Superman Legacy: James Gunn denies a controversial interview cost an actor a key role in the film

Comedian Bassem Youseff says his Superman: Legacy character was cut from the James Gunn film after he made political remarks.

Bassem Youssef, Superman Legacy, james Gunn

There’s some confusion flying circles around James Gunn’s Superman: Legacy, with Egyptian-born entertainer Bassem Youseff saying he was fired from the project after showing support for Palestine during a Piers Morgan interview. According to Youseff, DC Studios offered him a role as a villain in the upcoming superhero spectacle. The official reason given for Youseff getting pulled from the cast list is a script change, but “the Jon Stewart of the Middle East” says the missed opportunity aligns with him showing support for Palestine in an interview.

However, a source close to the production says Youseff’s timeline of events needs to be corrected. The source says the decision to pass on Youseff’s involvement happened before the Piers Morgan interview.

“You’ve been very outspoken on behalf of Palestinian humanity and you lost a role in the new Superman movie and some other projects,” Dean Obeidallah of Salon said while speaking with Youseff.

“In the United States of America,” Youssef says, “you can talk about Joe Biden, you can talk about Donald Trump, but you cannot criticize a foreign government which is kind of, like, very sad, you know? And then because of that, I was cast in the movie Superman, and then they told me, ‘We changed the script’ after this Piers Morgan interview, and I want to assume good faith.”

“I understand maybe the people who are, you know, in charge, they took the decision, looked at me and didn’t want to have me and maybe I understand,” he goes on. “If I’m Arab Muslim, I was the head of Warner Bros.; I wouldn’t like a pro-zionist or pro-Isreal to be in my movie if he attacked my people.”

As today’s story went viral, James Gunn took to X/Twitter to say reports about Youseff being stripped from Superman: Legacy happened before the comedian’s Piers Morgan interview. IGN dug into the matter, with a source confirming that Gunn was in talks with Youseff to play the character Rumaan Harjavti. The character no longer appears in Superman: Legacy, with changes to the script happening in September. Sources say Youseff was never offered the role, and plans to cut the character occurred before he voiced his support for Palestine.

David Corenswet (Pearl) will star in Superman: Legacy as Clark Kent alongside Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Ms. Maisel) as Lois Lane. We’ll also see Nathan Fillion (The Rookie) as Guy Gardner, a charismatic and slightly obnoxious member of the Green Lantern Corps; Isabela Merced (Dora and the Lost City of Gold) as Hawkgirl; Edi Gathegi (X-Men: First Class) as Mister Terrific; and Anthony Carrigan (Barry) as Metamorpho. It was also recently announced that María Gabriela de Faría (Deadly Class) would be playing The Engineer, a member of The Authority.

Superman: Legacy arrives faster than a speeding bullet in theaters on July 11, 2025.

Source: Deadline, Salon

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.