On Friday, news broke that Warner Brothers is setting up a new Superman film to be produced by JJ Abrams and his Bad Robot team and written by Ta-Nehisi Coates. The report from Shadow & Act notes that there is no director and a search for a new Superman has not yet begun, so it is VERY early days, but Coates said to the outlet, “I look forward to meaningfully adding to the legacy of America's most iconic mythic hero,” and JJ Abrams added, “There is a new, powerful and moving Superman story yet to be told. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with the brilliant Mr. Coates to help bring that story to the big screen…”
Rumors are already swirling that reigning SMA Michael B. Jordan is the top choice to play the new Superman, but that is hardly surprising as the fan art has existed for a while, and MBJ once pitched Warners on a new take on Superman. The internet might get its wish and see MBJ as Superman in the near-ish future.
What is not clear is if this take on Superman, while he will be Black, will be called “Clark Kent” or go by some other name, or perhaps be Val-Zod, a Black Kryptonian in the comics who also uses the mantle of Superman. We know DC is going down the multiverse route and they’re comfortable having multiple actors portraying the same characters at the same time, so we could have a Black Clark Kent, or get Val-Zod and Kal-El existing side-by-side in the multiverse, who knows. Nerds want to believe Henry Cavill will return as Superman—outside of the Snyder Cut, which is a creative dead end—even though all signs point to “no”, so the nerds are hoping Coates is writing a Val-Zod story even though, again, no one has a clue what this is beyond “Black Superman”.
Interestingly, Ray Fisher waded into the online waters on Saturday with this tweet:
Do yaâ€™ll remember that time Walter Hamada and @wbpictures tried to destroy a Black manâ€™s credibility, and publicly delegitimize a very serious investigation, with lies in the press?— Ray Fisher (@ray8fisher) February 27, 2021
But hey, Black Superman...
Could this all be a distraction from the allegations Fisher leveled at Warner Brothers/DC brass last year? Joss Whedon eventually left his HBO show, The Nevers, and Charisma Carpenter added her voice to Fisher’s in detailing a history of toxic behavior from Whedon. But the rest of the Warners/DC brass Fisher named, which came to include DC Films chief Walter Hamada, are still firmly ensconced in cushy, even powerful, positions within the company. Despite Whedon’s disgrace, Fisher has never been satisfied by the outcome of the investigation into his allegations and remains a vocal critic of Hamada online. (WarnerMedia responded, as did the investigator who looked into Fisher’s claims.) Is Ray Fisher right and Warners setting up a Black Superman project with Ta-Nehisi Coates is just a distraction? At this point, it is VERY clear WarnerMedia has NO intention of ousting Walter Hamada from the DC Films chair, so I’m not sure what they feel they need to deflect from now. Of course, Fisher could be right, and the conspiracy part of my brain says he is. But WarnerMedia has always stood by Hamada and I don’t know why they would only just now be throwing him a life raft. It’s a classic case of coincidence or conspiracy.