James Gunn Addresses Black Superman Movie Plans

By Richard Nebens Updated:
Superman James Gunn

DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn set the record straight on plans for a movie centered on a black Superman in the DCU.

Superman has been prominent in headlines lately for the DCU, with Gunn and his partner Peter Safran reportedly almost ready to look at candidates for the new Man of Steel star debuting in 2025's Superman: Legacy.

But on top of the first movie in Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters, previous reports had also revealed that Warner Bros. has a movie in the works featuring Black Superman Val Zod, which has been in development since 2021.

And with writer Ta-Nehisi Coates addressing fan expectations by saying that he wants everybody to have their own experience watching the movie, many are expectedly curious about its status in the new DCU landscape.

James Gunn Teases Black Superman Movie Coming

Black Superman Val Zod

Speaking with io9, DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn confirmed that Ta-Nehisi Coates' Black Superman movie - which will be produced by J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot - is still on the board for the studio.

While confirming the progress on development for his own Superman: Legacy movie, Gunn admitted that he hasn't "read the script" for the other movie yet but indicated that it would be "an Elseworlds tale" if it goes through:

"Those two things are totally unrelated. That’s an exciting movie. I know that Chantal Nong, who is the executive on that project, is extremely excited about it. So if it comes in and it’s great, which I haven’t read the script, and if the timing is right, that could absolutely happen. That’s totally unrelated. It would be an Elseworlds tale like 'Joker.'"

This would be the latest Elseworlds project to be confirmed for development alongside 2024's Joker: Folie a Deux and 2025's The Batman - Part II.

When Will Black Superman Movie Arrive?

With this new movie still confirmed to be on the table for Warner Bros. after James Gunn announced the Chapter 1 and Elseworlds slates, the big question now is when it will move further into development under Warner Bros.

Black Panther star Michael B. Jordan has already addressed casting rumors surrounding him playing the black Superman Val-Zod, seemingly in an HBO Max project separate from this movie. Although, there are no solid updates on that front as the studio first looks to cast the DCU's Man of Steel in Chapter 1.

And while The Hollywood Reporter indicated that this new project is still in development, no new developments have given any sort of timeframe for casting, production, shooting, or release.

Currently, Superman: Legacy is set to begin production in early 2024 ahead of its July 11, 2025 release date, meaning the Black Superman movie is likely going to release a fair amount of time after that if it goes ahead

- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.