James Gunn’s new Superman set photos reveal a convincing Clark Kent disguise.
David Corenswet’s Clark Kent appearance is a departure from previous Superman films.
The believability of the disguise adds a new level of realism to the Superman story.

In 2025, Superman is coming, and part of the movie-watching world will once more ask an iconic question: is it a bird, is it a pla- wait, how come nobody recognizes Superman when he’s Clark Kent? He literally just wears glasses and styles his hair differently… But thanks to new photos from DC‘s Superman set in Ohio, we already know how James Gunn is avoiding the age-old accusation of plot-hole blindness.

Because the new Clark Kent looks the real deal. In almost every Superman movie released to date, the audience is asked to suspend disbelief enough to accept Kal-El’s very surface-level disguise. Christopher Reeve managed the con by shifting his physicality. Henry Cavill didn’t really try. David Corenswet’s Clark Kent, meanwhile, looks like the least likely candidate in Metropolis to be the Man of Steel.


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Superman’s New Clark Kent Is The Perfect Disguise

Custom Image by Leah Nucum

The usual trick of Clark Kent in movies is based on the utter impossibility of a nerd being a superhero. So the hulking Superman actors would put on some glasses, ruffle their hair (nerds can’t have forehead curls), and be a bit softer in their mannerisms. It worked better for some than others, but most followed the same pattern. It’s only really Tyler Hoechlin (who adopted a Pixar dad look), and Tom Welling (suspiciously old jock type) who strayed a little.

David Corenswet’s look has more of the joke shop about it, with what appears to be twice as much hair as he has as Superman. He combines it with a carefully disheveled suit, a tie not fully fastened, the usual glasses, and the kind of briefcase that would usually be given to clichéd movie dweebs who spend their time imprisoned in their own school locker. There is no way anyone looks at him and thinks “that guy could leap over a building in a single bound”. I love it. I get it.


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The one I can’t seem to shake is whether it’s a wig. Some sort of hairy appendage that clips onto Clark’s fringe and can be whipped off quickly when his superhero duties require a more dynamic look? Or does Superman’s utility belt contain a heavy duty volumizer or Soul Glo? I choose to accept that the answer is yes to the latter.

In all seriousness, these questions are a distraction from what is a very good magic trick that answers one of the oldest questions more casual fans have about Superman, and that can be counted as a win. It’s the kind of commitment to the audience that makes me very confident in Superman‘s prospects. That is not to say that previous versions did anything wrong, per se, but there was never any believability behind Clark Kent as a disguise.

Sometimes that was okay, especially in the Snyderverse, where nobody picked up on the fact that moody, isolated billionaire Bruce Wayne was the size of a fire truck, with muscles like whiskey barrels. It doesn’t matter, as long as the audience is in on the trick, but it’s just nice to see Superman try something a little more… real.

“}]] That guy?! Seriously?  Read More