Who Is David Corenswet? James Gunn’s Superman Actor Explained

David Corenswet has officially been cast as Clark Kent in James Gunn’s Superman: Legacy, leading many to wonder about his prior acting experience and the primary reasons why he was cast as the DCU’s talisman. Since Superman: Legacy was officially announced in January 2023, the topic of who will play the titular role has been hotly debated. This was only fueled by DCEU fans who wished for Henry Cavill to remain in the role, despite Gunn’s insistence on a new, younger take on the character of Superman.

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Since announcing Superman: Legacy as the official beginning of the DCU’s first phase – “Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters” – Gunn has been hard at work finalizing the script he wrote for the film. This is all ahead of a planned January 2024 filming date, with Gunn finally casting Corenswet as his Superman alongside Rachel Brosnahan as Lois Lane after an extensive casting period. With that being said, here is everything needed to know about David Corenswet, James Gunn’s DCU figurehead in Superman: Legacy.

Related: New Superman & Lois Lane Confirmed: DC Finds Henry Cavill Replacement



David Corenswet Movies & TV Shows

David Corenswet And Ben Platt In The Politician

Corenswet has been in some high-profile projects, but the actor is also not quite a big name in Hollywood yet, which makes him a great pick to play Superman, much like with previous Clark Kent actors. Corenswet’s first major acting credit was in Ryan Murphy’s The Politician. The series saw him play the role of River Barkley, a tragic young student who takes his own life amid a battle with personal expectations and the social pressure of being seen by his whole school as the perfect guy. Corenswet has some really heartfelt dialogues in The Politician that show how well he will play Superman’s inspiring attitude.

Corenswet would work with Murphy and Netflix again in the award-winning Hollywood, a limited series that saw the now-Superman actor star as Jack Castello, an aspiring actor climbing up the ranks of the movie industry. The role showed Corenswet’s leading man ability, providing an excellent display of his charisma as an actor, a crucial aspect of Superman. Corenswet’s next TV role was in HBO’s limited series We Own This City, a crime drama show about corruption in the Baltimore Police Department’s Gun Trace Task Force. Corenswet played a different role from what he is used to, giving life to David McDougall, a veteran investigator.

While Corenswet’s biggest roles have been in the TV realm, the actor has appeared in two movies that help show the range of his acting ability. Netflix’s Look Both Ways is a rom-com with Corenswet displaying the full range of his charm opposite Riverdale‘s Lili Reinhart. Corenswet would then move over to a new genre for the actor, with a trip to the horror realm in director Ti West’s Pearl. Corenswet played the projectionist in Pearl, serving as the love interest to Mia Goth’s serial killer main character.

Why David Corenswet Was Cast As Superman

David Corenswet as River in a scene from the Netflix series The Politician.

Corenswet’s acting credits show that the actor has the leading man ability that is necessary to play such a big role as the Man of Steel, especially since Superman: Legacy will be the first movie released in Gunn and Peter Safran’s DC Universe. Corenswet has the charisma to play the hero, and his past roles show he has the ability to bring Superman’s hopeful nature to life. In fact, in 2019, Corenswet himself said to Entertainment Weekly that he would love to play Superman during an interview for the aforementioned The Politician.

The actor also showed in the interview that he understands what the character is all about, saying he “would love to see somebody do an upbeat, throwback [take on Superman],” which fits Gunn’s approach to Superman: Legacy. Corenswet went on to say: “I love the Henry Cavill dark and gritty take, but I would love to see the next one be very bright and optimistic.” This fits everything that Gunn has been aiming for in writing Superman: Legacy, proving above all why he got the role: his vision matches the directors. Corenswet is now able to fulfill his wish, helping to bring a younger, more optimistic Superman to life in Superman: Legacy when the film hits theaters in 2025.

David Corenswet Was A Longtime Superman Fancast Due To Henry Cavill Similarities

Official artwork from the All-Star Superman comics featuring Clark Kent sat above the clouds of Metropolis.

Another reason why Corenswet may have received the role of Clark Kent/Superman is the long-standing push for him to do so by those wishing for a new take on the character. Since it was announced that Cavill would not be returning as the Man of Steel, Corenswet’s name was almost immediately brought up whenever the topic of Superman casting arose. This is partly due to his similarities to Henry Cavill, with Corenswet looking like a younger version of the British actor who previously played the role.

While this likely did not affect Gunn’s casting process too much, there is no denying that a character as iconic as Superman needs to have a certain physical appearance. Unlike the many other masked superheroes of the DC Universe, Superman’s face is in full view whenever he is in action. As such, the chiseled face and curly black hair of iconic actors like Christopher Reeve, Henry Cavill, and now David Corenswet perfectly fit the DC Comics character. As it turns out, Corenswet’s acting abilities match his close physical appearance to the character, with Gunn choosing him among many impressive candidates to bring the son of Krypton to life in Superman: Legacy.

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