With Henry Cavill officially out as Superman in the DC Universe, audiences are anxious to see who will inherit his superhero mantle in James Gunn’s upcoming reboot film. This reboot will follow the legendary hero in his first years fighting crime and working at the Daily Planet in Metropolis, so fans can expect to see a fresh, young face fly through the skies with the iconic red cape.
The search for the right actor to play the new Superman will surely be a challenging endeavor. Despite this, DC and Warner Bros. have had a long and successful history of finding once-relatively obscure actors and turning them into household names with the role of Superman. Right now, there are plenty of rising stars who are ready to shine as the next Man of Steel, and there are some who have already shown they are perfect to play him.
Courtney is likely known best for his role as Lee Flynn in Netflix’s Kissing Booth trilogy. However, Courtney first became famous for his childhood role leading J.J. Abrams’s sci-fi gem, Super 8, for which he was given a Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Young Actor, along with many other award nominations.
Courtney has already shown that he is a qualified actor, and he’s already starred in the kind of alien adventures that Kal-El has found himself in. He also just appeared in the upcoming film Jesus Revolution, and based on its trailer, Courtney seems to capture the wide-eyed optimism and the worldly spirit that a young Clark Kent would radiate.
For those who may not remember, Fionn Whitehead had the lead role of Tommy Jensen in Christopher Nolan’s epic war film Dunkirk, for which he was nominated for an Empire Award for Best Male Newcomer. Despite this movie’s ensemble cast, he has shown with his performance that he is capable of carrying the kind of huge blockbusters that most superhero movies rank themselves among.
Likewise, Whitehead has had experience working in sci-fi, having led projects like the BBC series Him and Netflix’s Black Mirror Bandersnatch. All this shows that Whitehead is fit to join James Gunn’s new DC Universe.
Audiences have seen David Corenswet rise to prominence in recent years with his roles in two of Ryan Murphy’s TV shows, The Politician and Hollywood. He also recently starred in A24 and director Ti West’s beloved horror film Pearl as the projectionist, who had a real Smallville, Kansas vibe to him.
This alone is proof that this up-and-coming actor can bring DC’s favorite superpowered farmboy back to cinemas in Gunn’s reboot. But more importantly, Corenswet has shown that he possesses the charm and charisma needed to play a young Superman.
Audiences likely know Elordi best for his role as Nate Jacobs in HBO‘s acclaimed and cage-rattling series Euphoria. While it may be hard for some to see this despicable uber-jock as Superman, Elordi did play a more conventional teenage heartthrob in The Kissing Booth films. This shows that he has the range and experience as an actor to play the Last Son of Krypton on the big screen.
On top of that, Nate’s struggles with his masculinity and insecurity on Euphoria could translate to Elordi performance as Clark Kent, who is essentially Nate’s polar opposite. Part of what makes Superman so popular and relatable is his humbleness and vulnerability, so Elordi should know how to convey this character by not acting like Nate. And since his character in The Kissing Booth is a huge fan of Superman, perhaps his casting as the esteemed hero would be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Bearing a striking resemblance to Tyler Hoechlin, who plays Superman in the Arrowverse, Darren Criss has the look and skill to play the Blue Boy Scout on the silver screen. Not only is Criss famous for playing Blaine Anderson on Glee, but he also won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his riveting performance as notorious spree killer Andrew Cunanan in The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.
Such an acclaimed and diverse history as an actor makes Criss a worthy candidate to play DC’s first superhero in Gunn’s movie. And Criss is already ahead of the competition because, unlike the other actors on this list, he has already played Superman in film. Having voiced the Man of Steel in the animated movie Superman: Man of Tomorrow, Criss has already proven that he is capable of portraying the hero in live-action.