Superman is coming back to the big screen. As first reported by Shadow and Act, Ta-Nehisi Coates, known for his work on Marvel’s Black Panther comics, is set to write a new Superman movie for Warner Bros. J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Trek) is producing the project via his Bad Robot banner.
“To be invited into the DC Extended Universe by Warner Bros., DC Films and Bad Robot is an honor,” Coates said. “I look forward to meaningfully adding to the legacy of America’s most iconic mythic hero.”
Details for the project remain tightly under wraps for the time being, as it is in the early stages of development. It has been widely reported that it will feature a Black Superman. This means we likely won’t see Henry Cavill returning for a Man of Steel sequel. A new actor will probably be cast to take up the mantle.
“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,” Abrams said.
Several Black characters in the DC Comics universe have been Superman in the past. Most notably, Calvin Ellis, from Earth-3. So Coates and the studio could use that as inspiration for the new Superman movie. Or they could simply make Kal-El black and reboot the franchise entirely.
“Ta-Nehisi Coates’s ‘Between the World and Me’ opened a window and changed the way many of us see the world,” Toby Emmerich, chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, said in a statement. “We’re confident that his take on Superman will give fans a new and exciting way to see the Man of Steel.”
The last time the character had a solo movie was 2013’s Man of Steel, directed by Zack Snyder. That introduced us to Cavill’s take on the beloved superhero. It was met with a somewhat mixed critical response and finished with $688 million at the box office. It never got a sequel but Cavill reprised the role in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. Cavill will be seen again in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, which arrives on HBO Max in March. Whether or not this new project means his time in the role is finished remains to be seen.