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Superman Movie Theory: What If That Isn't Actually Superman? (Hear Us Out...)

James Gunn revealed the titular hero's costume for his 2025 "Superman" movie, and while David Corenswet's Man of Steel finishes getting dressed, something menacing is in the background, seemingly shooting a beam of pink energy toward the city. It reveals just enough of the costume to excite fans while hinting at bigger machinations at play. But since this is the internet, where everything must be speculated upon, what if there's more in this photo than meets the eye? What if that isn't Superman at all?

It's a bit of a stretch but stick with us for this Superman movie theory. A while ago, rumors circulated that an evil version of Superman, like Bizarro or Ultraman, would feature in the plot, with the regular Man of Steel fighting against a wicked clone. Gunn debunked this rumor, insisting Lex Luthor (Nicholas Hoult) would be the main villain. But it would make sense for Gunn to throw people off the scent, and perhaps the image he posted to Threads hints at what's to come.

The Superman pictured has already been in battle, as his suit has burn marks. It could just show how he's been through a lot, but it also hints toward some kind of corruption, especially since it's on his "S." It could be that Gunn's telling us this is a damaged version of the Man of Steel, one that Lex Luthor perhaps cloned to fight the true Last Son of Krypton. And that's not the only potential evidence to suggest Clark Kent could face an impostor in this movie.

Flipping the Superman image horizontally adds more to the theory

A burnt suit can't be the only thing to get a "Superman" movie fan theory going, so let's examine some of the lighting around David Corenswet in James Gunn's photo. That pink energy ray outside reflects on the walls and floor of the room Superman is in, and it almost has a pink and purple hue to it. While Superman mostly rocks blue and red in his costume, Bizarro's suit has purple and indigo. The lighting in the room possibly hints that another character tangential to Superman could make their way into the film.

Superman's suit has the iconic "S" on it, but if you flip the image horizontally, one could argue that the specific S-shape looks more like a "2." This is significant due to Project 2 in "All-Star Superman," written by Grant Morrison with art from Frank Quitely. Project 2 was a procedure to clone Superman more successfully than previous attempts ending with Bizarro. This ultimately leads to the creation of Superman 2, who's a hero in the DC universe. Gunn previously hinted that "All-Star Superman" may have inspired parts of his upcoming take on the character, so it may not be out of the question if cloning Superman in some manner plays a role in the story. 

Finally, that giant orb in the picture could be the villainous artificial sun, Solaris, which is also in "All-Star Superman." It's possible Gunn took elements from that storyline to create a wholly original tale but one that still incorporates cloning somehow. It's a long shot, but until "Superman" comes out on July 11, 2025, there will probably be even wilder fan theories than this emerging.