A brand new era for the Man of Steel is set to come soon with prolific author Ta-Nehisi Coates teaming up with J.J. Abrams for the DC Comics reboot of Superman. And it looks like this will be a major change for the cinematic appearance of the character, though not one comics fans aren't used to as it reports indicate this take on Superman will in fact be a Black man. Coates, who has recently made a name for himself in the superhero world with popular runs on Black Panther and Captain America for Marvel Comics, will now shift his focus to charting the latest big screen adventure for Superman.
The report from The Hollywood Reporter seems to confirm that Coates' take will involve a Black Superman. This follows in the wake of reports that Michael B. Jordan was developing a similar Superman project years ago.
There is precedent in DC Comics to go this route, popularized by Grant Morrison and Doug Mahnk in the epic event series Final Crisis which introduced Kalel AKA Calvin Ellis. The popular character serves both as President of the United States and the superhero Superman. This version of the character was inspired by Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States.
While Calvin Ellis continues to play a role in DC Comics through appearances in comics like Multiversity, a different take on a Black Superman also appeared as part of the New 52 line of Earth-2. This version was named Val-Zod and took the place of his predecessor, who was killed alongside Bruce Wayne and Wonder Woman at the launch of the comic. While playing an important role in this era of continuity, Val-Zod has not achieved the mainstream success that Calvin Ellis has in DC Comics.
Coates is well equipped to tackle this take on the Man of Steel. After charting new directions for Black Panther and Captain America, he'll be backed by both Warner Bros. Pictures and Abrams' Bad Robot line.
"To be invited into the DC Extended Universe by Warner Bros., DC Films and Bad Robot is an honor," Coates told Shadow & Act, who announced the project. "I look forward to meaningfully adding to the legacy of America's most iconic mythic hero."
Added Abrams, "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."
There's no release date attached yet for this new Superman movie.