James Gunn Keeps Shooting Down Superman Ideas

James Gunn tells fans online that his new Superman's age is still undetermined.

By Mark McKee | Published

james gunn dc superman

James Gunn has a big job ahead of him; now that his Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy is coming to an end with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 (evidenced by this trailer), he can turn his attention to his responsibilities at DC Studios. The Suicide Squad director has now been put in charge of the entire DCU slate of properties, and one of those has garnered the most backlash, speculation, and frustration from fans. After dismissing Henry Cavill from the role, James Gunn continues to remind everyone that he never said that Superman was really young, just that he was younger than in his forties. 

The age ranges of the characters make a little sense if you take what Gunn has said in his reveal of the DCU plan (called Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters). And if you follow the Peacemaker showrunner on Twitter, he has never been shy about answering questions and addressing fan concerns. Looking at his past comments and the reveal of the Batman story means that James Gunn’s ideas for Superman are pretty straightforward about his direction. 

Starting with his revelation that the first film in the DCU slate is titled Superman: Legacy, he made it clear that this is not an origin story for the man of steel. He commented that the story would instead see a young Kal-El who is juggling his identity as both a Kryptonian and a human, all while serving as the caped hero. That means that while he isn’t the same age as Henry Cavill‘s Superman (late thirties, early forties), he is also not fresh off the farm in Smallville. 

james gunn dc

James Gunn also clues us into Superman’s age by giving us a sneak peek into the first Batman film in the first chapter of his universe. Titled Batman: The Brave and the Bold, it will follow Bruce Wayne and his son Damian, with an already-established Bat-family. While that means he will be an established hero, doing it long enough to at least have a teenage son and a Dick Grayson already as Nightwing, it also gives us a little insight into Superman’s age, as he definitely won’t be a newbie hero alongside him. 

The dynamic between the two characters has always been as contemporaries in the pursuit of justice and the protection of Earth. If James Gunn’s Superman was in his early twenties and Batman was seasoned, it would create more of a mentor dynamic. Hence, Gunn’s adamance that he never said Superman was that young and that people are speculating on their own. 

The truth is, there is no true way to know what Gunn is thinking or planning with his new chapter of the DCU. While fans spent months speculating on what the director was going to bring to the screen, he kept a fair amount of surprises close to the vest, coming out of left field with properties like The Authority and Creature Commandos. One thing is certain, James Gunn has made it known that Superman is a priority for his universe, and we won’t know what exactly we’ll get from him until he’s cast the part.