At long last, superhero fans have a new Man of Steel, with David Corenswet set to take up the mantle as the next Superman. The 29-year-old American actor will reportedly don the fabled suit for James Gunn’s Superman: Legacy, replacing fan favourite Henry Cavill as the great Kryptonian-American hero.
Corenswet, who is perhaps best known for his work alongside modern horror legend Ryan Murphy in The Politician and for the runaway hit Pearl, will be joined by The Marvelous Mrs Maisel’s Rachel Brosnahan, who has been cast as Lois Lane. The love interest of Clark Kent and by association, Superman, Lois was previously played by Hollywood heavyweights Amy Adams, Teri Hatcher, Kate Bosworth and even Megan Fox, in a bizarre Robot Chicken iteration of the iconic story.
However, the casting was not a straightforward signing. The Guadian reports that the pair were up against indie favourite and current Renfield star Nicholas Hoult and Bridgerton’s Phoebe Dyvenor. By all accounts, Hoult and Corenswet both performed screen tests in the iconic suit before the latter nabbed the much-coveted role with Brosnahan in tow.
“It would be extraordinary,” Brosnahan told The Hollywood Reporter of the role back in May. “I grew up watching Lois Lane, this incredibly talented journalist, far from a damsel in distress and I would jump at the chance if it arose.”
The new Superman reboot will follow a young version of Clark Kent, however, producer Peter Safran has already confirmed that it will “not be an origins story”. Speaking with Deadline earlier this month, Safran described the character as “the embodiment of truth, justice and the American way; he’s kindness in a world that thinks of kindness as old-fashioned”.
One person who may disagree on the ‘kindness’ front, however, is Henry Cavill. The new casting decision puts an end to long-held speculation that the Brit would be returning to the blue and red suit. Initially, Cavill had been set to reprise his role as Superman, after featuring in a post-credits scene of DC’s beleaguered 2022 film Black Adam.
Cavill even went so far as to post a heartfelt statement to fans, thanking them and confirming his return, only to have his hopes shot down just weeks later.
Black Adam’s poor box office showing, coupled with a string of failed projects saw DC scrap the production slate, handing the reins to former Marvel hotshot James Gunn. The Guardians of the Galaxy filmmaker had already dabbled with the company’s IP for The Suicide Squad and he spent little time making his intentions clear.
Gunn immediately set to work on reviving Superman, confirming that an entirely new cast and original story would take priority. The move effectively shuttered Cavill’s return, prompting the star to once again make a statement on social media.
With all the drama now behind them, Gunn and DC are moving forward with their new Superman: Legacy project and expectations couldn’t be higher. DC’s torrid run at the box office continued this week after The Flash fell sharply in its second week in cinemas. After opening to just over USD$55 million, The Flash is projected to drop by more than 70 per cent in theatres, in danger of becoming the second-worst second-weekend fall since Halloween Ends saw an 80 per cent drop last year.
The box office showing comes despite an all-star cast and a healthy dose of nostalgia-laden references, including the re-emergence of Michael Keaton’s Batman. Unfortunately, the film struggled to make any inroads with fans, which when added to the contentious allegations against lead actor Ezra Miller make for a famous film flop, akin only to the critically panned Shazam: Fury of the Gods.
With DC’s reputation outside of The Batman franchise, which is helmed by Warner Bros., in danger of disrepute, this new Man of Steel may be forced to do a lot of heavy lifting. Here’s hoping Corenswet is up to the challenge.
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