Superman: Legacy is quickly becoming one of the most anticipated and curiosity-inducing comic-book movies of the 2020s so far. The upcoming reset of the DC universe from James Gunn and Peter Safran, with Superman being the first major film in the new continuity, has a lot of people intrigued to see how DC will be different under the new leadership of DC Studios.
After a decade of the DCEU and Snyderverse failing to excite general audiences in the same way that the MCU has, it was clear that more than a few things needed to change. One of the first major changes that Gunn and Safran announced after coming aboard DC was that Man of Steel’s Henry Cavill would not be returning to play Clark Kent / Kal-El, and the role of Superman would instead be recast for the new film directed by Gunn.
Well, after months of reporting and theorizing about whom the next man in the cape would be, we finally have our answer. David Corenswet will be the newest actor to step into the red boots of the man of tomorrow – with Marvelous Mrs. Maisel star Rachel Brosnahan starring opposite him as Lois Lane – in Superman: Legacy. Corenswet will be the fourth actor to star as Superman on the big screen, following in the footsteps of Christopher Reeve, Brandon Routh and Cavill.
Additionally, like all of those actors, Corenswet is far from being a household name at this point. He has certainly appeared in a fair number of projects over the years, but he’s pretty far from being a movie star. If you’re looking to familiarize yourself with the actor before Superman: Legacy hits theaters in 2025, here are 10 of the biggest films and shows that he has appeared in:
10 Hollywood (2020)
One of the most notable additions to Corenswet’s filmography is Hollywood, the Netflix miniseries from Ryan Murphy, which was released in 2020. Corenswet has worked with the legendary producer on more than one occasion, his role in Hollywood was the first time he had played the lead in one of Murphy's shows. The series is set in late ‘40s Hollywood, immediately after the end of the second World War, and Corenswet plays a young veteran who moves to Tinseltown to pursue his dreams of becoming an actor.
While Hollywood may not be the best-reviewed series that Murphy has produced, Corenswet made for an excellent leading man, and he already carried a lot of the wholesome energy needed to play a part like Superman.
9 Affairs of State (2018)
Back in 2018, Corenswet starred in one of his first feature films, Affairs of State. The movie had a very limited theatrical run, but it was mostly made available through a direct-to-streaming release. Affairs of State is a political thriller of sorts in which Corenswet plays Michael Lawrence, a congressional aide who has an affair with the wife of the senator he works for. In order to hide the affair, the film’s characters go to some extreme lengths. The movie may not be widely-known, and the reviews for it weren't outstanding, but it was a foot in the door for Corenswet, who has been able to build off this leading role in subsequent projects.
8 Elementary (2017)
Early in Corenswet’s career, shortly after he graduated from Juliard in 2016, the actor landed a guest appearance on the CBS Sherlock Holmes series Elementary. He appeared in the 19th episode of season five, titled “High Heat,” in which he plays a character named Houston Spivey. This was only a one-off appearance for Corenswet, as he never reprised his role in future episodes and seasons.
It was a solid stepping stone though, as Elementary, which starred Jonny Le Miller as Holmes, was a fairly-successful case-of-the-week detective show inspired by some of the best mystery novels ever published. This episode, as well as the rest of Elementary, is currently available to stream on Hulu.
7 Look Both Ways (2022)
Another Netflix original that features Corenswet in a leading role is the 2022 romantic comedy Look Both Ways. The film is an interesting re-envisioning of a rom-com, as its story splits into two different alternate realities. In one, the lead character Natalie Bennet – played by Lili Reinhart – has an unexpected positive pregnancy test. In the other, the test comes back negative.
The film then follows two different life paths for Bennet as she attempts to follow her dreams. Corenswet plays a character named Jake, a central romantic interest for Bennet, who primarily appears in the reality where she wasn’t pregnant.
6 Twisters (2024)
Okay, so this movie hasn’t actually come out yet, but if things stay on track it will before Superman: Legacy releases in 2025. Twisters is the upcoming sequel to the ‘90s disaster movie Twister, starring Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton. The movie, which is currently in production, has cast Corenswet in a supporting role, while the leading roles are filled with the likes of Daisy Edgar-Jones, Glen Powell and Anthony Ramos.
Very little is known about the plot of the movie, with even fewer details available regarding Corenswet’s character. However, the Universal/Warner Bros. co-production is expected to be a solid hit when it is released in the summer of 2024.
5 We Own This City (2022)
Last year, Corenswet also played a role in the HBO miniseries We Own This City, which was based on the true story and corruption scandal involving the Gun Trace Task Force established by the Baltimore Police Department. The show was very well received, with it receiving a certified fresh 93% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. That score makes the series the highest-rated project of Corenswet’s career at the moment. We Own This City featured an extensive cast, which included Jon Bernthal in a lead role. Corenswet played an investigator named David McDougall, who was from the Maryland state law enforcement.
4 House of Cards (2018)
Another small role that Corenswet played earlier in his career was a guest appearance in the final season of Netflix’s House of Cards. As the first breakout original series for Netflix, House of Cards was once a cornerstone of the streamer, but the series had to be significantly adjusted after star Kevin Spacey had a number of serious allegations made against him. The final season of the show wrote Spacey’s Frank Underwood out and shifted focus solely to Robin Wright's character, Claire Underwood. In this context, Corenswet appeared during a flashback in one of the show’s final episodes.
He played a young man named Reed, who was romantically involved with Claire in college and was a rival of sorts to a young Frank. Coincidentally, Corenswet's Superman: Legacy co-star Rachel Brosnahan also appeared in House of Cards, though she was in the much larger role of Rachel Posner throughout the first three seasons.
3 Lady in the Lake (2023)
Here’s another entry on this list that has yet to actually be released, but it is certain to be a worthy inclusion. Corenswet is set to play a supporting role in the upcoming Apple TV+ limited series Lady in the Lake, which is adapted from a novel of the same name. Of the handful of new projects that Corenswet is attached to, Lady in the Lake is the one set to be released most imminently. It is a mystery show that also stars the likes of Natalie Portman, Moses Ingram, Brett Gelman and Noah Jupe. While no official release date has been announced for Lady in the Lake, it is likely that the show will debut sometime in the latter half of 2023.
2 The Politician (2019-20)
Corenswet’s other major collaboration with Ryan Murphy was on the Netflix show The Politician. The series has only run for two seasons, but Corenswet plays a key role in both of them. Without spoiling anything too specific about his character, Corenswet plays River Barkley, who is a political rival of sorts to the lead character Payton Hobart (Ben Platt), but he also serves as a good friend, romantic interest, and general conscious for Hobart. It was through The Politician that Corenswet was really introduced to a wider audience, as the show was a solid success for Netflix, Murphy, and everyone involved.
1 Pearl (2022)
Finally, the role that has made Corenswet a more recognizable name among film junkies was his part in the 2022 cult horror film Pearl. That film, from director Ti West and star Mia Goth, was widely considered to be one of the best horror movies of 2022. It was a prequel to the film X, which released just a few months prior, and it built upon a lot of the great things that film had done.
Corenswet plays a character simply called “the projectionist,” who is plays a big part in helping Goth’s titular character pursue her dreams of becoming a movie star. Corenswet plays one of the largest roles in Pearl, and his performance in the film is generally considered to be one of his best in any of his projects so far.