A new Superman movie is in development. Acclaimed author Ta-Nehisi Coates is writing a script for Warner Bros with JJ Abrams producing through his company Bad Robot Productions. According to reports, the hunt for an actor has not begun. And we do not know if Henry Cavill will ever return in the red cape but sources have told The Hollywood Reporter that Coates’ movie is being set up for a black Superman. If that is true, then this will be the first black Superman in live-action.
Though the Last Son of Krypton is almost always depicted as a white alien called Clarke Kent, there have been variants like Calvin Ellis in DC Comics.
For those who do not know, Calvin Ellis is a black Superman outside the primary DC continuity (also called the DC Universe). Like Clarke Kent, he is originally a Kryptonian and was sent to Earth to escape Krypton’s destruction.
He was then raised by an American couple as their son. But he differs from Clarke Kent in that he is also the President of the United States, while Clarke is a journalist with the fictional newspaper Daily Planet in the (fictional) city of Metropolis. The character was intentionally modelled over Barack Obama.
There have been other black Superman as well. Val-Zod from Earth 2 was the second DC character to assume the mantle of Superman.
As per THR, Michael B. Jordan, best known for playing Erik Killmonger in Black Panther, tried to develop a Black Superman movie in 2019 but was unsuccessful. He had earlier expressed interest in the character. In 2019, he had told Oprah Winfrey on her show, “It’s tough. I hate being a businessman and understanding both sides of the situation. There is a huge upside to it, but being under that microscope, being picked apart and compared to so many different versions of Superman… I would rather do something original. I’ll be Calvin Ellis.”
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