— DC Comics

For all his superhuman feats, there’s one aspect of Superman lore that actually demands suspension of disbelief. That the Son of Krypton can so easily disguise himself as Clark Kent, with absolutely no one the wiser, has never been easy to accept. Sure, some Superman adaptations have gotten around that rule in clever ways: Christopher Reeve obviously did it best, altering both his physical and psychological demeanor between Kal-El’s two personas. His performance has become the gold standard for the Clark Kent/Superman parallel, but the adaptations that have come before haven’t had nearly as much luck.

The most recent of Superman films have brought in diminishing returns. Brandon Routh’s performance in Superman Returns was serviceable, but Henry Cavill’s Clark Kent was, unfortunately, just Superman With Glasses On. When James Gunn tapped David Corenswet to take on the mantle, many worried that Superman would run into the same issues as Man of Steel. It’ll be some time before we actually get to judge Corenswet’s performance, but photos from the Superman set might have just put concerns about his appearance to rest.

Gunn’s DC film is officially filming in Cleveland, offering fans a better look at Corenswet’s Superman costume. Set images have also revealed Gunn’s take on Clark Kent, and it’s a pretty radical departure from prior takes on the character. No matter the form he takes, Kal-El’s hair is usually slicked back. Corenswet will sport that trademark hairstyle as Superman, but his Clark Kent will wear his hair curly. Paired with a set of thick hipster-y glasses, Corenswet is almost unrecognizable — at least compared to his Man of Steel.

Establishing a stark visual distinction a simple choice from Gunn, but it’s a bold one given the circumstances. Superman stories have always faced an uphill battle in masking the character’s alter ego: some succeeded in subverting expectations, while others went through the motions. Gunn’s Superman will take a more creative approach by tweaking Clark Kent’s look altogether. Paired with Corenswet’s performance (which will hopefully distinguish Clark’s mild-mannered alter ego even further from his superhero persona), DC might have finally resolved a big sticking point for Superman. Without the distraction of an unconvincing disguise, the new film can focus on establish a hero for the next generation.

Superman hits theaters on July 11, 2025.

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