Is Michael B. Jordan's talked about Superman movie taking flight at Warner Bros.? On Friday, best-selling author and comic book writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and producer J.J. Abrams of Bad Robot confirmed a Superman reboot that Coates says will "meaningfully [add] to the legacy of America's most iconic mythic hero." After Abrams promised a "new, powerful and moving Superman story," THR's Borys Kit reported the studio would revisit its plans for the "Black Superman project" that Jordan pitched in 2019. When Oprah Winfrey asked Jordan whether he would be the next Superman in a 2019 interview, the Black Panther star said it was "flattering and humbling" to be rumored for the role before Winfrey asked: "Would you like to be Superman?"
"It's tough. I hate being a businessman and understanding both sides of the situation. 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 at the time, adding that instead of Clark Kent, "I'll be Calvin Ellis."
Inspired in part by President Barack Obama, President Calvin Ellis is the Krypton-born Kalel, the Superman of Earth-23.
"There's another version of Superman in another dimension that is Black already in the comic books that exist, and I think the comic book purists can accept that more than me being Clark Kent from Kansas," Jordan said at the time. "That's a different thing."
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
According to Kit, Jordan's Superman project "did not go very far" when Jordan and his production company Outlier Society signed a first-look deal with Warner Bros. in January 2019.
Deadline's Justin Kroll also tweeted the studio "has been trying to figure out how to reboot [the] franchise with a Black Superman in [the] lead role," adding that Jordan is not presently involved with the Coates-Abrams Superman "but we shall see if that changes." Umberto Gonzalez of TheWrap appeared to hint the untitled Superman project would center on Calvin Ellis when he tweeted an image of the character after today's news.
"Michael has become a leading voice in a new generation of talent and is creating real change in the industry," Warner Bros. Pictures Group Toby Emmerich said when announcing the Warners-Jordan deal ahead of legal drama Just Mercy, produced by and starring Jordan. "His talent is undeniable, and beyond that, his commitment and conviction around representation and inclusion are inspiring — he truly walks the walk. We're extremely proud to be in business with him and excited about a number of projects on the horizon."
In a statement, Jordan said at the time that Warners "share[s] my passion for telling unique, creatively-fulfilling stories and giving a voice to the next generation of talent."