LEGACY Role Due To Palestine Remarks; James Gunn Refutes Claim

 Egyptian-American comedian Bassem Youssef made headlines stateside as a new interview with Salon, contained claims from Youssef that he lost out on a role in Superman: Legacy because of his outspoken comments regarding Palestine.

Specifically, Youssef’s interview with Piers Morgan back in October 2023 went viral where he was supportive of Palestine in the ongoing Gaza crisis.

Said Youssef, “In the United States of America, 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.

He went on to add, “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. 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. This is the thing that we need to dissect: when I attack Israel, I attack its policy, I’m not attacking Jewish people.”

It didn’t take long for James Gunn and other Warner Bros. sources to chime in, stating that Youssef was actually cut from the film before his viral interview.  It seems he was set to portray a minor DC Comics character named Rumaan Harjavti, but was removed due to consideration for the movie’s runtime.

 Youssef’s comments also raise another interesting question in regard to previous claims that a Middle Eastern conflict would play a factor in the film. James Gunn debunked that claim but it seems that there may have been some truth to that rumor and that this portion of the film was simply cut due to time constraints. 

It’s also worth noting that Rumaan Harjavti is a character that appeared during Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis’ Justice League International run in the late ’80s. With so many members of the JLI appearing in Legacy, this seems like a pretty significant clue that it’s this superhero team and not The Terrifics or the traditional Justice League, that will be appearing in Legacy.

Superman: Legacy, the James Gunn-directed (and written) film stars David Corenswet as Kal-El/Clark Kent, Rachel Brosnahan as Lois Lane, Nathan Fillion as Guy Gardner/Green Lantern, Isabela Merced as Hawkgirl, Edi Gathegi as Mister Terrific, Sean Gunn as Maxwell Lord, María Gabriela de Faría as Angela Spica/The Engineer and Anthony Carrigan as Metamorpho.

Additionally, Nicholas Hoult has been confirmed by Gunn to portray Lex Luthor in the film.

Currently set for release on July 11, 2025, Superman: Legacy is the first film in Gunn’s reboot of the DCEU.  Filming is expected to begin this Spring.