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The Superman Film Directed by James Gunn Has Not Eradicated the One Directed by Ta-Nehisi Coates and J.J. Abrams


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Since Superman: Legacy, the first true film in James Gunn’s new DC Universe, is beginning to come together for a release in 2025, one might assume that all other takes on that character are as extinct as Krypton. However, the film will not be released until 2025. io9, however, has realized that this is not the case.


Next week, Gunn will release Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, the last picture he will direct for Marvel Studios. After that, he will devote his full time directing Superman: Legacy and shaping the DC Universe with his co-president at DC Films, Peter Safran. Because of this shift, everything that was going on at DC was pushed back before their appointment, which was frustrating for many reasons, but none more so than the speculated take on Superman that would have been written by Ta-Nehisi Coates and produced by J.J. Abrams. Nevertheless, while speaking with io9 over the weekend, Gunn confirmed that the fact that his Superman movie is on the way does not rule out the possibility of a sequel in any way.

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“Those two things are unrelated,” Gunn said in an interview with io9. “That is one action-packed movie. I know that Chantal Nong, the executive in charge of that initiative, is enthusiastic about it. Therefore, if it arrives and it’s fantastic, which I can’t say for sure because I haven’t read the script, and if the circumstances are just right, that might occur. That is completely unrelated. It would be an Elseworlds narrative like Joker.”

So that explains the gap in the regulation. Along with the announcement of the upcoming DC slate in January, Gunn and Safran stated that movies that didn’t fall into their robust and ambitious shared universe – movies like Matt Reeves’ The Batman Part Two and Todd Phillips’ Joker Folie à Deux – will be clearly labeled “Elseworlds,” denoting those as being separate from the main story. Examples of such movies include Joker Folie à Deux and The Batman Part Two. According to what Gunn has indicated, it seems as though the project being worked on by Coates and Abrams might still make it to the big screen under that name alongside Robert Pattinson and Joaquin Phoenix if everything goes according to plan.


The Coates and Abrams project was first publicized in 2021, and according to urban legend, the writing of the script was expected to be completed by the end of that same year. Although we are unsure whether the script has been completed and is simply waiting around or still being worked on, early rumors suggested that it might take place in the 1900s and star a black version of Superman. A unique perspective in comparison to Gunn’s more contemporary one.

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