Before we learned that David Corenswet would be playing Superman in DC movies for the next several years, various outlets such as ourselves reported that James Gunn’s Superman movie was going to focus on a younger version of the character. It was an important thing to note at the time since Henry Cavill’s Superman during the DCEU was a guy in his early 30s (if that), so hearing that Gunn and WB may skew younger back then made sense.
But according to Gunn over on Threads, he didn’t conceive Superman: Legacy with the intent of focusing on a young version of Clark Kent. In response to a fan question about if his “young Superman” movie would be set in the past, the director/writer responded by stating that he was “never making a ‘young Superman’ movie, just a Superman movie.” Part of the confusion about if this movie would constitute as a Young Superman flick is that late last year, Gunn said his film would “focus on an earlier part of Superman’s life,” hence why he didn’t just bring Cavill along for the ride after Black Adam had already teed up his return.
Like other comic book characters across the Big Two, Superman’s age is one of those things you’re not really meant to think about until the story demands you do so, like when he has a kid or his hair starts greying. That’s the MO for his various media appearances over the decades, too: the DCAU never really had a hard age on him, for example, while Young Justice (a show where all characters visibly age) has him at 43 years old by the time of its fourth and final season. And in Smallville and the old Legion of Superheroes cartoon, he’s a teenager who gradually ages up as his powers pull double duty as a puberty metaphor and also show him growing into his heroic identity. And the currently airing My Adventures with Superman series puts him in the vague age range of being a “20-something,” but you can reasonably assume he’s still in his very early 20s.
While Superman: Legacy may not have a “young” version of the character in the way we normally think, it may be that he’ll still feel like a bit of a kid when he’s rubbing shoulders with other heroes for the first time in his life. We’ll find out more when the movie (possibly) releases on July 11, 2025.
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