Superman: Legacy Director James Gunn Confirms Why Bassem Youssef Won’t Appear In Film

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Superman Legacy writer-director James Gunn has confirmed that comedian and TV host Bassem Youssef is not in the movie simply because his character was written out of the script and that it had nothing to do with Youssef’s controversial comments. Youssef spoke about the conflict in Gaza in a viral interview with Piers Morgan in October 2023. Speaking to Salon this week, Youssef said his part in Superman Legacy was cut due to his comments and that he was “a little bit bitter about losing the role.”

“I was kind of very sad, like why, in the United States of America, you can talk about Joe Biden, and you can talk about Donald Trump, but you cannot criticize a foreign government? Which is kind of very sad,” he said. “Because of that, I was cast in the movie, Superman, and then they told me, ‘We changed the script,’ after this Piers Morgan interview.'”

A source told IGN, however, that the character Youssef might have played, Rumaan Harjavti, was removed from the script “well before” the Piers Morgan interview aired. Variety also reported, citing a production source, that Gunn spoke with Youssef about the role but a “formal offer” was never extended to him because the part was removed from the script. The site said the script changes occurred before the October 7 attack.

Gunn responded to these reports, saying on social media that the timeline and characterization of events from IGN and Variety’s sources are accurate. He said on Threads, “There isn’t one word against another. Baseem and I talked and we’re good. I understand how he thought things might be (which he was clear about in his interview), and I told him the whole story.”

During his appearance on Morgan’s show, Youssef said, “They said Israel is the only military force in the world that warns civilians before bombing them. How f**king cute! That is so nice of them because with this logic, if Russian troops started warning Ukrainians before bombing their houses, we’re cool with Putin, right?”

Superman: Legacy stars David Corenswet as Superman, Rachel Brosnahan as Lois Lane, and Nicholas Hoult as Lex Luthor. The movie hits theaters in July 2025. The movie will stay in the shadows for some time, as the first trailer won’t arrive until 2025.

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