After finding his Clark Kent and Lois Lane, James Gunn is moving furiously to populate his Metropolis with a bevy of other DC heroes for Superman: Legacy.
Anthony Carrigan, fresh off an Emmy nomination for his standout work in HBO’s Barry, has been cast as classic DC character Metamorpho, aka archeologist-turned-hero Rex Mason. He joins the feature that will formally launch DC’s new universe under filmmaker Gunn and his DC Studios co-boss Peter Safran.
Also on the call sheet are Isabela Merced, playing Hawkgirl; Edi Gathegi as Mister Terrific; and Gunn stalwart Nathan Fillion as macho Green Lantern Guy Gardner. Those castings were announced Tuesday.
The deals are being made in the shadow of a looming actors strike. A SAG-AFTRA strike could commence as early as midnight PT July 12, and if that were to happen, any negotiations between representatives and studios would stop like a speeding bullet hitting the Man of Steel’s chest.
Gunn made some of his choices some time ago but was waiting to pull the trigger on deals or reveals until after he found his Kent and Lane. Screen tests for those roles were held only a few weeks ago, with David Corenswet (Pearl) and Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) being announced as nabbing the leads on June 27.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter following his Emmy nomination, Carrigan, who has alopecia, explained that he had Metamorpho on his radar before getting the role. “I like comic books, but I’m not a diehard, but I did when all my hair fell out, go through the kind of pantheon of all of these bald superheroes and supervillains and made note of all of them,” Carrigan said. “I remember seeing Metamorpho and I think he had like a giant like hammer for a hand and I was like, that guy’s badass. Noted. We’ll store that one away.”
Carrigan said that playing the character is meaningful as a member of the alopecia community. “This character from what I’ve learned of the source material, he didn’t like the way he looked, and I can really relate to that,” The actor added. “You know, when he got his powers he thought it was a curse. That’s something that I really felt as well. In my case, I turned it around and saw it as a blessing. So I’m excited to bring that to the table with this character.”
Legacy has a release date of July 11, 2025, and Gunn is still expecting to shoot early next year. The filmmaker is directing and wrote the script, which showcases a world already filled with a slew of superpowered heroes at the time of Superman’s arrival.
Metamorpho, created by Bob Haney and Ramona Fradon in 1965, can transmute elements in his body into various forms, taking those properties on as powers. After first being an archeologist, his abilities set him on the path of heroism. He later became a detective and a founding member of the supergroup known as the Outsiders. The wonky look and abilities of the character seem to reflect Gunn’s well-established love for off-center characters, whom he finds unique ways to highlight and who go on to be scene-stealers or emotional cores.
Carrigan played fan favorite NoHo Hank for the complete run of Barry, HBO’s beloved dark comedy that has racked up over 50 Emmy nominations for its four seasons, the last of which wrapped in May. Carrigan earned three Emmy nominations in the outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series category over that time, as well as four SAG Award nominations.
In the movie space, the actor appeared opposite Kevin Hart in the 2021 comedic drama Fatherhood and with Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter in 2020’s Bill & Ted Face the Music. He will next be seen in Winter’s murder-mystery film The Adults alongside Evan Rachel Wood and Josh Gad.
Carrigan is repped by CAA, Schlegel Entertainment and Goodman Genow.
—Esther Zuckerman contributed to this story.