A new report has claimed that Warner Bros’ plans for a new Superman movie will star a Black actor as Kal-El, which has upset fans who were hoping to instead see movies based on John Stewart’s Green Lantern and Static Shock, established Black characters in the DC universe.
Fans of the recently released Zack Snyder’s Justice League director’s cut who were hoping to see more from Henry Cavill’s Superman, with them now expressing their annoyance that the report seems to suggest that Warner Bros isn’t moving forward with any plans for Cavill as Clark Kent. With there already existing a Black Superman within the DC Universe, some fans have questioned why Warner Bros is instead opting to retell Clark Kent’s story.
Why is the new Superman movie upsetting DC fans?
The news about the next Superman movie was broken by The Hollywood Reporter, which originally wrote about Henry Cavill leaving the role of Superman back in 2018. It states that Warner Bros is planning to hire a Black director to tackle the first portrayal of a Black Superman on-screen, with acclaimed comics writer Ta-Nehisi Coates penning the script.
Insiders say Warners and DC are committed to hiring a Black director to tackle what will be the first cinematic incarnation of a Black Superman. Directors Barry Jenkins, Steven Caple Jr., J.D. Dillard, Regina King and Shaka King are all possibilities https://t.co/WvWjAwIgCm
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) May 5, 2021
While the movie sounds promising, the report has upset DC movie fans on a number of counts. The first is that this Superman will be Kal-El/Clark Kent rather than one of the several potential Black Supermen from the comics, such as Calvin Ellis or Val-Zod, and the article suggests this means Warner Bros is not planning on bringing back Henry Cavill for a sequel to Man of Steel.
– Calvin Ellis (President Superman)
– John Henry Irons (Steel)
They all have unique stories worth telling, not just a rehash of Kal-El/Clark Kent. Two distinct Kryptonians & one amazing human hero. DC Comics fans deserve Black Excellence done respectfully. https://t.co/S6M1LunmKA
— ✊🏿👨🏿🦱🗣️⚡️Excessively Black Bolt™ (@RandyS0725) May 6, 2021
Furthermore, many fans are frustrated that Warner Bros is pushing forward with a Superman reboot rather than offering any news regarding movies featuring other popular Black superheroes, such as John Stewart’s Green Lantern or Static Shock. There was some news on a Static Shock movie from producer Michael B. Jordan, which makes it sound like it’s at the same script drafting stage as the Superman movie but hasn’t received as much attention.
Or, they could focus on developing more movies with BLACK CHARACTERS as the leads. 🙄
— John Stewart/Green Lantern
— Black Lightning
— Black Canary https://t.co/LFG1N09Q6H
— Angie 𝕻𝖍𝖔𝖊𝖓𝖎𝖝 Shanklin (She/Her) (@Da_Nerdette) May 5, 2021
This is also following news that Warner Bros forced Zack Snyder to remove actor Wayne T. Carr as John Stewart in the Snyder Cut of Justice League, replacing him with Martian Manhunter. Currently, the only announced actor announced for the upcoming Green Lantern Corps HBO Max series is a white actor, Finn Wittrock, as Guy Gardner. Fans were greatly unhappy about both these reveals. Actor Ray Fisher, who played Cyborg/Victor Stone in Justice League, and reported that he witnessed a high level of discrimination from Warner Bros during production, has what is perhaps the last word on this.
I usually have to tweet before @wbpictures will release this kind of performative info.
Notice how NO ONE from the studio wanted their name on the piece?
Hiring more Black people doesn’t negate or erase the terrible way you’ve treated your Black employees.
— Ray Fisher (@ray8fisher) May 5, 2021
Meanwhile, in video games, Superman is set to appear in Rocksteady’s next game Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League, albeit in a more antagonistic role. Also, rumors continue to mount about Injustice/Mortal Kombat creator Netherrealm making a DC vs Marvel fighting game.