James Gunn’s ‘Superman’ Was Planned As An Elseworlds Film Prior To DC Universe Reboot

James Gunn's Superman was almost like The Batman!

James Gunn DC Studios Superman for All Seasons

James Gunn almost helmed the next Elseworlds film! A recent post on social media revealed Superman was almost meant to take place in a separate DC Universe prior to the DCU reboot.

Superman is one of the most anticipated superhero movies set to hit theaters in the next few years. The entire DC Universe rests on the shoulders of James Gunn and Peter Safran, with many worrying the IP will be relegated to Elseworlds stories like The Batman and Joker if the reboot flops. However, it seems at one time the film was meant to join them in the pantheon of separate universes.

This revelation was posted by James Gunn on Threads. A follower asked if Superman was ever set to be part of the old DC Universe, or if it would have been an Elseworlds story like The Batman. According to Gunn, the film was always meant to be separate, even before he took over as co-chair of DC Studios for the upcoming reboot.

Superman being an Elseworlds story makes sense when fans think about it. James Gunn has confirmed the script heavily focuses on a younger version of the Man of Steel, making it incompatible with Henry Cavill’s version of the character. The only way the film could have been made was to make it an Elseworlds story.

The Many Elseworlds Of Superman

The one confusing part is that, if James Gunn did go through with this original plan for Superman, it’d be one of three Elseworlds stories starring the Blue Boy Scout. Even ignoring television, Warner Bros. hired Ta-Nehisi Coates to develop a movie focusing on a black Superman, and Michael B. Jordan was working on a Val Zod project.

While it’s a shame these Elseworlds projects may never see the light of day, it’s a prime example of how big of a mess the DC Universe was prior to James Gunn and Peter Safran taking over DC Studios. The Superman reboot is set to be a new age for fans of the iconic franchise, just so long as Warner Bros. actually lets it hit theaters.

Superman is currently scheduled to hit theaters on July 11, 2025. Stay tuned for the latest news regarding the future of the DC Universe and make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more content!

Anthony Singletary

Anthony Singletary

Anthony has always had a love for stories. An aspiring screenwriter and video editor, he takes pride in connecting fans with the latest heroic news!