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David Corenswet And Rachel Brosnahan Are The New Superman and Lois Lane Of The DCU

By Brian Richards | DC Movies | June 28, 2023 |

By Brian Richards | DC Movies | June 28, 2023 |


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Yesterday afternoon, it was officially announced that after a weekend of auditions and screen tests, David Corenswet and Rachel Brosnahan have been cast as Superman/Clark Kent and Lois Lane in Superman: Legacy, writer-director James Gunn’s Superman adaptation that is expected to launch the newly-rebooted DC Universe for the Warner Bros. Discovery production company, DC Studios, which Gunn is co-CEO of with producer Peter Safran.

From Variety:

The latest on-screen iteration of the iconic comic book hero will largely be a workplace origin story, Gunn said when he and fellow DC steward Peter Safran laid out their narrative plans in January. Corenswet, who broke out in Ryan Murphy’s Netflix series “Hollywood,” will play cub reporter Kent at the fictional newspaper The Daily Planet. Brosnahan will be his coworker and co-lead.

Gunn is directing the project from his own screenplay … The project is set for release on July 11, 2025.

“It focuses on Superman balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing,” Safran said earlier this year when he and Gunn unveiled a lengthy block of planned DC films and series …

This is a star-making moment for Corenswet, whose marquee idol looks and Midwestern charm helped him anchor “Hollywood,” where he played an aspiring actor moonlighting as a sex worker in the buttoned-up 1940s. He earned widespread acclaim for his breakout performance in Netflix’s “The Politician,” as well as the celebrated horror indie “Pearl” from A24. He also wrote, directed, and starred in the web sketch comedy series “Moe & Jerryweather.” He will next be seen opposite Natalie Portman in Apple’s “The Lady In The Lake.”

Brosnahan has a well-established profile and a mantle full of golden trophies for her work on Amazon’s long-running “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” She broke out in Netflix’s “House of Cards.” She recently starred opposite Benedict Cumberbatch in Lionsgate’s “The Courier,” and alongside Christoph Waltz and Willem Dafoe in director Walter Hill’s 2022 western “Dead For a Dollar.”

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This casting announcement comes after a weekend of auditions and screen tests that were being held for the lead roles in Superman: Legacy, which involved three actors and three actresses who were tested together in pairs: Nicholas Hoult with Rachel Brosnahan, David Corenswet with Emma Mackey, and Tom Brittney with Phoebe Dynevor. Though the Internet shared their thoughts on who they wanted to see as Superman and Lois (according to a large number of fans on Twitter, Corenswet and Mackey were their top choices, enough that “David and Emma” became a trending topic earlier this week), it was Corenswet with Brosnahan who made the biggest impression on Gunn, and on casting director John Papsidera.

According to Justin Kroll of Deadline Hollywood:

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Corenswet is also the first Jewish actor to portray the Man of Steel (who was created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, both of whom were Jewish, and whose creation of Superman was partly inspired by the story of Moses), so this was another reason for celebration when news of his casting became public.

In a surprise to absolutely no one, social media made a lot of noise (both positive and negative) about Corenswet and Brosnahan being cast as Superman and Lois Lane, and signifying that the DCU was truly about to become a reality. As to what was being said, according to some of those tweets?

Corenswet and Brosnahan are perfect choices for Superman and Lois, and look like they’ll knock it out of the park. The very thought of Corenswet (who is apparently 6’4”) and Brosnahan (who is apparently 5’3”) being onscreen together as Superman and Lois is already an absolute delight. Brosnahan will give the people the brash, fast-talking His Girl Friday version of Lois Lane that they’ve been wanting to see. The casting choices are basic and predictable, and not as risky or interesting as they could’ve and should’ve been. (One of my Twitter mutuals believes that Stephanie Hsu should’ve been cast as Lois Lane, and I’d love to visit the alternate universe where this casting decision is a reality, and also where she’s the one who took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.) Corenswet isn’t attractive enough to play Superman/Clark Kent. (Yes, really.) Corenswet is just a downgrade from what we were getting when Superman/Clark Kent was played by Henry Cavill.

The 32-year-old Brosnahan is too old to play Lois Lane. (Mind you, this sexist and ageist complaint has been directed at nearly every other actress who has played Lois Lane, including the late Margot Kidder, Erica Durance, Amy Adams, and Bitsie Tulloch.) It’s actually a good thing that Emma Mackey wasn’t cast as Lois Lane, so that she won’t be harassed by DCEU fans on the Internet. Hoult being passed over for Superman after being passed over for Robert Pattinson in The Batman (and losing out on Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning because of his commitment to The Great) is both ridiculous and incredibly disappointing, especially for Hoult. Gunn is doing too much and trying way too hard to treat Superman: Legacy like it’s an apology for the DCEU, and will give real DC fans what they’ve always wanted from Superman, which is another carbon copy of what we got from the late Richard Donner’s version of Superman. Give Corenswet a chance to prove whether or not he has what it takes to play Superman, instead of acting like the gatekeeping fans who believe that the late, great Christopher Reeve is the only good live-action version of Superman.

When it was first announced last December that Henry Cavill would no longer play Superman, it sounded like Gunn’s approach to adapting the Big Blue Boy Scout would be more like the upcoming Adult Swim animated series My Adventures with Superman, in that it would be focused on a younger version of Superman/Clark Kent at the start of his careers as both a reporter for the Daily Planet, and as a superhero. But considering that Gunn auditioned actors in their late twenties and early thirties for the role, and that Corenswet himself will turn thirty by the time production on Superman: Legacy is expected to begin, it now seems more likely that Gunn will be making his own version of Man of Steel. For those who still have complaints about director Zack Snyder’s Superman film that launched the DCEU a decade ago, this is a very good thing.

There have also been rumors about the casting of Superman’s archnemesis, Lex Luthor. According to The Hollywood Reporter, their sources have informed them that there are two candidates in the running for the role: Alexander Skarsgård and Bill Skarsgård. Though there has been no confirmation of this rumor, the very thought of the two siblings competing to play Lex Luthor is an entertaining one. (Bonus points to this whole damn film if neither of them gets the role, and it ends up going to Skarsgård’s BFF, Jack McBrayer.) However, casting still needs to be done for other characters, including Daily Planet photographer Jimmy Olsen (Someone on Twitter suggested Sophia Lillis for the role, and it’s another fancast I wouldn’t mind seeing become a reality); Daily Planet editor-in-chief Perry White; Superman’s loving parents, Jonathan and Martha Kent (I’m already counting down to when Gunn casts Michael Rooker to play either Perry White or Jonathan Kent); and members of the superhero team The Authority, who are rumored to make their debut in Superman: Legacy before going on to appear in their own film.

As for die-hard fans of Zack Snyder and his trilogy of films in the DCEU (Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Zack Snyder’s Justice League)? Some of them liked the casting choices and were curious enough to wait and see what Gunn had in mind for his version of Superman. Some of them said they had little to no enthusiasm about this casting news and about Superman: Legacy altogether. Others couldn’t bring themselves to support the film, or the rest of the DCU, because they were fully aware of ALL the behind-the-scenes bullsh-t that Warner Bros. was responsible for that contributed to the DCEU not being a greater success, and needing to be rebooted in the first place. And a few of them feel that after Gunn said with his whole-ass chest that The Flash was one of the best comic book films he had ever seen, he could not be trusted, and certainly not trusted enough to get Superman right.

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It also didn’t take long for those same die-hard fans to express their love and appreciation for both Henry Cavill and Amy Adams, and for their own portrayals of Superman/Clark Kent and Lois Lane. Which led to the hashtags #BringBackHenryCavill, #BringBackZackSnyder, #FireJamesGunn, and of course, #SellSnyderVerseToNetflix becoming popular enough yesterday to be trending topics on Twitter.

No matter how the Internet feels about this casting announcement, it has made for a very welcome distraction for Warner Bros., and has given people something else to talk about other than The Flash being a box-office disaster, and the studio being even more of an absolute sh-tshow than usual, due to its atrocious treatment of Turner Classic Movies, as well as its recent decision to sell half of their film and TV music-publishing assets for $500 million. These are decisions that have not only made Warner Bros. look both incompetent and desperate, but also look like they’re on the verge of going broke. Which has left some people wondering if Warner Bros. Discovery can even afford to make the films and television shows on Gunn and Safran’s slate of content for the DCU.

Superman: Legacy is scheduled to open in theaters July 11, 2025. Unless the Writers Guild of America strike continues, and the SAG-AFTRA strike actually goes into effect, that is. And if things don’t change for the better very soon, expect the film’s release to possibly be postponed.