The slate is clean, he heads the studio, and director James Gunn is zeroing in on his picks for Clark Kent/Superman and Lois Lane, according to new reports, that will star in his Man of Steel-inspired project Superman: Legacy. The names up for the cape, especially, are ones we’ve heard but intel on the narrowed list of the top contenders varies.

All Star Superman #1 (2006), DC Comics

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Deadline reports Gunn is “watching the [audition] tapes now that press for Guardians 3 is behind him.” And, lo and behold, the names Nicholas Hoult and David Corenswet came up. Hoult needs no introduction and already has a much-publicized Batman audition behind him, but Corenswet is a relative newcomer with the period slasher-drama Pearl as his biggest credit this past year.

Joining them in submitting auditions are Jacob Elordi and Andrew Richardson, who might not be too familiar to our readers. The 25-year-old Elordi is an Aussie actor most known for Netflix’s Kissing Booth series and the steamy HBO drama Euphoria. At 6-foot-6, he definitely fits the height requirement, and his information is easy to find.

Nicholas Hoult as Renfield in Chris McKay’s horror comedy of the same name.

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Richardson is more of a mystery. He only has 12 credits on his IMDB page, one upcoming, but has done a handful of film and TV parts. His most noteworthy appearances might be on episodes of Fox’s Fantasy Island reboot and The Last OG, which are known quantities, at least moderately. Moreover, he has a theater background like Christopher Reeve did.

That lone detail may cause him to stand out, but even if Richardson lands the role, we still don’t know what good woman will stand behind a Superman. The search continues for his plus-one in Lois though there are top contenders. Among them are Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) and Samara Weaving (Ready Or Not), who theoretically are presumptive frontrunners.

Samara Weaving plays Scarlett in Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins from Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and Skydance.

However, they are up against Phoebe Dynevor and Emma Mackey, respectively noted for the Netflix series Bridgerton and Sex Education. Both are British and Mackey anecdotally has more prominent roles to her name – including Death on the Nile and the upcoming Barbie. Meanwhile, Dynevor has additional TV credits in episodes of Younger, Snatch, and the BBC series Dickensian.

Deadline says, “The last of the tests [for Lois] were submitted on May 4,” adding “Insiders with talent involved in auditioning have been told that the plan is for Gunn to watch every tape.” They don’t expect a decision right away, but predict the news of who is cast will be handed down “in the next couple of months.”

Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane #2 (1958), DC Comics

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The Hollywood Reporter contradicts Deadline’s story, saying their sources tell them “that some of the aforementioned are not screen testing and have merely been in the mix.” One source even “dismissed” the shortlist of actors for both Superman and Lois as “a chatroom list,” whereas a studio insider claimed Warner Bros. and Gunn “are nowhere near a decision.”

That aside, THR adds WB is really high on Nicholas Hoult, and has been since his turn in Mad Max: Fury Road, so they might be very eager to cast him as someone if not Superman. The leading theory is Hoult is a candidate for Lex Luthor although reports have surfaced, which THR mentions, that Gunn wants someone he’s worked with in the past.

Chukwudi Iwuji as The High Evolutionary in Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2023 MARVEL.

Chukwudi Iwuji as The High Evolutionary in Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2023 MARVEL.

Peacemaker and High Evolutionary actor Chukwudi Iwuji reportedly leads the pack in that case, and he may get an “Apex” power-up that alludes to an alien in the DCU other than Kal-El – J’onn J’onnz, The Martian Manhunter.

This indicates some padding of Gunn’s rebuilt universe that he confessed was going to take place. Superman: Legacy’s world will be lived-in and full of heroes.

Apex Lex Luthor

Apex Lex in Justice League #38 by Scott Snyder, Jorge Jimenez, Daniel Sampere, Juan Albarran, Alejandro Sanchez and Tom Napolitano; DC Comics

Gunn did address the rumors on Twitter noting, “For all of you asking, I would never comment on who is or isn’t AUDITIONING for a role. That’s the actor’s business only & isn’t something I’d make public unless they did it first after the fact (like Glenn Howerton or Zachary Levi having auditioned for Star-Lord & being top choices).”

He then admitted that one person had indeed been cast in the film, “For now, only one person has been CAST in Superman: Legacy, and it isn’t any of the regular players in the Superman world.”

James Gunn addresses Superman: Legacy casting rumors via Twitter

A week later, he indicated he would be spending less time addressing rumors surrounding Superman: Legacy tweeting, “I’m getting barraged with bulls**t DC rumors this morning. I’ll just reiterate the general rule not to believe anything unless it comes from me or Peter. But, unless it’s especially egregious, I’m going to slow down on calling shit out. (Sorry, I know, it’s one of my favorite traditions).”

He then listed three reasons for doing so, “There are three reasons for this: 1) Some people are making up lies to get attention from me or to get clicks & I don’t want to encourage that. 2) I’ve read a hundred rumors this morning. ONE of them is half-true. So I don’t want to be used as a way for people to throw nonsense at the wall until something sticks. 3) I’m storyboarding Superman Legacy and don’t have time! Have a great day!”

James Gunn Twitter

What do you make of these rumors actors up for Superman and Lois Lane?

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