James Gunn Inspired by Christopher Reeve’s Superman for “Superman: Legacy”

In an interview with GQ.com, DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn explains how his upcoming film “Superman: Legacy” draws inspiration from Christopher Reeve’s take on Superman.

Gunn recalls how seeing “Superman: The Movie” was a magical moment for him when he was young.

“I remember when I was a child, I had seen Star Wars, and that was like such a big magical moment for me, and this [seeing “Superman: The Movie”] was the next big magical movie.”

With Gunn currently deep in casting the lead roles for “Superman: Legacy” he explains how important it is to find the right actor to play the Man of Steel.

“You know, at the time, they did exactly what we’re doing now. They’re going through tons and tons of actors to see who captures that spirit. The thing they don’t talk about much when they talk about Christopher Reeve, they talk about his pureness, his hope, his goodness. They talk about, you know, the way that he plays Clark as being so different from the way he plays Superman, and how he can turn that on in an instant. But there’s this playfulness about Superman, when he’s saving a cat, he’s got that wry smile. And that is one of the best parts of the movie is the playfulness of Superman. He enjoys what he’s doing. He likes helping human beings and he likes saving them.”

As for this thoughts on the Superman costume, again Gunn looks to the 1978 film.

“They just did the costume from the comics and they did it very simply, and it works really well. The colors work well. I just got a bunch of pictures from Warner Brothers’ vaults of the actual original costumes. I think the costume works really good and it’s just without frills, which was easier back then than today, because today people have seen a lot of different superhero costumes.”

As for how Gunn will tackle the Superman costume in his film…

“I think that, you know, what we’re doing is different. It’s its own thing. But I’m definitely influenced by what Donner did with Superman, and what Christopher Reeve did with Superman, and Margot Kidder, who’s fantastic in the movie. She’s really the heart of it in a lot of ways.”

You can read the full transcript of the interview at GQ.com.

James Gunn
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May 16, 2023 7:52 pm

Yes superman needs that charm/charisma back. That is what has been missing with the last two cinematic interpretations. Both routh and Cavill we’re given nothing to work with script/dialogue wise to convey this. Tyler has that charisma and I have faith that gunn can create some compelling dialogue/situations to highlight this aspect of the character.

Having charm/charisma does not mean ‘golly gee whiz!’ Which is for some reason everyone’s go to rebuttal for this type of feedback.

May 17, 2023 11:14 am
Reply to  sundevil82

Same and he’s saying the right things (for me); but it’s all in the execution of course. Time will tell either way. While I like Tyler a lot, I do wish he had more stature. Reeve had it all. His overall size made him come across as the “big guy” without trying to and that should not be discounted imo. Superman should be larger than life in multiple ways I think. Yes, I know, movie magic, but even Henry doesn’t have the stature, (not quite sure how else to put it) of Reeve or even a Routh to a lesser… Read more »

May 18, 2023 8:01 pm
Reply to  sundevil82

Agreed! People seem to have a negative image of “charm” and “charisma”, especially in this day and age of everyone criticizing everything. But a good example of Christopher Reeve’s Superman’s charisma is during the classic interview-scene with Lois Lane and Superman. Lois asks him, “Do you have a girlfriend?” ~ Superman responds by saying, “Uh, no I don’t. But uh, If I did, Ms. Lane, you’d be the first to know about it.” – It was smooth and charismatic which was charming to Lois. There was nothing cheesy or gee-whiz about that line. I can imagine James Bond saying that… Read more »

May 22, 2023 6:59 pm

STM was a success do to the times in general. There had never been a movie of that caliber on the big screen. Trying to re-capture that time frame and it’s impact is going to be tough. I don’t think going back to Reeve’s time and thinking it can be duplicated, can be considered evolving.

I just got through watching Black Atom. It was WAY better than what I’d been led to believe. The end with Henry in the proper colored suit, his hair done and even his size just disappointed me even more that he won’t be on board.