectedly mix.
With more than 80 years of stories to cull from, Gunn has no shortage of material to help him write Superman: Legacy. And it’s more than likely he’s seeking inspiration from multiple source texts, not just one. But if there had to be just one, Gunn could do worse than the best of them all.
Superman: Legacy is scheduled for theaters on July 11, 2025.