The Right People for the Roles
The Announced Clark and Lois for Superman: Legacy
The hype machine for James Gunn's first DC Universe film, Superman: Legacy, has already begun. Frankly, they had to get the hype going considering how poorly the last few DC Extended UniverseStarted as DC Comics' answer to the MCU, the early films in the franchise stumbled out of the gates, often mired in grim-dark storytelling and the rushed need to get this franchise started. Eventually, though, the films began to even out, becoming better as they went along. Still, this franchise has a long way to go before it's true completion for Marvel's universe. films were received. Black Adam was met with lukewarm reviews at best, Shazam!: Fury of the Gods tanked at the Box Office, and The Flash has essentially bombed as well. The DCEU is dead at this point and, even if there wasn't a plan to reboot it, the universe would have to be rebooted anyway.
Superman: Legacy is one of three projects we should expect from that newly rebooted DCU, to help set the new tenor and tone of the cinematic universe going forward. It, along with Creature Commandos on HBOThe oldest and longer-running cable subscription service, HBO provides entertainment in the force of licensed movies along with a huge slate of original programming, giving it the luster of the premiere cable service. and Max, and Waller, will show what has changed, and what hasn't, in this brave new world. For the Man of Steel, this means a new movie with new lead actors (sorry Henry Cavill and Amy Adams) in a different looking version of DC's comic book ambitions.
As described by Gunn, this new SupermanThe first big superhero from DC Comics, Superman has survived any number of pretenders to the throne, besting not only other comic titans but even Wolrd War II to remain one of only three comics to continue publishing since the 1940s. film will find Big Blue coming up as a new hero in a world that is already populated by heroes. That means that while we'll likely see cameos from other heroes (a subtle, or not too subtle, way to say, "hey, these guys will get their own films eventually"), the key will be a young, inexperienced Superman taking to the skies to protect Metropolis. And to compliment it he needs a new, fast-talking, no-nonsense Lois Lane. Who would fill those roles was a question for a couple of weeks, but we finally have that answer: David Corenswet and Rachel Brosnahan.
Who are these actors? Well, in the case of Rachel Brosnahan, you likely know her as the lead actress from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, where she played the eponymous Midge Maisel. Personally, I think she's a great choice for the role. She can lay fast-talking and brass with aplomb, and considering her mile-a-minute motoromouthed delivery from Mrs. Maisel, often steamrolling over other characters as she charges through her day, it's easy to see Brosnahan attacking the character of Lois Lane with that same gusto. I think this is probably one of the best superhero casting choices I've heard since Robert Downey, Jr. was cast in Iron Man.
As for David Corenswet, well, it's unlikely you've heard of him before. While you might have seen him in something, it's doubtful you remember his bit part stints in Elementary, the U.S. House of Cards, or HBO's We Own This City. In fact, his biggest role of note was as a love interest in the slasher flick Pearl (prequel to X). He was solid in the role, playing something of an All-American cad, but that's not the kind of performance you'd think of for Superman.
With that said, I don't think Corenswet is a bad choice to play the Man of Steel. You can't necessarily judge an actor based solely on the characters they have played. Chris Evans plays a ton of slimy douche-bags before taking on the role of America's Ass, Captain AmericaCreated by Simon and Kirby in 1941, Captain America was a super soldier created to fight Germany and the evil HYDRA. Then he was lost in the ice, only to be found and reborn decades later as the great symbol of the USA., and then went right back to playing cads in films like Knives Out. It's good for actors to have range, and someone like Corenswet just has to prove then have the charisma, and decency, within them to pull of everyone's favorite invincible boy scout.
And he does have the look, that corn-fed, down-home look. Superman, despite being from the planet Krypton, is most closely identified with the American ideal. Big, tall, brunette, looking like he just walked out of a cornfield and is ready to sit down to a plate of fried chicken. Corenswet has that look down naturally. And as a bonus for those who think Superman should only be played by Americans, just like James BondThe world's most famous secret agent, James Bond has starred not only in dozens of books but also one of the most famous, and certainly the longest running, film franchises of all time. should only be played by Brits, Corenswet is American, born in Pennsylvania. He has to base bona fides you want in Superman's actor.
Can he play the part? Well, that is something we'll have to see. He certainly held his own against Mia Goth's crazy-eyed Pearl, managing to not just play the cad but also show emotional depths in his interactions. You can see, in the right light, how he could bring depth and interest to his Superman, holding up against the power-talk of Brosnahan's Lois Lane. Naturally, Clark needs to get steamrolled a little, but the innate sweetness of his character is supposed to wear her down over time. From what I've seen of Corenswet, this is possible from the actor.
He will have to put on more muscle. While not small by any measure, he's not built like a brick house the way you expect from Superman. The Man of Steel needs to look like he's built, well, like steel, so you can't have someone that's more just athletic in the role. Cavill put on a ton of muscle for Superman, and then was able to parlay that into playing the superhuman (and also built like a brick house) Geralt in The Witcher. He's got to fill out the suit properly (although apparently they did already have him in the suit for screen tests, and he passed basic muster).
So I do think we have two solid actors for the leads of Superman: Legacy. I am more excited for Rachel Brosnahan as Lois than I am for David Corenswet as Clark / Superman. That's because, of course, he's an unknown quantity that everyone has to meet. Which, hey, when you think about it, that's the perfect place to be for an origin story of the Man of Steel. He can earn his place beside Lois, slowly learning to be her equal while we all get used to him, and it certainly makes from a more interesting dynamic than anything Zack Snyder was able to do with the Kryptonian in his DECU films.
The DCEU needs a shake up as it heads into being the DCU, and I think these casting choices are a good first step. A clean break from Man of Steel and the related films of that universe. It's a new Superman, a new Lois, and a new universe to populate (with only a few leftover characters that Gunn really wants to keep). Maybe this will lead to the kind of reset everyone has been hoping for. It can't do much worse than The Flash, that's for sure.