Asked by Oprah if he could be the next Superman, Jordan said, “It’s tough. I hate being a business man and understanding both sides of the situation.”
Before portraying Erik ‘Killmonger’ Stevens in Marvel Studios’ billion-plus grossing Black Panther, Jordan debuted as Marvel Comics character Johnny Storm in 2015’s Josh Trank-directed Fantastic Four reboot.
A critical and commercial failure, Fantastic Four saw Jordan scrutinized for playing a character long depicted as blue-eyed, blonde-haired, and white in the comic books.
“There is a huge upside to it, but being under that microscope, being picked apart and compared to so many different versions of Superman... I would rather do something original,” Jordan said. “I’ll be Calvin Ellis.”
That alternate universe version of the iconic superhero, Jordan explained, could help quell backlash against the first black Superman on screen.
“I think the comic book purists would accept that more than me being Clark Kent from Kansas,” Jordan said.
Noted comic book fan and filmmaker Kevin Smith, who once penned the never-made Superman Lives, previously backed the idea of a Jordan Superman in a September episode of Fatman Beyond:
“I’ll be honest with you, when they said Michael B. Jordan the other day, I was like, ‘Yes, do it, do it.’ And that’s not even a new, like, f— progressive idea,” Smith said.
“When I was working on Superman in 1996, Will Smith was floated as Superman. And I was like, ‘Oh my God, f— do it.’ And to be fair, that came from [producer] Jon Peters. Jon Peters was like, ‘Will Smith should play this role.’”
After a member of the live audience called out for Smith to play Jor-El, Superman’s father, Smith gleefully embraced the idea.
“Will Smith as Jor-El if Michael B. Jordan plays f— Superman? Can I come see your movie, sir?” Smith said. “Oh my God, what a great idea.”
Studio Warner Bros. has yet to announce plans for a second solo Superman movie. The studio is instead said to be focusing on Supergirl moving forward.
Jordan next headlines drama Just Mercy, due out in January, and is expected to re-team with Black Panther filmmaker Ryan Coogler on true-story drama pic Wrong Answer.
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