Characterizing the past decade as challenging for DC Studios would be an understatement. While Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight trilogy saw success, DC has grappled with establishing a cinematic universe comparable to Marvel's. Interestingly, recent triumphs for DC include Todd Phillips' Joker and Matt Reeves' The Batman, both operating outside the larger DC Extended Universe. James Gunn is now tasked with revitalizing the DC Universe, starting with Superman: Legacy in 2025. As filming for Superman: Legacy commences in early 2024, Gunn and his team must prioritize the essence of the hero in this fresh adaptation.

Selflessness Defines Superman as a Hero.
Superman Legacy: Release Date, Cast, Plot, Leaks & Rumors | Beebom

David Corenswet, the star of Superman: Legacy, faces formidable expectations as he takes on the iconic role. The legacy of the "Man of Tomorrow" is carried by the illustrious performances of past actors, including the noteworthy portrayals by Brandon Routh and Henry Cavill. However, Christopher Reeve stands as the epitome of Clark Kent, not merely due to his acting prowess but for the authentic heroism he embodied. Reeve's Superman wasn't driven solely by defeating villains or fulfilling a predetermined destiny; instead, he genuinely sought to aid those in peril and guide them to safety. While one might assume such a trait is inherent in any Superman film, it's surprising how frequently contemporary superheroes need reminders to prioritize the act of "saving people."

In contrast to the action-packed sequences prevalent in recent DC films, Richard Donner's Superman: The Movie adopts a more leisurely pace with fewer major action scenes, and Superman, portrayed by Reeve, has limited interactions with the main antagonist, Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman). However, the film's greatness lies in its depiction of why Clark Kent is spurred into action. Reeve's Kent harbors no personal animosity towards Luthor, and the guidance from his late father Jor-El (Marlon Brando) isn't the sole driving force. Instead, Superman finds fulfillment in saving people, emphasizing his selflessness as a captivating and optimistic representation within the DC Universe.

James Gunn has affirmed that Superman: Legacy will forgo the character's origin story, recognizing its frequent portrayal on screen and the potential for redundancy. While this omission may provide a fresher take, it remains crucial for the film to highlight how the collapse of Superman's home planet, Krypton, serves as a profound source of inspiration. Despite Superman's tagline being "Truth, Justice, and the American Way," he fundamentally represents an immigrant striving to bring peace to his new home. Leveraging the pacifistic nature of the titular character, Superman: Legacy stands to offer a timely portrayal of optimism, especially in light of the disconcerting real-world events in recent years.