The most recent solo Superman film is 2013's Man of Steel starring Henry Cavill. While that film faced a lot of controversy for the theme and vision of Zack Snyder, it thrusted Cavill into stardom and he went on to star in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League.
Despite the character starring in these ensemble projects, there was never a proper Man of Steel sequel made.
As the DCEU seems to be headed in a new direction, so does Superman. Entertainment outlets Shadow and Act and Deadline have reported that Warner Bros. is planning to reboot Superman with a feature film produced by J.J. Abrams. The film will also reportedly be produced by Hannah Minghella and Ta-Nehisi Coates is writing the script.
A new crucial detail to this Superman reboot has now been revealed.
THE FIRST BLACK SUPERMAN
According to Hollywood Reporter insider Borys Kit, Warner Bros. intends for the upcoming DC project to star the first on-screen Black Superman. This project has been in the works for a few years since they met with Michael B. Jordan about the possibility.
It's a possibility that this could end up being DC's first rendition of Calvin Ellis, a Black Superman from another Earth, on the big screen. Kit explained that Warner Bros. has been "trying to find a way" for possibly a year or two to produce a black-led Superman film.
Despite Michael B. Jordan's attempts at developing "a Black Superman project" it is unclear if he would still be attached to this film.
Michael B. Jordan tried to develop a Black Superman project when he first arrived to the studio with his deal in 2019 but that did not go very far at the time, according to sources. It is possible that the studio could return to him to star down the line. https://t.co/0Z38vfs5eH— Borys Kit (@Borys_Kit) February 26, 2021
Deadline reporter Justin Kroll has corroborated Kit's report, saying that WB has been trying to reboot the franchise with a Black Superman since their 2019 meeting with Jordan.
WB for some time has been trying to figure out how to reboot franchise with a Black Superman in lead role going as far as meeting with Michael B. Jordan to hear his pitch more then a year ago on what that would look like. MBJ not involved now but we shall see if that changes https://t.co/Pm8UwqutqZ— Justin Kroll (@krolljvar) February 26, 2021
A FRESH START FOR THE MAN OF STEEL
In 2019, Variety reported that a JJ Abrams-produced Superman film was in the works and Michael B. Jordan had a meeting about the project. The trail has since run cold, especially as Cavill has expressed his desire to continue playing the part.
Even director Zack Snyder shared his support for the actor as the Man of Steel. Unfortunately for this director-actor duo that initially teamed up for Man of Steel, the overwhelming evidence is starting to indicate Cavill's final appearance as Clark Kent may be in Zack Snyder's Justice League.
Now, the possibilities seem endless in what could be a hard reboot of the character in the DC universe. No matter who plays the role, it is unknown what the role will exactly be.
The aforementioned Calvin Ellis is not only Superman but President of the United States on his Earth. If Warner Bros. decides to go with the Ellis character instead of Clark Kent they could benefit from setting the story outside the DCEU, which currently seems to be going through a soft reboot of its own.
However, there's no reason to believe Clark Kent cannot be black. He never has been in the comics, but the race of Kal-El isn't a definitive trait of the character. What's definitive to Clark Kent/Superman is his superpowers, being raised in Smallville by Martha and Jonathan Kent, moving to Metropolis, and falling in love with Lois Lane.
No matter what Superman character Warner Bros. decides to move forward with, introducing the first Black Superman will continue to boost Black superhero representation.