James Gunn Surprisingly Ditches Jimmy Olsen Race-Swapping Trend, Casts Skyler Gisondo As Red-Headed Reporter In ‘Superman: Legacy’
Credit where credit is due: In breaking from Hollywood’s recent trend of race-swapping the intrepid photojournalist for all of his adapted appearances, DC Studios head James Gunn has officially selected actor Skyler Gisondo as his choice for the role of Jimmy Olsen in his new DCU.
Known for such roles as Eric Bemis in Santa Clarita Diet and the rebellious Gideon Gemstone in The Righteous Gemstones, Gisondo will make his first appearance as the bow-tied redhead in Gunn’s upcoming Superman: Legacy, wherein he’ll star opposite David Corenswet’s Superman, Rachel Brosnahan’s Lois Lane, and Nicholas Hoult’s Lex Luthor.
Thanks to his role as one of The Daily Planet’s most trusted talents, it’s likely Olsen’s job will also lead him to come into direct contact with the film’s other confirmed metahumans, including Isabela Merced’s Hawkgirl, Edi Gathegi’s Mister Terrific, Nathan Fillion’s Guy Gardner, Anthony Carrigan’s Metamorpho’s and María Gabriela de Faría’s incarnation of The Engineer.
Further, as announced alongside Gisondo’s casting, Portuguese super model and Victoria’s Secret Angel Sara Sampio will also make an appearance in Metropolis as Luthor’s seductive assistant Eve Teschmacher.
As suggested above, Gisondo’s casting as Superman’s Pal comes as a genuine surprise given the recent attempts by DC to establish ‘black Jimmy Olsen’ as a significant institution.
This push began in earnest in 2015 beginning with The CW’s Supergirl, wherein Mortal Kombat actor Mechad Brooks portrays a version of Olsen who is not only black, but also exists as the Arrowverse’s version of the Metropolis-based superhero Guardian.
Next, in 2022, DC once again race-swapped Olsen for their animated Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons, with Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero voice actor Zeno Robinson being tapped to bring this version to life.
Then came 2023 and Adult Swim’s My Adventures of Superman, which upon its premiere revealed to the world that Olsen had once again fallen victim to the entertainment industry’s obsession with identity politics, this incarnation voiced by Ishmael Sahid.
And while, in that same time frame, comic book accurate depictions of Olsen have appeared in such non-comic book productions as the animated Superman: Red Son and The Death of Superman/Reign of the Supermen films, the Young Justice animated series, and even Zach Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and even Young Justice, his roles therein are either extremely limited or – in the case of the Snyderverse’s version – end in his outright death.
Combined with the heavy marketing push DC gave to the above trio of race-swapped Olsens, it’s not hard to see that the classic red-headed version of the classic character was slowly but surely being nudged towards the recesses of history.
At current, Gunn’s Superman: Legacy is set to land in theaters on July 11th, 2025.