7 Actors Who Could Play James Gunn’s ‘Young’ Superman (Instead of Henry Cavill)
The DC Universe (DCU) has experienced quite a shakeup of late. With James Gunn and Peter Safran being named co-CEOS of the DCU in October, the changes have been swift and impactful. So far, the duo seems to be aiming to retire most of the regiment’s former heroes. One of the first to go was Henry Cavill’s Superman. Cavill was actually the actor who launched the DCU with his role as Clark Kent (a.k.a. Superman) in the 2013 film Man of Steel. He would go on to portray Superman in various DC titles on the big screen until 2016.
Aside from the release of the director’s cut of Justice League (Zack Snyder’s Justice League), Cavill went on a 6-year hiatus from the DCU as Superman. However, Black Adam, which premiered in October 2022, brought with it a cameo that held Superman’s long-awaited reintroduction. For a while, Cavill’s future as Superman seemed bright. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson began promising fans that a Black Adam vs. Superman was imminent, and Cavill himself took to Instagram to announce his return.
However, just weeks after Cavill’s return, Gunn and Safran took over DCU and decided to retire Cavill’s Superman in favor of rebooting the DCU entirely and focusing on a fresh start for the majority of the main characters.
Who will be the next Superman?
So far, Cavill’s replacement as Superman in the DCU has not been announced. However, Gunn did unveil the reason for Cavill’s departure. In a Tweet, he revealed that a young Superman project is on the horizon. While Superman will be a part of Gunn’s and Safran’s DCU, they are seeking to focus on an “earlier part” of Superman’s history. Hence, the duo seems to be seeking an actor younger than Cavill to portray the role of Superman.
This bit of information is not a lot to work with. However, here are 7 young actors who boast the star power, acting skill, and physical appearance to potentially take on the role of a young Superman.
Austin Butler is an actor on the rise in Hollywood after his electric performance as Elvis Presley in the 2022 biopic Elvis. In addition to Elvis, he has starred in The Shannara Chronicles and Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. He is slowly starting to be picked up by big franchises and blockbusters, too, as he will star in Dune: Part Two in 2023. In addition to being a trending and talented actor, he boasts the looks of Superman. At 6’0” with chiseled features, hair that can be dyed black, and piercing blue eyes, he is the spitting image of a young Superman. Fan art has already highlighted how natural he would look in the Superman suit. At 31, he may be veering on the older side for the role, but he can still pass for a young man in his 20s for a few years. Plus, fans are already putting in a good word for him with Gunn.
Another fan favorite that has arisen for the role of young Superman is Jacob Elordi. While he has less of an expansive resume than Butler, he is also a trending actor who has found star power among the younger generation. His roles in The Kissing Booth trilogy and Euphoria have given him a whirlwind rise to fame. Plus, the fact that he’s 25, has chiseled features, and stands at 6’5” also adds to his appeal as Superman. He is a perfect age, has the fan power, and looks for Superman, but, given his relatively fresh career, it’s unclear if he would have the acting prowess to take on a role like Superman.
Wolfgang Novogratz is another name that has come up in the discussion of who could be a young Superman. Like Elordi, he is another actor who has gained momentum and popularity with younger audiences. He is known for starring in Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, Yes, God, Yes, and The Half of It. Novogratz may not have the star power of some other choices on this list, but his experience in the coming-of-age genre could help him fit in well with the role of a fledging young superhero. At 6’3” with a fit physique and chiseled features, he also looks the part of Superman.
While many fans tapped Elordi as Superman, many also mentioned David Corenswet’s name alongside his.
Corenswet has been active on the Hollywood scene for over a decade now. He boasts credits in such works as Look Both Ways, Hollywood, and We Own This City. However, he is still in need of a breakthrough role, and Superman could be that for him. Meanwhile, he has the acting skills for the job with his impressive performance in Hollywood, combined with the fact that he started off performing in theatre and has been acting since he was a child. At 29, he is the right age for the role and also boasts Superman’s characteristics with his chiseled chin, blue eyes, jet black hair, and a height of 6’4”. It’s just unclear if DC would take a chance an on actor who hasn’t yet had his breakthrough.
Eli Goree is another name that arose quickly when it was revealed that DCU was looking for a young Superman. His name had already been in the running for Superman after it was announced Ta-Nehisi Coates was developing a Superman reboot centered on Calvin Ellis. However, young Superman offers another perfect role for the young actor. The award-winning actor has starred in Riverdale, The Peripheral, and One Night in Miami. Needless to say, he has proven that he boasts incredible talent in a wide range of genres. At 6’2,” 28 years of age, and the physique to portray a professional boxer, he is an excellent choice for Superman.
Adam DiMarco is another actor on the rise who bears a resemblance to Superman. He is most well-known for starring in Pillow Talk and The White Lotus. DiMarco isn’t the most prominent actor in Hollywood, but his roles in Disney channel originals like Radio Rebel and Zapped gained him a large fanbase. DiMarco also boasts an uncanny physical resemblance to Superman, plus charisma and acting skills. At roughly 31 years old, he is a strong candidate for a young Superman, and the role could give him his much-needed official breakthrough.
Fionn Whitehead only recently entered the film industry, kicking off his debut as the lead protagonist in the critically acclaimed Christopher Nolan film, Dunkirk. While the first film he starred in gained eight Academy Awards, he has gone on to star in Emily and the upcoming Great Expectations film. At 25 years old, his breakthrough in Dunkirk was unexpected and impressive. It wouldn’t be surprising for some big franchises to be casting their eyes on the relative newcomer, Whitehead, for future roles.
At age 28, David Alvarez is a relative newcomer to Hollywood, with his most significant acting credit being his role as Bernardo in the 2021 musical, West Side Story. Aside from West Side Story, Alvarez has only appeared in short films. However, he has been acting his whole life and was one of the youngest actors to receive a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for his stint as Billy Elliot in Billy Elliot the Musical. Nabbing his first feature film debut in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story is the only testimony needed for his acting skills. He’s also the right age for Superman, in physical shape for the role, and has the necessary experience and skill.
(featured image: Marvel Comics)
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