SUPERMAN: LEGACY Director James Gunn Uses This Example To Combat Complaints Of An Over-Stuffed Movie

SUPERMAN: LEGACY Director James Gunn Uses This Example To Combat Complaints Of An Over-Stuffed Movie SUPERMAN: LEGACY Director James Gunn Uses This Example To Combat Complaints Of An Over-Stuffed Movie

Director James Gunn had a somewhat humorous response to a fan complaining that Superman: Legacy was set to feature too many characters.

By MarkJulian - Aug 17, 2023 06:08 PM EST
Filed Under: Superman: Legacy

Do you think Superman: Legacy is introducing one too many characters?

In the James Gunn directed pic Kal-El/Clark Kent will be portrayed by David Corenswet, Lois Lane is played by Rachel Brosnahan, Guy Gardner/Green Lantern will be portrayed by Nathan Fillion, Isabela Merced was cast as Hawkgirl, Mister Terrific will be portrayed by Edi Gathegi, while Anthony Carrigan plays Metamorpho.

Before the SAG-AFTA strike got underway, it appeared that the film was on the cusp of casting Lex Luthor, Jimmy Olsen, and Perry White.

And while the strike persists, there are more rumors appearing that there are still quite a few more DC superheroes and villains set to appear in the film.

On the social media platform Threads, James Gunn responded to a fan who shared his fears about the number of characters being introduced in the film.

Said Gunn, "I don’t understand this fear. There are less characters than in 40-Year-Old Virgin. Did you think Steve Carell got enough time?"

In short, Gunn is stating that despite the large ensemble cast,  David Corenswet's Superman will definitely be the main focus.

The only question that leaves us with is which of the previously announced superheroes will be the "Cal" of the film?

Currently set for release on July 11, 2025, Superman: Legacy is the first film in Gunn's reboot the DCEU.

Outside of the DC Studios Elseword title, Joker: Folie à Deux in 2024, DC fans will have to wait until 2025 to see Gunn's vision for the new cinematic universe. What's the over/under on whether Gunn gets tired of responding to fan questions on social media?

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Nightwing1015 - 8/17/2023, 6:49 PM
Yeah it’s a dumb concern. For all we know the other JSA members are in like 2 scenes. The entire league were in young justice and they still weren’t the main characters.
jst5 - 8/17/2023, 7:17 PM
@Nightwing1015 - I think the concern is a couple of things...when a movie is done bad with an over stuffed movie it's done really bad...and of course the whole fear of DCEU and seeing what Marvel has become is in the gumbo also.

But it can be done right...I mean it's a comic book movie of the #1 superhero of all time...he's going to come across other DC characters in the movie...he's done it in the comics since I started reading them in the 70's.
ObserverIO - 8/18/2023, 4:21 AM
@Nightwing1015 - None of the characters in 40 Year Old Virgin had superpowers. None of them brought with them concepts that needed to be explained.

I've recently realised that fans actually don't get this. I didn't know before.

Now I know for sure that James Gunn really doesn't get it either and I have no more faith in this movie or universe.
Maybe hardcore fans like James Gunn, Zack Snyder and Geoff Johns shouldn't have that much control.

We need people like Christopher Nolan, Kevin Feige and Matt Reeves who actually understand that the GA are watching too (and have most of the money). Only hardcore fans will pay to see another hardcore fan jacking off.

So no, it is not a dumb concern at all.

But I understand now, that saying that to a fan without perspective is pointless. And that's most of us. Including James Gunn.
Coolstuff2023 - 8/18/2023, 10:04 AM
@Nightwing1015 - hello firstly I’m looking forward to this , it’s a superman movie after all!
Gunn proved that movies with an ensemble of hero’s can work with GOTG volume 1. At the same time that franchise has shown the worst of Gunn with excess humour and worst of all, a song every 15 minutes or so.GOTG volume 3 had me rolling my eyes!Get zimmer in to do a sick score! An absolute highlight of the Snyderverse.
Nightwing1015 - 8/18/2023, 3:58 PM
@ObserverIO - You don't need to explain the concept of every individual superhero in order for general audiences to like it. Look at something like Young Justice. Look at something more recent and more popular like Invincible. There's a ton of random superhero characters in there that aren't explored in depth. They just exist in the world and people are still really interested in learning more about some of them.
ObserverIO - 8/18/2023, 4:10 PM
@Nightwing1015 - Young Justice is a cartoon. They also do a really good job of explaining what a metahuman is over the course of the show. So it doesn't really count, but even if it did, it's one of very few examples of superhero adaptations (nay superhero fiction as a whole) that does a good job of explaining the internal logic of it's universe.

Invincible is also a cartoon and I'm not sure how well it's doing with the non-comics-reading audience. Doesn't seem like it's on the GA's radar. If it were a live action movie franchise and it didn't explain itself, it would likely fail, regardless of quality.
Nightwing1015 - 8/18/2023, 6:03 PM
@ObserverIO - Why exactly do you draw a distinction between cartoons and live action? What is so different about their storytelling exactly? If the audiences has no problem with one, they should have no problem with the other.

And also: "Parrot Analytics has found that the audience demand for Invincible is 33.4 times the demand of the average TV series in the United States in the last 30 days. 0.2% of all shows in this market have this level of demand."
ObserverIO - 8/18/2023, 6:32 PM
@Nightwing1015 - Cartoons can get away with anything, especially kids cartoons.
Nightwing1015 - 8/18/2023, 7:41 PM
@ObserverIO - that doesn’t make any sense. If a cartoon has a lot of fans then the GA like it and follow the story just fine. Also invincible is an adult cartoon so that wouldn’t even apply here.
ObserverIO - 8/19/2023, 4:18 AM
@Nightwing1015 - It's just a thing. People regard cartoons differently. Possibly because when we were young we watch cartoons more than anything else and when you're young you don't understand most things so if something doesn't make sense in the fictional cartoon you're watching you don't question it.

Also, Invincible falls into the parody genre. So in that sense, it is both cartoon and self-aware superhero parody, like The Incredibles.

I didn't know it was so popular I've heard absolutely zero buzz outside of hardcore geeks. Are you sure the normies even know about it? They don't usually watch cartoons unless it's Simpsons or Family Guy or something.
Nightwing1015 - 8/19/2023, 4:50 PM
@ObserverIO - I guess it is kind of a parody but I was thinking of a more serious character like Demon Detective - a character with only 5 mins of screen time where very little of this guy is explained/established and yet in that short time people are very interested in his character and wanna see more or him. That’s exactly the kind of stuff that should be in the DCU. Short snappy scenes with cool characters that set them up. They aren’t the most complex characters anyway - the Atom shrinks himself, Red Tornado is a robot who doesn’t understand humans, ect.

And like I say - invincible has many times the viewership of the average show so it can’t just be geeks watching
MasterMix - 8/17/2023, 6:51 PM
Vigor - 8/17/2023, 6:52 PM
People think they know an entire movie via bits and pieces of information. Then they start attacking the director before the movie has even been shot. The hubris of some "fans" man. It's ridiculous
Forthas - 8/17/2023, 6:53 PM
That is a rather stupid comparison since 40 year old Virgin does not feature prominent characters from other mediums. This guy was such a mistake.
Origame - 8/17/2023, 7:12 PM
@Forthas -

Forthas - 8/17/2023, 7:23 PM
@Origame - the difference is that DC fans may have to waste another ten years trying to figure out something that is painfully easy to achieve.
Origame - 8/17/2023, 7:27 PM
@Forthas -
Forthas - 8/17/2023, 7:33 PM
@Origame -

Origame - 8/17/2023, 7:50 PM
@Forthas - I think you're overthinking it
Forthas - 8/17/2023, 8:04 PM
@Origame - And what makes you say that?
Origame - 8/17/2023, 8:08 PM
@Forthas - that there's anything to figure out just from having a lot of superhero characters.

He had even more in the suicide squad. And it wasn't a problem there.
Forthas - 8/17/2023, 8:14 PM
@Origame - We have several examples across other CBMs where the criticisms were just that. Either additional Superheros or villains took away the focus of the film in essence ruining it. Those over stuffed films include

Batman v Superman
X-Men 3
Spiderman 3
Amazing Spiderman 2

...and even when the film turned out good it was still criticized as not a true solo film

Captain America Civil War

So there is plenty of examples of it not working out
Origame - 8/17/2023, 8:31 PM
@Forthas - in all of those examples, the additional characters are major roles. All evidence shows these characters are just supporting players. Gunn is making them named superheroes partly to show we're going into a world where superheroes are already commonplace.

If instead of guy Gardner and hawkgirl we had Sam lane and Lana Lang, you wouldn't say anything. So it's not the number of characters, it's their powers that you have a problem with.
hue66 - 8/17/2023, 8:37 PM
@Forthas - maybe wait and see. Doesn't make sense making judgments on something that hasn't even been filmed yet. The man already said Clark will be the focus. If that doesn't turn out to be the truth after seeing it then you have something to complain about
Forthas - 8/17/2023, 8:42 PM
@Origame - The rumor is that the conflict is with these superheroes. So how is that a minor role?

"So it's not the number of characters, it's their powers that you have a problem with."

YES! That is what makes them interesting. If Gunn says he is going to have 100 extras in the film...that is not a problem. If he is adding five super powered characters then people will naturally want to know about those five characters.
Forthas - 8/17/2023, 8:46 PM
@hue66 - But if he is wrong...then there are far reaching consequences for fans, Warner Brothers, the actors, and crews that make the films. There was an outcry when Zack Snyder replaced Christian Bale and did not slowly build the DCEU. Look at all of the chaos that ensued because people did not listen. There is plenty of reason to doubt this direction and plenty of other ways that are more proven that should be explored.
Origame - 8/17/2023, 9:02 PM
@Forthas - 1) so you're judging based on a rumor? Come on.

2) the boys and the original x men duology is my counter to that. In those movies and in that show, super-powered characters are all over the place. Some are the main characters and important, like wolverine or homelander. Sometimes they have a role to play but are merely there for support, like nightcrawler or Lamplighter. Sometimes it's just something in the background to add to world building.

And so what if you wanna know more about them? That isn't a problem with the narrative. And you can very easily take that interest in, say, guy Gardner and make a green lantern movie with him later.
Forthas - 8/17/2023, 9:29 PM
@Origame -

1} Gunn who prides himself on clearing up rumors has not dome so

2) But if I asked you who is the Boys a show about? You would have trouble deciding because it does not focus on a specific character. So in a film called Superman Legacy, it would seem counterintuitive for it to not focus on Superman.

Its is a problem in the film because there are two to three hours to tell the story of Superman. Every minute you focus on other characters takes away from the. Think about it. In addition to those heroes you have to Lois Lane, Ma and Pa Kent, Perry White and Jimmy Olsen all have to be introduced. It takes time to do so that takes away from Superman.

Origame - 8/17/2023, 9:42 PM
@Forthas - 1) he basically did with this, comparing the super-powered characters in superman legacy to the cast of 40 year old Virgin.

2) ...because it's an ensemble show. But even then Hughie and Billy. Those are the two main characters.

And it still is focused on superman. Giving other characters that have superpowers doesn't change that.

The kid with screaming powers isn't suddenly important in x2 just because she has screaming powers.

Also, you're horribly overestimating the time it takes to introduce characters. Here's 3 of those characters being introduced in the original superman movie

And even if it takes longer, it would be a problem regardless of powers, yet you already admitted it's a problem of powers.
Godzilla2000Zer - 8/17/2023, 6:56 PM
Yeah just wait for the movie
Steel86 - 8/17/2023, 6:56 PM
Way overblown. Superman will be in an established superhero world. They all could be having dinner together. We have no idea chill out.
VicSage - 8/17/2023, 6:56 PM
The problem isn't number of characters. I think this concern started with Batman & Robin and popped up again with Spider-Man 3. It's not how many characters are in the film, it's if they serve the purpose of the narrative.

For years, fans wrongly believed that a movie with "too many villains" was doomed, as their point of reference were the above mentioned films. But as we recently saw with The Batman, for instance, you can have four villains in a film and the film doesn't feel overstuffed at all. Each character serves the narrative.

If every character in Superman Legacy serves to support Superman and the story Gunn has... then, there's no problem. There's only a problem if these characters are being introduced to set up future films, which unfortunately, the Marvel formula has trained fans to expect.
HulkisHoly - 8/17/2023, 7:13 PM
@VicSage -


Spider-Man 3 was overstuffed because each villain had an entirely separate story from one another so it was like three films crammed into one.

Whereas the Dark Knight had…

1. Joker
2. Twoface
3. Gamble
4. Scarecrow
5. Maroni
6. Lao

But it wasn’t overstuffed because they were all connected in the plot narrative.
ClintThaHamster - 8/17/2023, 7:39 PM
@VicSage - "It's not how many characters are in the film, it's if they serve the purpose of the narrative."

Of course you're correct. I think the main disconnect is that "the film is overstuffed with characters that don't serve the narrative" is usually the kind of complaint that emerges from someone who has seen the finished film, not internet commenters reacting to casting announcements.
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