Warner Bros Should Take Superman Legacy Directors

Action Comics # 1 in 1938 saw the debut of Superman, and with that the modern idea of the superhero was born. The character was an Institution, an icon known all over the world. Like his comic book debut, Superman: The Movie was the first attempt at a big-budget comic book movie in 1978 and served as a model for future superhero films.

After the extinction of the Franchise in 1987 with the release of the critical and box office disaster of Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, various attempts were made to restart the Franchise, including a failed attempt by director Tim Burton, writer Kevin Smith and Star Nicolas Cage. In 2006, Superman Returns was released on the big screen but did not live up to expectations, and another attempt at a reboot of the series was released with 2013’s Man of Steel, which also launched the DCU films.

However, a direct sequel to Man of Steel was leved in favor of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and after 2017’s Justice League, the character was not seen again in the Film, except for a faceless cameo in Shazam! and animated appearances in Teen Titans Go! To the Cinema.

February 3, 2023 update: This article has been updated for all the recent news about DCU, including Henry Cavill, who is no longer portrayed as Superman, and recent news about James Gunn’s plans for the franchise, including the title and release date of Superman: Legacy.

Now Warner Bros.continues with a new reboot of the Superman Franchise. As part of James Gunn’s plans for the DCU, titled chapter 1 “gods and Monsters”, the Franchise will present a new Superman with a new actor replacing Henry Cavill. The film is titled Superman: Legacy and is scheduled to be released in theaters on July 11, 2025. Although not much is known about the Film, it is said that it will focus on Superman, who is about 25 years old at the beginning of his career, highlights his career as a journalist and also sees Superman trying to balance his foreign heritage with his human upbringing. James Gunn is writing the screenplay, but it is unclear if he will also direct the Film.

Warner Bros. and DC need to approach Superman: Legacy in the same way that they approached hiring Batman directors such as Tim Burton, Christopher Nolan and Matt Reeves by looking for the best directors who work with strong creative visions and whose work can fit into the themes of the character. Superman is one of the greatest fictional characters of all time, and he deserves to get the best treatment. That’s nine directors that Warner Bros. must take into account to direct Superman: Legacy.

James Gunn

Given that he is writing the script for Superman: Legacy and that the project is presented as the real beginning of the DCU, it makes sense that James Gunn directs the Film. He certainly has the experience that he saw working on the Guardians of the Galaxy and Suicide Squad movies. Peter Safran hopes Gunn will direct the new Superman Movie.

The real question is whether Gunn will have time. As co-chairman of DC Studios, he will have many other responsibilities, and you have to wonder if he will have time to make a massive movie like Superman: Legacy, in addition to his other responsibilities. Even with Peter Safran as co-director to run the Studio, the realization would take a long time. There is a good chance that he will direct the Film, but there is also a great chance that he will simply write the script and pass it on to another director. With that in mind, here are a few other potential filmmakers who could direct Gunn’s script.

Richard Linklater

Richard Linklater’s filmography is extensive and reads like a resume for an ideal Superman director. School of Rock and its Remake of Bad News Bears present a filmmaker capable of making populist enjoyment effective en masse. His animated films rotoscope as a Dark Scanner and Apollo 10 + 1⁄2: A childhood of the space age could be used as a blueprint for a Superman animated film in the style of the legendary Superman Shorts from Fleischer Studios.

Still, while many would imagine a Superman movie to be big, Linklater could potentially bring an angle to become smaller with the character and observe the details of more human moments with the character. As seen in his Before and Boyhood Trilogy, Linklater has a special eye for looking at the microphone and making it feel big, which fits the idea that this larger-than-life hero is still just a Kansas man trying to do the right thing. Dazed and Confused and Everybody Wants Some (with Superman & Lois Star Tyler Hoechlin) have a laid-back vibe, an easygoing energy that feels like the perfect Tone for a Superman Movie, much like Grant Morrison saw the character in writing All-Star Superman. Morrison Says

This quote fits perfectly with Linklater’s film style. James Gunn has already hinted that Morrison’s All-Star Superman will serve as the creative basis for the upcoming Superman: Legacy. Linklater could provide a much more human portrait of the hero and present a Superman film that, unlike Man of Steel, highlights the character’s human nature over his alien origins.

Rian Johnson

Rian Johnson’s work in Star Wars may be arguable in the corpus of every Star Wars film, but it was bold and what the franchises needed to break with the established form in which they had fallen. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a Star Wars movie like no other before or after, and the Superman Franchise needs something similar. The character is over 80 years old and countless stories have been told, and the film’s website tends to stick to similar conventions.

Yet it is not only Johnson’s trick of undermining expectations that makes him an exciting choice, but also the empathy of his projects. Notably, Johnson’s work in his secret projects such as Knives Out, Glass Onion and the recent Peacock Poker Face series features moral characters operating against a cynical world and retaining their own sense of goodness. This is a classic Superman story and the director would be a great choice to reboot the franchise. However, the director might be too busy because he is already working on a third Knives Out Movie and the status of his Star Wars Trilogy is still up in the air.

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