A new Superman reboot is headed to the screen courtesy of acclaimed writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and producer J.J. Abrams. Coates, author of Between the World and Me and We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy, a writer for The New York Times Magazine and The Washington Post, and the writer on acclaimed comic runs of Black Panther and Captain America, said he looks “forward to meaningfully adding to the legacy of America’s most iconic mythic hero.”
Shadow and Act broke the news that Ta-Nehisi Coates will be writing a new Superman movie that J.J. Abrams will produce. This isn’t Abrams’s first go-around with Supes – back in the early 2000s, Abrams wrote an unfilmed Superman script called Flyby that was meant to reboot the character with a whole new mythology (spoiler alert: it’s revealed at the end that Superman’s nemesis Lex Luthor is also an alien from Krypton).
Now it’s Coates’s turn to take a crack at Superman, and having a writer of his caliber on this project is bound to generate some massive buzz. In a statement released to Shadow and Act, Coates said:
“To be invited into the DC Extended Universe by Warner Bros., DC Films and Bad Robot is an honor. I look forward to meaningfully adding to the legacy of America’s most iconic mythic hero. 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, and we’re beyond thankful to the team at Warner Bros. for the opportunity.”
Toby Emmerich, Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group added: “Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me opened a window and changed the way many of us see the world. We’re confident that his take on Superman will give fans a new and exciting way to see the Man of Steel.”
The question we have to ask now is: will this be a complete reboot of Superman, featuring a brand new actor? Deadline reports that current Superman Henry Cavill is “eager” to play the role again, but Shadow and Act adds that the “search for an actor to play Kal-El / Superman hasn’t started yet,” which certainly implies Cavill is out.
Then again, the Warner Bros./DC films have established the idea of multiple universes. The Joaquin Phoenix Joker movie exists in a world outside the current DCEU, where Jared Leto is technically still the Joker. And the upcoming The Flash movie is said to involve multiple universes as well, as it plans to bring in both Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck to play Batman. With that in mind, Coates’s Superman could exist in a continuity all its own. Coates could even use alternate Supermen from the comics – like Calvin Ellis, a Superman from a different Earth in the Multiverse inspired by President Barack Obama. That said, I think it would be fantastic if WB handed the main Superman franchise over to Coates and let him run with it.
However, The Hollywood Reporter’s Borys Kit has shed some light on the matter, writing: “Will audiences be introduced to a Black Superman? That is the intent and something that the studio has been trying to find a way in for months if not a year or two, according to sources.” In the past, it was reported that a Superman movie starring Michael B. Jordan was being considered, and that’s certainly a great casting choice.
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