5 things we want to see in James Gunn’s Superman movie

James Gunn has shocked many DC fans with his announcement that will be writing an upcoming Superman reboot film without Henry Cavill. Instead of a traditional Superman origin story, Variety claims that this movie will follow a young Clark Kent when he just starts out as a reporter for the Daily Planet and meets Lois Lane. This follows the recent trend of comic book films that have glossed over the origins of familiar superheroes such as Batman and Spider-Man.

While many fans were looking forward to Cavill’s supposed return as Superman after Black Adam, this reboot film following the Man of Steel that Gunn himself is writing should be intriguing, to say the least. The Guardians of the Galaxy director has shown great success in adapting cosmic superheroes for live-action, and he even helped write a “Superman horror film,”: 2019’s Brightburn. Gunn seems fit to bring a new Superman to cinemas, but there are plenty of things his film needs to have to do the hero justice.

Clark as an investigative journalist

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Much like Matt Reeves’s The Batman focused on the vigilante’s detective skills, James Gunn’s Superman film should have Clark use his intellect as an investigative journalist to stop the film’s main antagonist. Perhaps a supervillain like Lex Luthor or Darkseid can be at the head of a grand criminal conspiracy in Metropolis that Clark must unravel so he can save the city.

Superman has displayed an extraordinary intellect that should make him as great a detective as Batman. His supersensitive hearing, X-ray vision, and microscopic vision should be useful in investigating crime scenes for clues as well. But that isn’t to say that Supes should operate alone. Lois Lane has also proven herself to be an exceptional investigative reporter and should serve as his partner out on the field.

Plenty of Superman’s enemies

Courtesy of HBO Max/Warner Media

While Superman may not have the most well-known rogues’ gallery, that is because many of his greatest foes have been underutilized on the big screen. Villains like Darkseid, Brainiac, Bizarro, Metallo, Mongul, and Lobo haven’t quite gotten the chance to make their mark facing the Man of Steel in theaters, so a reboot can allow some of Superman’s lesser-used enemies to shine.

The Batman successfully had the protagonist face multiple villains like Catwoman, Penguin, Riddler, Carmine Falcone, and even the Joker. Suppose Superman does investigate a web of crimes in Metropolis in this new film. In that case, the story could introduce many of the hero’s adversaries and have them all be part of this conspiracy to create aunique but cohesive narrative.

A more comic-accurate Lex Luthor

Clay Enos/Entertainment Weekly

Jesse Eisenberg’s eccentric Lex Luthor was an acquired taste that many people didn’t enjoy. Introducing a new Luthor that fits the mold of his comic book counterpart can revitalize the iconic supervillain for the new DC Universe.

The filmmakers should also take cues from some of the more beloved versions of the ruthless and power-hungry scientist, such as those played by Jon Cryer (Arrowverse), Clancy Brown (DC Animated Universe), and Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville). Audiences should also get to see him battle Superman face-to-face in his high-tech “warsuit,” which can show just how Lex can rival the Man of Steel.

A more optimistic Superman

Superman in "Superman & Lois."

One of the biggest issues audiences had with the DC Extended Universe’s Man of Steel was the somber tone surrounding the character and his first two movies. To many, Cavill’s Superman just didn’t feel like the symbol of hope that the world knew and loved. Though Christopher Reeves’s Superman set the bar for how the hero has been portrayed, Tyler Hoechlin’s run as Superman has been hailed as one of the best.

The latter’s version of the hero should serve as an example of how Superman should be portrayed in the modern world. The CW series Superman & Lois displayed the right balance of lighthearted optimism and grounded realism that should be brought to the character in DC films.

The start of a new Justice League


James Gunn seems ready to wipe the slate clean for the entire Justice League with the end of the Wonder Woman and Aquaman films. This will likely make way for Gunn to introduce a new version of the League, which should be easier this time around since moviegoers are already familiar with most of the members’ origins.

However, if Gunn plans to make a new super team for the DC Universe, he should plant the seeds for it as early as possible. Just as Iron Man set up the formation of the Avengers, Gunn’s Superman film could end with the Man of Steel being approached by someone like Batman with a plan to form the iconic group of heroes to defend Earth.

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