As Superman Continues Filming, James Gunn’s Latest Tease Has Me Wondering If He’s Going To Feature A Classic Element From DC Lore

 Superman lifting green car in Superman Returns.
Superman lifting green car in Superman Returns.

With his DCU-launching feature Superman set to speedily bypass the 2024 movie schedule for its July 2025 debut, James Gunn continues to thrive as a one-man marketing campaign for any and all upcoming DC movies. He’s kept fans excited and guessing for months now, with the Man of Steel’s iconic suit at the heart of many speculative conversations. The director has noted his disinterest in sharing the full look so far ahead of the film’s premiere, with only the “S” emblem being revealed. And now he’s unlocked a new thread of costume-centric theorizing by teasing the superhero’s first on-page attire.

Taking to his Instagram and Threads pages to get the conversations going, James Gunn shared a single, vividly colored version of the most classic and arguably simplistic emblem from Superman’s storied history.

A post shared by James Gunn

A photo posted by jamesgunn on

Unfortunately for anyone interested in things like “context” and “usable information,” Gunn was content to just let the image speak for itself without any further captions or commentary. But there are hopeful conclusions that one can make from such a share, and I’m thinking the filmmaker has something totally unpredictable in mind.

Superman’s 1938 debut may not feature the tenets of modern-day DC stories, but it remains a classic for a reason, and few comic book visuals are more universally recognizable than the hero holding a green car above his head as his red cape billows behind. That said, Supe’s suit itself is far less renowned overall, as it features the more plainly designed “S” chest emblem, which was redesigned with the more familiar triangular shape for the 1939 printing of Superman #1.

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Christopher Reeve as Superman in Superman IV
Christopher Reeve as Superman in Superman IV

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Gunn was holding a reprinting of the aforementioned 1939 issue when celebrating Superman’s 86th anniversary alongside Corenswet and Rachel Brosnahan. It was curious that none of the three were holding a copy of Action Comics #1, but this post possibly takes care of that, even if I still don’t know how. Also worth noting: Gunn received an autographed reprint of the issue that was gifted by co-creator Jerry Siegel’s grandsons in March, so it’s very much a part of his life at this point.

Considering both Superman Returns and Man of Steel (among others) have featured visual references to the comic book cover itself, I have to imagine that James Gunn will take a different approach in paying homage to the hero’s first appearance. Perhaps Neva Howell’s Martha Kent or Pruitt Taylor Vince’s Jonathan Kent will craft a piece of clothing that features this particular S. Or, alternatively, maybe that will be the House of El’s official sigil on Krypton, with his eventual suit on Earth being a tribute to that.

To be expected, the comment section were filled with reactions from curious fans, with a couple of special entries in the mix. One is from the superhero's official IG profile, and one is from action movie badass Frank Grillo, who isn't set to take part in Superman, but would be an incredible addition. (At least he's voicing Rick Flag Sr. in Creature Commandos, though.)

  • Official Superman Page: 😎 a classic

  • Frank Grillo: 🔥🔥🔥🔥

Though we don’t know everything about Superman just yet, we know the film will hone in on the titular character reconciling his alien origins on a destroyed planet to life with his adoptive family on Earth, with Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s All-Star Superman serving as key inspiration, as well as elements form Kingdom Come.

Superman is set to unleash a new era of DC features onto the planet when it lands in theaters on July 11, 2025.