Movies & TV / Columns

Thoughts on a Black Superman Movie

May 8, 2021 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Michael B. Jordan Superman

Here we go! Yes, it’s an easy subject that will draw plenty of heated comments but let’s take a balanced look at what’s going on with DC Films and Warner Bros.’ Superman reboot from J.J. Abrams and Ta-Nahesi Coates that will reportedly center on a Black version of Kal-El, not Val-Zod.

Everyone knows about Val-Zod, right? If not, Google it. 

Sources for The Hollywood Reporter say Coates, who is writing the movie, is “crafting a Kal-El in the vein of the original Superman comics and will have the protagonist hail from Krypton and come to Earth.”

Back in February 2021, Warner Bros. announced it had tapped Coates to write a new Superman movie, with Abrams producing under his Bad Robot studio. “To be invited into the DC Extended Universe by Warner Bros., DC Films and Bad Robot is an honor,” Coates said. “I look forward to meaningfully adding to the legacy of America’s most iconic mythic hero.” 

People being people started to fantasy cast who would be putting on the cape and most talk landed on Michael B. Jordan. 

Jordan has been rumored for the role for years now but in a recent interview the actor dampened those dreams. While speaking with Cinepop, Jordan had the following to say about the role of a Black Superman in WB’s upcoming reboot:

“I don’t know what is really going on with [Black Superman] in particular. But everybody’s want and desire to see black leads and heroic roles is really important. Representation is important… There’s so many opportunities with different IP, different properties, different characters that never got the light of day. And there are certain ones that should just be where they are. So let’s just see how things shake out.”

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter he was even clearer:

“”It’s smart of DC to grab Ta-Nehisi to go ahead and adapt that project. He’s incredibly talented. It’s going to be worth checking out. I’m flattered that people have me in that conversation. It’s definitely a compliment, but I’m just watching on this one.”

So back to the drawing board with the fantasy casting. 

Let’s move on to those who will be steaming over a Black Superman. I can already predict the backlash on that and the usual arguments that are made like, “LEt;S MaKE BlAcK PAnTHeR wHiTE ANd SeE WHat PEoPle SaY!” 

Let’s move on from that, shall we? We get it. A comic book character being translated to the big screen can only be ONE way. Never mind the possibilities that exist when you inject new energy into a character that has the iconic history as Superman does. Never mind that the character has undergone numerous updates over the decades with powers and personality. If the story is good, the story is good. Let’s leave it at that.

Instead, let’s see what this project brings to the table BUT also talk about a great MISSED opportunity with Milestone’s Icon. You know Icon.  A being from another planet, he has taken on the form of an African American man, and has abilities such as flight, super-strength, and invulnerability, created by Dwayne McDuffie and M. D. Bright.

Why isn’t Icon getting any love? 

Look, I’m cool with the project. But let’s not overlook some potential gems in the name of making a buck.

Respectfully share your thoughts below!