Everything You Need To Know About The New Superman Actor, David Corenswet

It's official: James Gunn and Peter Safran, the architects of the new DC cinematic universe reboot (which officially kicked off with the release of "The Flash" earlier this month) have found their Clark Kent. Gunn confirmed on Twitter this week that Superman/Clark Kent would be played by relative newcomer, David Corenswet, alongside Rachel Brosnahan's Lois Lane, in the upcoming Superman movie, "Superman: Legacy." Gunn will be directing the Superman reboot himself, and explained that he wanted to explore a younger, more optimistic Superman than the version portrayed by Henry Cavill in Zack Snyder's series of DC films.

Now that Corenswet has been cast, thousands of fans are clamoring to learn more about the relatively new-to-the-scene actor who'll be taking up the Kryptonian's cape in Spring 2025. While there are definitely fans of Henry Cavill still disappointed that he wasn't given the chance to continue with the role under Gunn's new regime, there are many who are also very excited to see a less gloomy version of the world's most famous superhero on the big screen. So what should we all know about the new face behind Clark Kent's black-rimmed glasses?

He's wanted to play Superman for a while

Corenswet, who got his big break in Hollywood in Ryan Murphy's "The Politician" and "Hollywood," sat down with Entertainment Weekly in 2019 to talk about his work and career goals. In discussing his rather uncanny resemblance to former Superman actor Henry Cavill (at that point still contracted to the role), Corenswet admitted that he'd love the opportunity to play Clark Kent. 

"My pie-in-the-sky ambition is definitely to play Superman," he told EW, "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." Based on what James Gunn has said about what he wants for his Superman reboot, it sounds like Corenswet was destined to be his leading man, as they both want to see a younger, brighter interpretation of a character that's been too gloomy for too long.

He's already worked with a lot of big names

Despite the fact that Corenswet has only been actively working in Hollywood for a relatively short amount of time, he's already racked up credits with a lot of legends and exciting newcomers in the entertainment industry. Thanks to his connection with prolific TV producer Ryan Murphy, Corenswet has been able to act alongside the likes of Jessica Lange, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeremy Pope, and many more in Netflix's "The Politician" and "Hollywood." 

He co-starred as The Projectionist (who is something of a love interest for Mia Goth's unhinged main character Pearl) in "Pearl," a well-received, edgy horror flick from Ti West that serves as a prequel to his prior hit, "X." 

Corenswet also starred in a recently-released limited series on HBO called "We Own This City," which offers a depiction of the real-life investigation of corruption in the Baltimore Police Department's Gun Trace Task Force (GTTF). 

He has a project coming out this year

On top of his already impressive filmography, Corenswet just wrapped filming on the highly anticipated Apple TV+ series "Lady in the Lake" in late 2022. Corenswet will be co-starring with Oscar-winner Natalie Portman and "Obi-Wan" star Moses Ingram in the show, which is set to be released later this year. We don't know too much about Corenswet's role in the series yet, but he will be acting in all seven of the episodes that are set to be released. 

The movie is based on a book by the same name from author Laura Lippman and is set in 1960s Baltimore. Portman plays a housewife named Maddie who decides to turn her life on its head and become an investigative reporter. The show will be a drama-thriller influenced by noir and true crime, and Portman's Maddie will be looking into the mysterious disappearance of a young black woman, the murder of a child, and the difference between the media and the public's reaction to both tragedies. 

Alongside Moses Ingram's Cleo Sherwood, a Baltimore-based civil rights activist, Maddie will explore second-wave feminism and the inherent racism that has pervaded media coverage and public opinion of different acts of violence against women and children. Lippman, the author of the novel upon which the series is based, took inspiration from the real-life deaths of Esther Lebowitz and Shirley Parker in 1969 Baltimore.

He was born and raised in Philadelphia

David Corenswet was born and raised in Philadelphia and, after graduating from the acting program at Juilliard, he lived there for a while before moving to Los Angeles. Growing up in Philly, Corenswet participated in regional theater and put together plenty of creative projects with his friends. In high school, Corenswet co-founded an a cappella group called "Three Card Monte," and produced and starred in a series of Youtube videos called "Moe & Jerryweather" (Youtube). 

No doubt there will be plenty of fans excited to see such a classically American icon like Superman played by a Philly native with Jewish heritage through his father's side (while Superman/Clark Kent has never been portrayed as Jewish, the writers who created him — Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster — were both the children of Jewish immigrants). Corenswet will definitely be able to draw on his childhood growing up in the big city when he hits the streets of Metropolis as Clark Kent, reporter extraordinaire.

He's a favorite of Ryan Murphy

Corenswet was a virtual unknown when Ryan Murphy cast him as the quiet, emotional heart of his Netflix show, "The Politician." David plays River, the political rival-turned-love interest for Ben Platt's main character, Payton. River isn't a lead character (and he wasn't supposed to be a regular until after Corenswet was cast in the role), but he's a crucial one, and Corenswet's sensual, introspective performance as a young man living a life of contradictions put him on Hollywood's radar. It's no surprise that Murphy cast Corenswet as the lead in his next Netflix show, "Hollywood" the following year.

Ryan Murphy is known for developing strong and lasting working relationships with his large ensemble of actors. Stars like Sarah Paulson, Darren Criss, Jennifer Coolidge, and more have found huge success thanks to his work, providing them with rich opportunities to showcase their skills. As Jack Castello in "Hollywood," Corenswet conveys exactly the sort of willful optimism that is so often associated with Superman and his comic book persona. 

Corenswet is grateful for Ryan's support, telling Magazine C, "having had a pretty short career — which may only be getting shorter — I have decided that if Ryan is the only person who ever hires me again, that would be a blessed life."

The pandemic set his career back a few years

In the 2019/2020 press season, when Ryan Murphy's "Hollywood" was ramping up to release on Netflix, Corenswet was tagged as "the next big thing" by multiple publications including "Men's Health," "Entertainment Weekly," "C Magazine," "Cosmopolitan," and "MTV." All of these outlets talked about Corenswet's bright future in acting and the fact that he was set to truly break out into stardom by the end of 2020. 

What they didn't account for, though, was the COVID-19 pandemic. "Hollywood" was released on May 1, 2020, to mostly mixed reviews, and that combined with the altered pop culture landscape of the pandemic years put a bit of a stall on Corenswet's career. "Hollywood" received a relatively positive reception from audiences, but the cast and crew were unable to really promote the show and capitalize on any viral opportunities while folks were actively quarantining. 

Obviously, he's quite recovered now, three years later, but it's interesting to think that he might have been more well-known sooner had the pandemic not interfered with his career right when it was taking off.

He's not in it for the fame

In all of his interviews, Corenswet comes across as sincere, thoughtful, and excited about his work. Corenswet never dreamed of being a famous actor, but just wanted to be as close as possible to the movies and storytelling he loved. In an interview with MTV, he explained that his goal is to make movies with his friends — many of whom are not famous but whom he views as "geniuses." It's unlikely that Corenswet will remain unknown now that he's been cast as one of the most famous fictional characters of all time, but before that, he did once joke with Magazine C that he "can't even get [his] mom on the phone half the time."

Corenswet doesn't view himself as a stud, often making self-deprecating jokes in interviews and noting that he's not much of a partier, preferring to keep a quiet, private life. He even went out of his way to talk to Entertainment Weekly about how embarrassing it is to play a bad actor, as was required of him in "Hollywood." "The highest compliment I could possibly get [about that scene] is that my bad acting is believably bad," said Corenswet.

When asked about his personal life by Magazine C, Corenswet was tightlipped, saying that "essentially, I have no interest in being famous, but if I'm going to be working at the level I want to be working at, it sort of comes with the territory. I'm a very cautious person, so I err on the side of politely nodding and moving on."

He comes from a creative family

David Corenswet's father John was a stage actor in New York City for many years before he became a lawyer, so it's no surprise that Corenswet's first acting role was onstage in Philadelphia when he was only nine years old. Even though John never found career-making success as an actor, he knew enough about theater and acting to guide his son throughout his formative years, and he was with David when his son got the call that he'd been bumped up to series regular on "The Politician." 

David's father passed away not long after due to cancer, but he's remained a hugely important influence in our next Superman's life. "I found a vintage '70s subway token lying in a box with a little chain," Corenswet told Magazine C, "and I felt like he left it for me to wear. So now I wear it all the time. He didn't get to see The Politician, and he died before I started working on Hollywood, but he knew about it and saw it as my launching point."

Another fun fact about David Corenswet is that his maternal grandfather, Edward Packard, is the person who invented and wrote the Choose Your Own Adventure book series. Edward was a lawyer, but he got the idea for Choose Your Own Adventure when he told his kids bedtime stories and asked them to make decisions about where the story would go.

He loves old Hollywood movies

It's actually pretty perfect that David Corenswet was cast as a young, aspiring actor in 1940s Hollywood on "Hollywood" because most of what he and his sister watched growing up were movies and musicals from that era. Even his childhood cats were named Fred and Ginger.

"My mom and dad raised us watching a bunch of old movies," said Corenswet to MTV in 2020, "so we grew up watching the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies, Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, and 'Singin' in the Rain' dozens of times. We liked comedies. That was all we watched. We didn't have cable, we weren't allowed to watch television, but we could watch those movies just about as much as we wanted to." 

Corenswet often makes a point to add, though, that he sometimes had a hard time bonding with his peers over movies and media because not very many grade schoolers were watching the Marx Brothers when he was growing up. He was, however, allowed to rent videos from Blockbuster, and that's how he began his lifelong obsession with "Star Wars." "I spent a lot of time by myself in my basement pretending to be a Jedi."

He also loves dogs

In 2019, David Corenswet did a short interview with Suburban Life Magazine. At one point the interviewer asked, "What do you hope for your future?" and Corenswet responded, "Gosh, I hope I end up with a dog. A big dog. Maybe one big dog for wrestling, and one travel-sized dog for long flights." This is potentially one of the most wholesome answers any actor has ever given in a press interview.

Corenswet seems to have achieved his goals, if his Instagram is anything to go by. Amidst many promotional and red carpet posts for his projects and a few childhood photos are many, many photos of Corenswet with different dogs, though most are with his adorable Ruby Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, which he refers to in his Instagram posts as "Adventure Dog." It's nice to see that he's accomplished his goal and found an adorable little pup to take on his many travels and adventures.

He's a longtime theater nerd

The first time Corenswet, a self-described "theater kid," acted was when he was just 9 years old. His father helped him audition for a regional production of Arthur Miller's "All My Sons" at the Arden Theater in Philadelphia. He had two scenes, stole the show, and was pretty much hooked from there on theater and performance. 

Aside from his high school a cappella group and Youtube comedy video series, Corenswet also spent a lot of time participating in local theater. He grew up splitting his time between sports, art, and schoolwork, and even attended summer camp at Upper Darby Summer Stage, the same place chronicled in detail by another Pennsylvania native, Tina Fey, in her memoir, "Bossypants."

Despite the fact that Corenswet initially applied to and attended the University of Pennsylvania for his first year of undergrad (without any intention of majoring in drama or a related field), he continued to participate in stage productions at school and eventually decided to audition for the acting program at Juilliard. Corenswet was accepted, and of his time auditioning and studying there, he told Suburban Life Magazine, "I was floored to see a bunch of kids as eager as I was to figure out what 'acting' really meant. It felt like my tribe."

He's interested in working behind the camera

David Corenswet is a pure film nerd: He loves every part of the process behind making something great on film. "I love the cinematography aspect, I love sound recording, I love the art director who's in charge of everything, making sure everything runs on time. It all converged on this strange path of being an actor and, hopefully, at some point, a director. I did get to be an executive producer on Hollywood, but hopefully at some point, [I] will be playing a bigger role than just an actor in fun, big worlds, like the ones that Ryan Murphy creates," he said in an interview with MTV. 

He has directed and produced other much smaller projects, including a short film when he was in college and a music video for the artist Guy John. As noted above, he served as an executive producer on Ryan Murphy's "Hollywood," which is pretty impressive for a 20-something actor who didn't have much name recognition at the time. 

Corenswet, who used to be afraid of flying, actually did a 2020 interview with The New York Times while taking a lesson to get his pilot's license, so it definitely seems like he's the type to try new things. He will undoubtedly be eager to take charge if the opportunity to get behind the camera as a director eventually presents itself.