Director Sidney Lumet once had a wonderful piece of advice for aspiring directors: make sure everyone is making the same movie. In short, ensure that no single department is cordoned off from the rest of production, crafting in private, making something that may not link into everything else. Gunn noted that his upcoming film “Superman: Legacy” was focused on a unified aesthetic. He wanted the hair stylists, the makers of prosthetics, and the production designers all to be on the same page. This was something he also did with his movies “The Suicide Squad” and “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3,” both of them giant, expensive movies. Gunn said:
“[O]ne thing I noticed early on when I started directing bigger movies is I would watch other big movies – I don’t want to name them, but – occasionally I’d see another big movie where it’s like, well, you can tell that the costume designer wasn’t on the same page with the set designer, wasn’t on the same page with the hair designer, and those, they’re all individually great pieces of work, but together they don’t fit […] [T]here’s an aesthetic that you want to, you know, put against everything.”
And when the goal is aesthetic unity, perhaps it’s okay to leave casting a little loose. If Superman is all about the look of Metropolis, the cut of the costume, the flip of the hair, then it’s less important what actor goes in there. Indeed, ask yourself if you’d watch a Superman movie where he doesn’t wear his costume. Superman, Gunn seems to acknowledge, is more costume than man.
Indeed, Gunn went on to say explicitly that actors are not a priority for him.