The new DC Universe Superman gets imagined in an exciting piece of fan art, with an actor who has played a superhero for DC taking on the role of James Gunn’s Man of Steel. Gunn is writing and directing the upcoming Superman: Legacy, which premieres in 2025 and will be the first major project in his and Peter Safran’s new DC Universe. As production on the movie gets closer — Gunn just delivered Superman: Legacy‘s first draft — the rumor mill churns with possible actors to take on the role of Superman.
On Instagram, artist @akithefull decided to imagine Superman: Legacy‘s new Clark Kent actor with Shazam! franchise star Asher Angel, who plays Billy Batson.
At 20, Angel could be a breath of fresh air that the franchise needs, with Superman: Legacy‘s story rumored to focus on a younger Clark as he starts his job as a journalist at the Daily Planet. While Angel already has a role as a DC character, his time as Billy Batson should be coming to an end, not impacting a possible Superman future. The art makes a strong case for casting him in the role.
Why Shazam’s Asher Angel Would Work As James Gunn’s Superman
Over his two movies as Billy Batson, Angel showed that he brings incredible nuance to the characters he plays, with the actor perfectly handling the fun to be had with a story about a kid getting superpowers while also being responsible for the most emotional scenes in both Shazam! movies. Angel shared the dual lead role in the franchise with actor Zachary Levi, who played Billy’s superhero form, Shazam. Levi faced some criticism over his performance in Shazam! Fury of the Gods, with claims the actor failed to match Angel’s depth.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods reduced Angel’s role while having Levi command more screen time, which may have contributed to the sequel bombing at the box office. It was also one of the final movies of the old DCEU, and as Gunn prepares to reboot it with the new DC Universe, the movie’s performance might have killed chances of the franchise jumping universes.
If the Shazam! franchise does not continue, Angel would be free to take on another DC role, with the actor being around the age range necessary to play the younger version of Superman that will be developed over the next decade in the DC Universe. Multiple actors have had success in the past playing more than one superhero role, and as the Shazam! franchise was smaller in nature than most superhero fare, the general audience would likely not have a problem with Angel switching DC roles, with the actor being a perfectly good candidate to play the new Superman.