Though the writer-director’s appointment as the co-head of DC Studios is an exciting one, James Gunn’s Superman movie is almost certainly doomed to fail. Despite its earliest entries making it an underrated movie franchise, the DCU has spent an alarming amount of time floundering. The announcement of James Gunn as co-CEO of DC Studios was undoubtedly a step in the right direction. Even so, his plans for the future may not be entirely bulletproof.
As the quintessential superhero, Superman should rightfully be a major player in any cinematic DC universe. However, since Henry Cavill’s controversial debut in Man of Steel, the character has struggled to find a true foothold in the franchise. This led to the planned sequel languishing in development hell for several years before being scrapped.
After being appointed as the co-head of DC Studios, Gunn offered an update on the character’s future. He announced that he was writing a Superman movie, Superman Legacy, about a new iteration of the hero. Though it might seem an enticing prospect on the surface, it may actually prove disastrous. Simply put, an examination of Gunn’s previous movies suggests that he might not be the best man for the job.
Gunn’s Superman Legacy Isn’t What DC Fans Want
It’s all too likely that James Gunn’s Superman movie will fail to capture the proper tone. The overwhelming majority of Gunn’s previous work has been laced with satire and occasional irreverence, making it a fairly safe assumption that his approach will naturally be somewhat lighthearted. What worked for The Suicide Squad, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Scooby-Doo won’t work for Superman.
Though Man of Steel was divisive, it did capture the essence of the character well. Superman is a character who carries an immense weight of responsibility – not something that lends itself well to Gunn’s off-handed comedy, well-loved though it may be. In other words, a Superman movie written in James Gunn’s characteristic style sounds truly nightmarish.
Of course, maybe we’re wrong. Maybe Gunn’s patented approach will change for Superman Legacy. Maybe his tongue-in-cheek humor will work for his new version of the Man of Tomorrow. Though he may surprise us – and we genuinely hope that he does – it’s entirely possible that Superman Legacy will strike entirely the wrong tone for long-standing fans of the character.