New Superman Movie Details: Black Kal-El, Director, & Not Part Of DCEU
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New Superman Movie Details: Not Part Of DCEU, Will Be Kal-El, And A Black Director

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BY May 5, 2021

We’ve got some new information about the forthcoming movie from DC films featuring their most famous Kryptonian. The new Superman movie will be helmed by a Black director, will focus on Kal-El, and won’t be part of the DCEU. Last month we told you that Ta-Nehisi Coates will pen the Superman movie script, but this latest report says the film may be a 20th century “period piece.” The search is underway for a Black actor to take up the role, and if Michael B. Jordan is to be believed he’s not involved in it. One thing that we can say for certain is that J.J. Abrams, whose Bad Robot production company is producing the film, will not direct. He will, of course, be involved and willing to help, but this new Superman film is being handed off to creators of color to tell a new kind of story.

On social media, fans seemed very unhappy with this news. They objected to the idea that rather than adapting the two existing Black-passing Kryptonians’ stories—Val Zod and Calvin Ellis—they are sticking with Kal-El. (They also didn’t like that this news dropped on Henry Cavill’s birthday, who still wants to play Superman.) However, while we are certain that the movie will feature a Black Superman that’s not part of the DCEU, it’s less clear if Kal-El really is the Superman at the center of this story.

That part of the report comes from this paragraph at

“So far, every movie and TV show, with the exception of Matt Reeves’ The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson and set for release in March, HBO Max’s spinoff Gotham PD, and Joker and its planned sequel, will take place in the same universe. The Superman film appears to be moving onto its own track and won’t be part of the universe, as of now. Sources tell THR that Coates is crafting a Kal-El in the vein of the original Superman comics and will have the protagonist hail from Krypton and come to Earth. While the story is currently being crafted and many details could change, one option under consideration is for the film to be a 20th century period piece.”

Black Superman Movie Kal-El DCEU Coates Ellis Image via DC Comics

Now, it’s possible that this was just the reporter inserting “Kal-El” for “Superman” in order to mix up their word choice. It’s equally possible that their Warner Bros./DC Films sources actually said “Kal-El.” Yet what’s clear is that nothing has yet been decided for sure other than the new Superman movie will feature Black talent and not be part of the DCEU, Kal-El notwithstanding.

Whether they choose to go with Calvin Ellis, Val Zod, or Kal-El, fans should get a grip. There are only three other comic book characters with the eight-decade legacy that Superman has. (Batman, Wonder Woman, and Captain America.) While there are plenty of great Black comics characters, Superman is different. He’s become a symbol, a part of American cultural mythology that demands his refugee alien story be told from an other-than-white perspective. In a way, this shift in perspective started with Man of Steel which painted the world as fearful of Superman rather than accepting.

The script for the new Superman movie is expected to be delivered in December.

What do you think? Do want the new Superman movie to feature a Black Kal-El or do you want them to adapt Val Zod or Calvin Ellis’ stories? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Featured image via DC Comics

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Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.

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