Superman reboot on the way from Star Wars and Lost’s JJ Abrams

The iconic DC Comics hero will apparently be portrayed by a Black actor, with a script written by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Henry Cavill plays Superman in Man of Steel

A brand new Superman movie is in the works at Warner Bros and it looks set to be unlike any that we’ve seen before.

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Blockbuster filmmaker JJ Abrams is attached to produce the upcoming feature, having most recently worked on two Star Wars saga entries in The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker.

He’ll be collaborating with journalist and writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, who will pen the script having previously specialised in reporting and exploring issues facing the African-American community.

“To be invited into the DC Extended Universe by Warner Bros., DC Films, and Bad Robot is an honour,” Coates told Shadow and Act. “I look forward to meaningfully adding to the legacy of America’s most iconic mythic hero.”

“There is a new, powerful and moving Superman story yet to be told,” added Abrams. “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.”

Currently, no director or actors have been directly linked to the project – however, according to The Hollywood Reporter Warner Bros is looking to cast a Black actor in the role of Superman, which would be a first in live-action – though the precedent has already been set in the comic books.

In 2009, Grant Morrison introduced a Black version of Superman in one of DC Comics’ alternate universes, who shares a similar origin as a Kryptonian sent away from his dying planet as an infant before crash-landing on Earth.

However, he is taken in by a different human family and adopts the civilian name Calvin Ellis (rather than Clark Kent), ultimately becoming President of the United States while keeping his superhero alter-ego top secret.

It’s possible this character could be the basis of Abrams and Coates’ Superman project, but that remains unconfirmed for the time being.

Ta-Nehisi Coates and JJ Abrams
Ta-Nehisi Coates and JJ Abrams (Getty)

For now, questions have already been asked about what this announcement could mean for Henry Cavill, who has portrayed Superman in three movies since 2013 and will be seen once again in the experimental Zack Snyder’s Justice League on HBO Max

Recent rumours had suggested that Cavill would stay on in the role for guest appearances in the likes of Shazam 2 and Black Adam, but this latest development has thrown those theories into uncertainty.

With that said, it’s possible that two versions of the character could co-exist on the big screen, given that Robert Pattinson will soon be sharing his The Batman role with both Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton, with the latter two set to appear in 2022’s The Flash.

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Zack Snyder’s Justice League is scheduled for global release on Thursday 18th March. Take a look at the rest of our Sci-fi and Fantasy coverage, or check out what else is on with our TV guide