Dean Cain Talks James Gunn’s Superman with Geeks + Gamers

James Gunn’s Superman movie – which is now officially called Superman – has begun filming, and whatever your expectations at this stage, everyone is eager to see what the new version of the world’s greatest superhero will be like. That includes Superman himself, Dead Cain, the co-star (with the immortal Teri Hatcher) of the 90s TV show Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. Cain appeared on Geeks + Gamers Daily on the Geeks + Gamers YouTube channel yesterday with Gabe Eltaeb, with whom he’s creating an independent, crowd-funded comic book called Dean Cain: All-American Lawman. The discussion, unsurprisingly, turned to Superman, and, ultimately, Superman, and Cain gave his expert opinion on James Gunn’s take on the character:

One of the reasons I love Dean Cain is his continuing passion for and appreciation of Superman; he’s a lot like Pierce Brosnan in that way, who always exuded a genuine affection for James Bond and continues to do so to this day. Dean Cain is that guy for Superman, and he’s even more important now that we’ve lost the legendary Christopher Reeve. (I count my blessings every day that I grew up when I did.) And I agree with what he and the rest of the panel had to say; I hope James Gunn takes Superman back to his fun, optimistic persona and away from the dark, detached, uncaring figure in the DCEU. Justice League sucked (boy, did it suck), but I appreciate that Joss Whedon at least attempted to do this; it’s a stark contrast to the Snyder Cut, where he has a black-suited Superman using his heat vision to saw off one of Steppenwolf’s horns with that Angel-of-Death grimace on his face. And this is the point Jeremy and Ryan were making; Superman has to be “rehabilitated” because so many of his modern-day appearances have presented him that way. It’s what made Superman & Lois such a breath of fresh air, and it was gratifying to watch Tyler Hoechlin’s earnest, morally upright Superman showing up to save the day. (In the first season, anyway; that show has gone downhill.) Mauler made a post on X recently highlighting this problem by sharing another post that encapsulates what’s wrong with some of the modern perceptions of Superman:

But the more immediate question is, is James Gunn the guy to do it? And, like the panel, I don’t know. Of course, none of us will until Superman arrives in theaters (not faster than a speeding bullet, unfortunately), but from what we’ve seen and heard, I’m still not sure what to make of Gunn’s vision. And in a way, that’s good; some of the best movie experiences I’ve ever had were when I went into something not knowing what to expect. But it could go horribly wrong, and there are some decisions Gunn has made that worry me, like putting every C-and-D-list superhero from DC Comics in this film rather than making it a standalone Superman story. I’ve talked about this a lot, but it feels like they’re making some of the same mistakes the DCEU did in trying to emulate the MCU – specifically, trying to skip ahead rather than building the universe from the ground up. It sounds like Superman will be the new hero on the block rather than the guy who started it all, and I don’t think that’s the right direction, either. The only way I could see that working is if they slowly built to Superman; maybe Batman is first, then Wonder Woman arrives from Themyscira, then Aquaman explores the surface after rising from Atlantis, then the Flash is born in Barry’s lab accident, and then it culminates in Superman’s first appearance. (You could even have hints in the background of the other movies, like a news report about a bus crash that everyone miraculously survived in Kansas.) Or perhaps those solo films are all low-key and personal, with the heroes just discovering their powers (or, in Batman’s case, beginning his crusade), and Superman is the inspiration for them to come out of the shadows and become superheroes like him. But throwing him into a world where superheroes are the norm seems wrong.

On the other hand, I believe that Gunn’s film will have a traditional, optimistic Superman. First of all, he’s been saying that all along, as has Peter Safran, the co-CEO of DC Studios for Warner Bros. (Safran even said “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” in that press conference!) What Jeremy said about Gunn not being able to change too much about the character as he did with Guardians of the Galaxy is right, and I think Gunn knows that. This has to be the Superman we recognize as Superman, not a dark, edgy version of him, and I believe this is part of why the film’s title was changed to Superman; they want people to know what this is, to feel comforted by the name, like they know what they’re getting and it’s not some off-kilter take on the character. (That and Superman: Legacy was not all that great a title.) And at least from an aesthetic standpoint, Gunn’s casting has been mostly impeccable. I have no idea if David Corenswet is a good actor, but he looks like Superman. Rachel Brosnahan is a great pick for Lois Lane, too, and many of the supporting characters are terrific matches for their comic-book counterparts. I’m a bit iffy on Nicholas Hoult as Lex Luthor, but I’m willing to go with it, and while Perry White and Otis have been race-swapped (and it’s not the first time for Perry), they’re minor enough characters that it doesn’t bother me. Nowadays, casting this accurate is not the no-brainer it should be, and I think it’s, at least in part, a message that this is the Superman everyone knows. And I hope it is; despite any reservations I have, I’m  rooting for Superman big time. Here’s hoping James Gunn makes Dean Cain proud, because if he does, chances are we’ll all like it, too.

You can pre-order Dean Cain and Gabe Eltaeb’s comic book, Dean Cain: American Lawman, right here at Big Man Comics, and you can see more videos like this at Geeks + Gamers Clips.

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