All the movies and series starring David Corenswet, the new Superman, ranked

All the movies and series starring David Corenswet, the new Superman, ranked
If you saw the first-look photo of David Corenswet as Superman circulating this week and thought, “Oh great, another British ‘Man of Steel’ faking an American accent. What’s next, more CGI moustache removal?” — I hear you. But in this case, despite what seems like a Hollywood conspiracy to ruin the cultural icons of our youth, there’s no need to panic. He might have an annoyingly upper-class-twat surname, but David Corenswet is not some jacked up former Burberry model — he’s actually a Juilliard-trained actor (from Philadelphia, with roots in New Orleans) who’s played some impressive roles in a number of pretty good and not-so-good movies and series.

It should also be noted that next summer’s would-be blockbuster Superman (previously titled Superman Legacy) is in good hands. The movie, which is currently filming, is written and directed by James Gunn of Guardians of the Galaxy fame — kicking off a whole new DCU that will hopefully leave the Snyderverse in the shadows where it belongs. (Man of Steel was the only decent thing that came of it, and that was a decade ago. It’s time for the fanboys to move on.)

So for those unacquainted with David Corenswet, here is a ranked list of all of the films and series where he plays significant roles (HBO’s Baltimore police drama We Own This City has been omitted, for example, because Corenswet is barely noticeable as a paint-by-numbers cop in a handful of episodes). We’ve also included a handy watch/don’t watch meter along with Canadian streaming details.

All the movies and series starring David Corenswet, the new Superman, ranked

6. Look Both Ways (2022)

This Sliding Doors-style rom-com — wherein a woman’s life develops a parallel timeline as we see the impact of an unexpected pregnancy, as well as her trajectory when her pregnancy test comes back negative — is at the bottom of the pack for several reasons. This is some dues-paying, (presumably) Netflix-contract-fulfilling stuff for Corenswet, who has a supporting role as a basic nice guy who dates the girl (Lili Reinhart) in the baby-less timeline, but then has to split to Nova Scotia indefinitely to work on a film project. The film is pretty dull overall, and (without dropping spoilers) a smidge ideologically dubious, especially since it came out about a month after huge numbers of American women started to lose abortion rights in their state. As for Corenswet co-starring in a convoluted rom-com, there’s a far better option further down this list.

Watch it or don’t watch it? Don’t watch it.

Look Both Ways is streaming in Canada on Netflix.

Look Both Ways, starring Lili Reinhart and David Corenswet (directed by Wanuri Kahiu)

5. The Politician (2019)

This Ryan Murphy Netflix series stars Corenswet in a very minor but key role as River Barkley (lol), Ben Platt’s secret boyfriend and political rival in college. Some of Corenswet’s scenes in The Politician undoubtedly advanced his career — a political speech that turns into a mental health confession, a near-death experience hallucination wherein Platt actually tells him, “You look like Superman” — showcasing his effortless ability to be sympathetic and tender on screen. As a whole, though, the two-season series is a chore, especially if you’re like me and find Platt irritating. But Ryan Murphy’s signature all-star casting choices (Gwyneth Paltrow has a conversation with Corenswet in Mandarin, Jessica Lange and Bette Midler are also in the mix) almost make it worthwhile.

Watch it or don’t watch it? Don’t watch it.

The Politician is streaming in Canada on Netflix.

The Politician, starring Ben Platt and David Corenswet (created by Brad Falchuk, Ryan Murphy, Ian Brennan)

4. Affairs of State (2018)

In the same year that he appeared in the penultimate episode of House of Cards for, like, three minutes (playing Claire Underwood’s old boyfriend in a flashback), Corenswet landed a lead role in this sleazy political drama as an amoral asshole trying to climb the political ladder. While his hacker roommate (Thora Birch) contributes to the cause via blackmail schemes with a sociopathic political operative (Adrian Grenier), Corenswet’s angle is mainly railing a series of old ladies (Mimi Rogers among them). In his first theatrical release, Corenswet handles the lead role well despite going against what would become his type — unlikeable anti-hero is not the greatest of fits. While this is overall not a good movie, its sheer trashiness and unintentional laughs — watching Corenswet’s tortured reactions to constant propositions from a wide range of ladies, the absurd attempt at suspense in the film’s final moments, etc — arguably make it worthwhile.

Watch it or don’t watch it? Watch it (if you have an appreciation for sleaze)

Affairs of State is streaming in Canada on Tubi.

Affairs of State, starring David Corenswet and Adrian Grenier (directed by Eric Bross)

3. The Greatest Hits (2024)

This is a way better rom-com than Look Both Ways, and its central conceit is far more original: Lucy Boynton plays a woman who can’t hear any song she listened to with her late boyfriend without time-travelling back to the moment they heard it together. Her obsession with trying to change the past and prevent his fatal car accident leaves her depressed and unable to move on, casting a pall of sadness over much of the film, despite the new love interest she meets in group grief therapy. Corenswet is well cast as Boynton’s tragic boyfriend, which is a repeat of The Politician, strangely, but he gets more screen time here. Given the film’s focus on music, I appreciated the decision to avoid the same old needledrops. In fact, the only cringe moment in The Greatest Hits comes when two characters (not Corenswet) are singing along to one of the soundtrack’s very few well-known songs. Despite that gaffe (I actually had to turn the TV off and regroup before continuing), this is a worthwhile emotional rollercoaster and a playlist of music discoveries.

Watch it or don’t watch it? Watch it

The Greatest Hits is streaming in Canada on Disney+.

The Greatest Hits, starrting Lucy Boynton, Justin H. Min and David Corenswet (directed by Ned Benson)

2. Pearl (2022)

Ti West’s prequel to X, the 1979-set slasher film about a group of amateur filmmakers shooting a quasi-porno in the country, is set on and around the same property in 1918. Mia Goth plays the titular farm girl whose blood-lust blossoms when a film projectionist in town (Corenswet) encourages her to leave her family behind and pursue her dreams of being in the pictures. The primary purpose for this sweet-talking is to get in her pants; he also shows her a reel from an old-timey porno to pique her carnal curiosity. But the projectionist’s lack of real interest in Pearl — which evolves into creeping dread as her mental illness reveals itself — soon comes back to bite him. This is a no-brainer for horror fans, and (spoilers ahead) if you want to see the future Superman (with a moustache!) die a fairly gruesome genre-worthy death, Pearl is the movie for you.

Watch it or don’t watch it? Watch it

Pearl is streaming in Canada on Prime.

Pearl, starring Mia Goth and David Corenswet (directed by Ti West)

1. Hollywood (2020)

Imagine Hollywood in the 1940’s — but woke. This is the general idea of Ryan Murphy’s Hollywood, a major showcase for Corenswet, who’s set up as the protagonist from the very first shot despite the series having a pretty deep ensemble cast. While championing progressive values by depicting a world where people of colour were cast in lead roles and gay actors (such as Rock Hudson, one of several real Hollywood figures in this series) were allowed to come out of the closet, Hollywood is also pretty funny and highly sleazy — its original script was apparently borderline softcore porn, and they certainly kept some of that in. As an aspiring actor who can’t catch a break, Corenswet’s character Jack Costello winds up working at a gas station that’s a front for a gigolo service — more banging of senior citizens ensues. Despite the side hustle, Corenswet plays Costello as a fairly wholesome all-American type with notable Clark Kent vibes. And if you ever wanted to see Jim Parsons do the inverse of the Big Bang Theory thing (I hate that show), his role as a predatory gay movie exec here is priceless.

Watch it or don’t watch it? Watch it

Hollywood is streaming in Canada on Netflix.

Hollywood, starring David Corenswet, Darren Criss, Jack Picking etc etc (created by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan)

James Gunn’s Superman is scheduled for release on July 11, 2025.

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