TV

Superman: Legacy and What It Takes To Be a Great Onscreen Man of Steel


Sure, people want Superman to be played by a square-jawed guy with black hair and blue eyes, but there’s more to the role than that. A lot more.

Superman '78 from DC Comics
Photo: DC Comics

As you’d expect, the internet went nuts recently with the news that James Gunn had found his Superman and Lois in David Corenswet and Rachel Brosnahan. Some of the comments were from people upset that Henry Cavill wouldn’t be returning to the role after his brief cameo in Black Adam, and others were grinding their personal axes, but most seemed pretty positive about the casting.

But if you pay attention, you’d notice a theme in the responses, best captured in this Reddit post:

People liked the Brosnahan pick because of her work on the Amazon series The Marvelous Ms. Maisel, in which she plays a smart, fast-talking comedian. When these fans look at Brosnahan, they see not just a white lady with dark hair. They see someone who embodies the bravery and gumption of an ace reporter who first appeared in 1938.

But when they look at Corenswet, what do they see? Blue eyes, dark hair, square jaw. In other words, while people have a sense of Lois Lane as a person, they think of Superman only in superficial terms. And for many, that’s enough. Yet, we’d argue it takes a lot more than looks to be a great onscreen Man of Steel.

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