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James Gunn sets the record straight on two different Superman conspiracy theories

Despite what some fans believe, he hasn't been planning a CGI-heavy reboot for years now

David Corenswet, Rachel Brosnahan, and James Gunn reading Superman comics on the set of Superman (2025)
Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

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No, James Gunn didn’t have a secret plan to take over DC’s film slate and replace Henry Cavill as Superman.

Admittedly, when it’s written down as bluntly as that, it feels pretty obvious that’s the case; if nothing else, as far as secret plans go, that feels a little low-stakes. Surely, if the man behind Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy movies, DC’s The Suicide Squad, and perhaps most importantly, 2006’s Slither (It’s a great movie! Go watch it!) had any secret plan, it would be a little bit more ambitious than that — especially considering that Cavill’s place as the Man of Steel was a little bit tenuous at the time this plan was reportedly put in place. And yet, that’s the conspiracy theory that the current co-chief of DC Studios has been forced to address on social media lately, thanks to one actor’s faulty memory.

The actor in question is Nathan Fillion, who said in a recent interview with Collider, “We were actually at the premiere party after [The] Suicide Squad and he was in a huge crowd of people. 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.’”

For those wondering about the timeline here, The Suicide Squad came out in August 2021, more than a year before James Gunn and Peter Safran were announced as co-CEOs of the newly-formed DC Studios. That happened in October 2022. Just days before Gunn’s job was announced, Henry Cavill made a cameo appearance at the end of the ill-fated Black Adam movie, and then announced that he was returning as Superman in future projects. Got all that? Good.

Because Fillion’s quote prompted a social media conspiracy theory that Gunn knew in 2021 that he would be (a) taking over as DC boss more than a year ahead of it actually happening, and (b) was already planning to reboot the DC Universe with a brand new Superman movie, as prompted by Gunn telling Fillion that he was going to be Guy Gardner. If true, it would be unlikely and perhaps set a new standard for the length of time important information can go undetected by even the most ardent rumormongers… but, of course, there’s one problem: it’s not true at all.

Related: DC's James Gunn changes Superman: Legacy title (and shows off the suit)

“He meant the [Guardians of the Galaxy] Vol 3 premiere party,” clarified Gunn on Threads, placing the event in May 2023, seven months after he’d officially taken the DC gig. (And months after the Superman reboot had been announced, for that matter.) Even so, he was still confused by the conspiracy theory.

“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?” he followed up, as others attempted to explain the theory to him. “How does this particular conspiracy theory make sense?”

The real answer is, of course, that it doesn’t — but that’s the best part about Gunn’s social media presence. He gets to shoot down out-there ideas… like the notion also doing the rounds right now that the Superman shooting schedule somehow means that the movie will have a lot of CGI. “How would a July wrap relate to CGI?” he asked, adding, “It’s the longest schedule I’ve ever had for a film.”

James Gunn's Superman is flying into theaters soon enough, and Popverse has all you need to prepare. Refreshing your cinematic memory with our Superman movie watch order, learn what we know about the upcoming Superman movie, and read about what DC is doing ahead of their flagship hero's triumphant return.