James Gunn Confused by Conspiracy Theory Over Henry Cavill’s Superman Re-Casting: My Superman ‘Was Always Intended as and Pitched as a New Story’

James Gunn is debunking a conspiracy theory that alleges he already knew about Henry Cavill’s Superman re-casting while he was promoting “The Suicide Squad.” That timeline does not make sense, Gunn suggested in a post on Threads, as he was not in charge of DC Studios in 2021 when “The Suicide Squad” released. It wasn’t until Dec. 2022 that DC Studios announced Gunn and Peter Safran as its new bosses.

Some DC fans were accusing Gunn of lying about his involvement in Cavill’s Superman exit after actor Nathan Fillion was quoted telling Collider that Gunn told him at “The Suicide Squad” premiere party in 2021 that he would be cast as Guy Gardner (aka The Green Lantern) in a new Superman movie.

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“We were actually at the premiere party after ‘Suicide Squad’ and he [James Gunn] was in a huge crowd of people,” Fillion was quoted saying. “We saw each other in the crowd, and I congratulated him, ‘Oh, my God, that was amazing. It’s so great.’ He goes, ‘Hey, did Peter [Safran] tell you what we’ve got for you next?’ I said, ‘No, he hasn’t said.’ He looked around like someone was gonna be listening. We were in a throng of people, but he leaned over and said, ‘You’re gonna be Guy Gardner.'”

Fillion’s quote ignited fan theories that clearly Gunn knew when he was promoting “The Suicide Squad” in 2021 that he’d be taking over DC Studios and phasing out Cavill’s Superman. Gunn said around the same time that he wasn’t interested in running DC, so fans began calling the director a liar. According to Gunn, however, Fillion got mixed up and their conversation about Guy Gardner actually took place at the party for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” last year, which is well after Gunn took the reins of DC with Safran.

A fan on Threads recently informed Gunn that “a popular conspiracy theory” suggests “you were always planning on rebooting DC and making your own Superman movie when you first got hired by Warner Bros.”

“I don’t quite understand how that fits,” Gunn responded on Threads. “Aside from the fact I had no interest in running DC until Peter decided to do it with me so he could do the exec stuff & I could focus on creative, when I was hired to write Superman it was always intended as & pitched as a new Superman story. So why would I lie about not planning that at the Squad premiere which would have amounted to the same thing at the end of the day? How does this particular conspiracy theory make sense?”

Cavill’s Superman return turned into a debacle in fall 2022 when he showed up as the Man of Steel in the post-credits scene of “Black Adam,” headlined by Dwayne Johnson. The moment heralded the return of Cavill’s iteration of the Man of Steel and set up a future in the DC Universe where he’d go toe-to-toe with Johnson’s Black Adam.

The actor confirmed in an Oct. 24, 2022 social media post that he would be returning as Superman in a new Warner Bros. movie following his cameo at the end of “Black Adam.” The actor wrote to his fans: “I wanted to make it official: I am back as Superman … Thank you for your support and thank you for your patience. I promise it will be rewarded.”

Cavill’s Superman return was short-lived. Just over a month later, Warner Bros. and DC Studios announced Gunn and Safran as the latter company’s new bosses. The duo were tasked with overhauling the DC Universe on the big screen, and their plan included bringing in a new Superman actor to anchor their universe. It was an especially tough blow for Cavill, who had exited his starring role on Netflix’s “The Witcher” presumably because his future appeared to include more Superman projects prior to Gunn and Safran’s hiring.

David Corenswet is officially taking over the role of Superman in a new film written and directed by Gunn. “Superman” will open in July 11, 2025.

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