Despite James Gunn making his own Superman film amidst a total shift in the DC Universe, DC’s Black Superman movie is still in the works. However, it won’t be part of the mainline DC Universe.
Speaking to io9, filmmaker and co-CEO of DC Studios James Gunn was asked about the Black Superman movie. The project is said to be coming from writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and producer JJ Abrams. According to Gunn, however, the project is not related at all to his upcoming Superman: Legacy. Depending on how the script looks, he says, the film could still happen as an Elseworlds project.
“Those two things are totally unrelated,” Gunn said. “That’s an exciting movie. I know that Chantal Nong, who is the executive on that project, is extremely excited about it. So if it comes in and it’s great, which I haven’t read the script, and if the timing is right, that could absolutely happen. That’s totally unrelated. It would be an Elseworlds tale like Joker.”
What is DC’s Elseworlds?
For those unaware, Elseworlds was a DC Comics publication imprint that focused on stories that happened outside of the main continuity. This allowed for more creative storytelling, and led to some of DC’s biggest and most well-known stories ever – including 1996’s beloved Kingdom Come.
When Gunn and Peter Safran took over as heads of DC Studios and revealed their slate of films in January, the pair said films that don’t fit into the shared DC Universe will be classified as “Elseworlds” projects. These include things like Joker and its follow-up Folie à Deux, plus The Batman and its future sequel.
A report by The Hollywood Reporter says that the aim is for a Black Superman to be introduced in a movie that doesn’t take place in the DC Extended Universe. In fact, Coates is said to have been inspired by the original comics. Coates’ protagonist will “hail from Krypton and come to Earth,” and it could be a “20th century period piece.” DC has previously had a Black Superman named Calvin Ellis, but it’s unknown if that name will be used here.
One actor that has been floated around by fans is Creed star Michael B. Jordan. In fact, a Black Superman film was an idea that Jordan tried to pitch to the studio in 2019, but never came to fruition. With it now in production, this could see Jordan get to star in the upcoming blockbuster. However, when speaking with ET earlier this year, the actor revealed he hasn’t heard anything of the sort so far.
“To be invited into the DC Extended Universe by Warner Bros., DC Films and Bad Robot is an honor,” said Coates about the upcoming film when it was first announced. “I look forward to meaningfully adding to the legacy of America’s most iconic mythic hero.”
While JJ Abrams said, “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.”