A highly scrutinized and months-long search ended on Tuesday as James Gunn finally found his actors to kick off a new era of DC movies. And in the case of the actor about to don Superman’s iconic spandex and cape, that means a slew of kneejerk reactions (both good and bad) and comparisons to the last guy to put on the suit.
After several screentests earlier this week, reports emerged that David Corenswet (The Politician, Hollywood) and Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) would play Clark Kent and Lois Lane, respectively, in Superman: Legacy. Gunn, who’s been debunking rumors surrounding the highly anticipated movie’s production process on his Twitter account every step of the way, happily confirmed the casting news.
When casting announcements of this size breaks out, the entire internet reacts. People who’ve been fans of Corenswet (who was also a standout in Pearl) and Brosnahan as actors for years are vindicated. Some immediately criticized Corenswet’s looks and called him too scrawny to play Superman, especially compared to Henry Cavill, the last actor to play Superman on the big screen. In response, people brought out an old photo of a much-less buff Cavill wearing Christopher Reeve’s costume during his audition, indicating that Cavill worked out a lot to fill in his suit (and that Corenswet could too).
But many people noticed that Corenswet, who’s 29, looks a lot like a slightly younger version of 39-year-old Cavill. And not in the way every actor who’s played Superman over the years has been a brown-haired white guy, although that came up too.
People jokingly suggested that one was a carbon copy of the other.
Those comparisons also arrived on TikTok, where Corenswet was described as Cavill’s younger brother.
@notdavidp David Corenswet shouldn’t be compared to Henry Cavill. They will both have their own story in the DCU (assuming David gets the role). But you can’t deny the resemblance in both of these actors. Henry Cavill was a great Superman, and David Corenswet looks perfect for the role in my opinion. #supermanlegacy #jamesgunn #dc #dccomics #comics #movies #superman ♬ LOOK AT ME – sanika • skywvker
“I can’t think of anything more savage than replacing somebody with literally somebody who looks exactly like them,” Mykel Montana Hilliard said in a TikTok about the casting. “Like, almost identically.” He then described the two actors as “the same guy, just different font.”
Someone even used the “they’re the same picture” meme from The Office to illustrate that point.
@blurayangel11 Henry Cavill and David Corenswet almost look identical as Superman #superman #supermanlegacy #movies #blurayangel #dccomics #davidcorenswet #henrycavill ♬ The Office Same Picture – Freeform
And yes, Corenswet is aware of those Cavill comparisons—and it didn’t take getting cast as Superman for him to find out about them. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly in 2019 (around the time The Politician came out), he acknowledged it and added he wanted to play Superman one day.
“It came to my attention before the internet got a hold of me,” Corenswet said. “But my pie-in-the-sky ambition is definitely to play Superman. I would love to see somebody do an upbeat, throwback [take on Superman]. I love the Henry Cavill dark and gritty take, but I would love to see the next one be very bright and optimistic.”
Four years later, that interview isn’t just prescient because Corenswet knows people think he and Cavill look alike or how he called his shot. He also ended up signing onto a Superman movie that, according to what we’ve been told, might touch on the Superman aspect he was so interested in exploring.