When word leaked out that Ta-Nehisi Coates was writing a black Superman movie for Warner Bros., produced by J.J. Abrams, fans made several assumptions. Among them, that Abrams would direct, as he had tried to do once before, and that the Superman might be a canonically black Superman from the comics. The Obama-like super-president Calvin Ellis, for one. Or Val-Zod, an Earth-2 Kryptonian whose battle against an evil version of Superman might have fit into the Snyderverse. A new report from the Hollywood Reporter this morning now says otherwise.
According to the report, Warner Bros. stays committed to finding a black director, fearing that having Abrams direct might look bad. And while Coates’ script remains currently unfinished, with a due date of December, as of now it’s reportedly about a black Kal-El otherwise based on the original comics. (Calvin Ellis was technically also Kal-El, though his story diverged.) Furthermore, it’s not set in the existing DC movie universe, but, like The Batman, will stand alone. It might even end up a 20th-century period piece. The obvious advantage to that would be a pre 9-11 world, and a more believable secret identity prior to ubiquitous smartphones. While the report cautions that all details could change, it sounds unlikely this project will exist in either the Snyderverse or The Flash‘s modified post-Snyderverse.
In theory, this could allow Henry Cavill to remain as the prime DCEU Superman. Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck set that precedent playing dual Batmen in The Flash while Robert Pattinson remains Batman in his own film series. Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker also sounds likely to get a sequel, in another timeline altogether. Or we could see Coates’ Superman and Matt Reeves’ (The) Batman interact.
At any rate, DC seems committed to multiple takes and universes, rather than the MCU route of one large interconnected timeline. What do you think of their Superman plan so far? Let us know in comments.
Recommended Reading: Superman: Lois and Clark