Legacy’ screen tests as Decision 2023 enters week two

With the flash not proving to be the box office savior that Warner Bros. anticipated, the pressure on new DC Studios executives James Gunn and Peter Safran grew exponentially.

And this, in turn, means increased weight on Superman: Legacy, the inaugural film from Gunn and Safran. And that may not be more important than choosing the right actor to play Clark Kent / Superman and his romantic and professional film, Lois Lane.

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Gunn, who writes and directs the feature, held screen tests the weekend of June 17 at the Warners lot in Burbank, and the process was kept in a lead-lined box as Gunn shows off the assembled cuts to a decision-making committee of executives, the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, David Zaslav, is one of them. Despite the secrecy, some details have emerged, although the final choice has not.

Gunn, sources say, put together three actors and three actresses for Superman and Lane, respectively, and on Saturday, the first day of testing, the actors were seen in pre-determined pairs: Nicholas Hoult and Rachel Brosnahan; Tom Brittney and Phoebe Dynevor; and David Corenswet and Emma Mackey. They were given several scenes to film, in which the men were made up and dressed as Daily Planet journalist Kent while the women were the brave journalist Lane.

Then on Sunday, Hoult, Brittney and Corenswet did another round of screen tests, this time in Superman costume. Interestingly, only Mackey was brought in that day to portray Lane opposite the cast.

Sources warn that just because Mackey started day two doesn’t mean she’s Lane’s favourite, though it might be hard not to draw that conclusion.

The search for Superman is complex. In Gunn’s back-to-basics version, any choice must be able to play someone who is credibly a Kansas farm boy, a big-city media reporter, and the Man of Steel. , capable of leaping tall buildings in a single bollard.

Research brings back memories of tests for lead in infamous 2011 The Green Lantern, in which the actors were to play cocky pilot Hal Jordan and a space cop wearing a Green Lantern Corps mask. The cast consisted of Ryan Reynolds and Bradley Cooper, but the keystone was the mask. Some inside the studio favored Cooper, but he performed poorly in superhero costume testing. The same situation most likely plays out on Legacy.

Gunn had an assembled cut from the screen tests on Wednesday to show the Warners brass. A decision could fall this week.

And once the decisions about Kent and Lane are made, Gunn will pull the trigger quickly on the next wave. Sources say there’s also a shortlist for villainous Lex Luthor (siblings Alexander and Bill Skarsgard were mentioned as being on it, and it’s unclear if Hoult, who was originally wanted for the role before to decide to try out for Kent/Superman, would put himself in the running again.) There are also other heroes to cast, such as members of a supergroup named the Authority (part of the new storyline is Superman joining a world in which superheroes already exist).

Gunn hopes to have Superman: Legacy in front of cameras in early 2024, in time for a July 11, 2025 release. The film will attempt to launch an all-new roster based on DC characters after two attempts in the past twelve years failed due to various factors , box office failure and changes in studio ownership, including. Warners is in the process of releasing the last three films made by the previous regime. Flash, which was considered internally the best of the bunch (and, backed by high scouting scores, pre-ordered a hit), unexpectedly cratered theatrically. Box office expectations are not exorbitant for blue beetle, which opens in August and stars Xolo Maridueña, which will continue in the new universe. Meanwhile, observers wonder if Aquaman and the Lost Kingdomwhich opens in December, can match the original’s hefty $1.1 billion, released five years ago, an extremely long time to wait for a sequel in the superhero movie world.

Superman will have a year-and-a-half theatrical hiatus between the films of the previous regime, but Gunn and Safran know not only that they have to nail it as a blockbuster on its own terms, but that they have to do their best to generate enthusiasm for the films and shows that follow.

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