EXCLUSIVE: Sources tell me that DC Films and Warner Bros. are developing an upcoming Superman feature film written by Ta-Nehisi Coates. J.J. Abrams is producing. The search for Ka-El / Superman has not started. More: https://t.co/x5mLIx8fgA
— Trey Mangum (@treymangum) February 26, 2021
Brother from Another Planet is one of my favorite movies. I’m intrigued to see what Mr. Coates does with a hero raised to believe his survival rests on being invisible to potentially hostile eyes — someone who can disappear by throwing off his cape and assuming a stigmatized identity…
UPDATE: According to reports, it's Warner Bros. and DC Films' "intent" to introduce a Black Superman, and Michael B. Jordan is obviously high on the list of candidates. https://t.co/6dgXNN3eKv pic.twitter.com/sKnqsiKBfq
— Consequence of Sound (@consequence) February 26, 2021
A new version of first known African-American screen kiss from an 1898 film directed by U.S. film industry pioneer William Selig has been discovered in Norway https://t.co/EuGwsZLth7 pic.twitter.com/sn09EpmQa8
— Reuters (@Reuters) February 27, 2021
I’m interested in Coates.
He’d write an interesting take with either a black or a white Kal-el.
And I think he’d understand that choosing a character and their race impacts all sorts of things about their upbringing and interactions with other people.
(I’m betting, though, if the latest rumor is right, there’s going to be a blend of Icon with Superman…)
I like Coates’ writing and I like the idea of a black Superman. It would get a lot of racists’ knickers in a twist, which makes me like it even more.
I’m going to absolutely love when racists go fucking nuts at the ultimate white totem in superhero genre.
On the other hand, there is going to be a shit ton of pressure to make sure that this doesn’t flop. The pressure on Coates/J.J. Abrahms and whoever is director is going to be enormous. We’re dealing with the ultimate American identity.
But yeah, it’s time for this iconic superhero to go black.
Now who is going to be up for an Indian superhero eh?
The Thin Black Duke
I would highly recommend Sorry to Bother You by Boots Riley, a brilliant sf satire. It’s the rare movie where you have no idea where it’s going, and the ride is exhilarating. This is a golden era for black filmmakers.
@Fair Economist: Yeah, we had a taste of that when there were rumors of casting a black actress as Lois Lane (and, of course, the ongoing hatred thrown against Candace Patton).
Mike in NC
I believe that Rush Limbaugh was very much against casting someone like Idris Elba as a black James Bond. Hasn’t happened yet, but let’s continue to celebrate Limbaugh’s trip to hell.
Well well well Twitter.
Politics · Trending
Trending with Hyatt
You lost me at J. J. Abrams.
Whatever comes of it though, has to be an improvement over Abar, The First Black Superman.
I really can’t understand the hate. She is a brilliant actress and gorgeous to boot. I think the whole grew up in a black family thing is really an interesting twist. Fuck these people.
I wonder if someone will ever make a movie of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man.
BTW if they are going to be doing a whole thing on Superman, can we have Lex Luthor be Indian? I mean come on man – it’s like we don’t exist in space, in super heroes movies or anything. There are like over a billion of us here. We rarely representation in the western entertainment field.
Black comedic actor Mantan Moreland was Moe and Larry’s choice to be the new third stooge. However the studio didn’t want to add another name to the payroll so insisted on going with someone already on their books, Joe Besser.
@The Thin Black Duke:
I did really enjoy that movie.
I think that for the next 50 years, all the pure villains should be mediocre white males.
@The Thin Black Duke:
This was a wild movie. I can’t recall if it was the same year as the magnificent Moonlight.
I would also recommend Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk.
I’m reminded (as I believe Adam has discussed here, but I can’t find it at the moment) that Superman was created by a couple of Jewish guys and there are echoes of Moses, etc., in the story.
Looking forward to TNC’s take.
Both Beale Street and Invisible Man were announced as “in development” at Hulu several years ago.
@mrmoshpotato: There is no version of a universe in which this was an “oops.” All that is missing are the swastikas and panzer divisions.
I’m really old and thus, remember watching “Blacula.” Had to look up the director–William Crain–who still walks among us (presumably in sunlight) at 71, so was very young in his directing heyday.
Coates is a good writer so perhaps can make Superman not-boring. More power to you.
One of the main villains in the last Jurassic Park movie was Indian.
Riz was an under-used bad guy in Jason Bourne.
But yeah, an Indian actor as Lex Luthor could be very interesting.
Ostensibly, they are the villains now :D
Race is a very poignant subject for me.
Of my four grandparents, one was Mayflower, one 1628 New Hampshire, one 1640’s North Carolina, and one 1848 German draft-dodger. I am about as American as any European descendant can be.
It was my Negro (the polite word then, black or Afro-American is proper now) housekeeper who kept my brothers and me together as a family after my mother died and my father was disabled (there was family money).
So I grew up with black people, but always had white privilege. A great deal of the modern world is weird to me.
Black artistry, black music, black entertainment, black athletes, black scientists, black people telling the stories of America. I Want MOAR. We all benefit from the de-Pat Boonification of culture.
A TV movie as opposed to a theatrical release, Cosmic Slop is George Clinton meets The Twilight Zone and it’s something completely different.
Not SF, but a timeless satire Putney Swope
Just Some Fuckhead
Love Coates but we need a moratorium on Superhero movies. I think 100 years should suffice.
Meanwhile, in the not so friendly skies, … BusinessInsider:
Of course, they might not actually be from Texas, but…
Superman: just…just ANYTHING but the blessed origin story, please ??
I finished reading Heather McGee’s “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone And How We Can Prosper Together” this afternoon, and wow, what a great examination of this country’s history, and all the ‘nice things’ we can’t have in our current zero-sum system…but could easily have if we worked together.
All through the book, she makes it a point to return to the theme of “racism hurts people of color the most, but here’s how it hurts most white people, too”.
VERY eye-opening, and highly recommended!
@mrmoshpotato: Herr Schlapp confirms it, you know you caught them when they try to blame someone else.
Jordan was soo good as Killmonger. I would love to see him play Superman.
White superman went MAGA and stormed the capitol.
@Just Some Fuckhead:
Rather than 100 years, I’d settle for till the end of time.
I finally watched the first episode of Superman and Lois last night. They gloss the origin story and Superboy years in a couple of minutes, because by the gods, everyone already knows that story.
It worked really well, and if Coates did something similar (and was able to override the godsawful objections Jar Jar Abrams is sure to make) it would play on the big screen, too.
I’ve only seen clips of Brother From Another Planet. I’ve liked some of John Sayles’ work, but some stuff is just OK. Love Joe Morton as an actor, though.
A lot of the Superman myth could work with a black character. He could grow up in Kansas, be adopted by a black family, etc.
But white Clark Kent is kind of a genial nobody. He does not attract attention. A black Kent might be a different kind of character. I have a hard time seeing a black Superman being more interested in fighting crime than in liberating the oppressed.
A majority black or multi-racial Krypton would be a hoot.
and the moron went as Superman, not Clark Kent,
and posted selfies.
@Bruuuuce: same thing with the rest of them. Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, and Captain America origin stories = ugh. Jump right into some of their best arcs and don’t look back, filmmakers!
Just Some Fuckhead
In very good news, Colson Whitehead’s “The Underground Railroad” will premier on Amazon Prime on May 14. I can’t wait. Wonderful book.
@BruceFromOhio: Oh that’s a fun link! rawstory…/cpac-matt-schlapp-nazi/ Sums it up nicely.
Btw, I didn’t know about the stage design initially. I just saw Nazi and Hyatt trending and knew it was about CPAC, because OF COURSE.
Speaking of the “natural order” and suchlike…
@Hoppie: An American Dilemma by Gunnar Myrdal was remarkably meaningful for its time. Very much useful if you want to see what we were deliberately ignoring.
Marlon Brando argued it would be cool if instead of his person showing up on screen that his character would be portrayed by a green suitcase.
Wartime propagandish as they are, the Fleischer Superman cartoons remain the best screen adaptations, IMHO. Although the depiction of the destruction of Krypton is rather … breviloquent.
A Black Clark Kent would be amazing at going unnoticed. It’s a skill many BIPOC people have had to learn to stay alive.
Agreed, though I could accept a faithful adaptation of the one-page, eight-word version from Morrison and Quitely’s “All-Star Superman”. Thirty seconds tops, then roll opening credits.
(“Doomed planet. Desperate scientists. Last hope. Kindly couple.” to save you google time.)
Hahaha, nice one, Popehat!
the Best Socks in the History of Feet
What if better socks existed before feet?
The Kinks – Superman
Not a movie of course, but Isabel Wilkerson’s “The Warmth of Other Suns” is a wonderful book on the “Great Migration” North of black people in the early 1900s. It fleshes out a story that had not previously been covered in many books about American history and is essential reading for Black History Month or any other month.
@Jeffro: Did you see how it was handled for the Peter Parker segment of Into the Spider-Verse? That was pretty much the same handling as S&L, and it worked there, too. They only did a more expanded version for Miles Morales because, well, Miles != Peter.
I must admit that when minority superheroes are mentioned, I have unpleasant flashbacks to Challenge of the Superfriends and its roster of, well, crude ethnic stereotypes. Someone reassure me that we’ve made progress over the last forty years.
Blasphemy! This would up-end 80 years of… comic book history.
I mean, if we’re talking about violation of continuity, in the 1990s they KILLED comic book Superman. (He got better.) There have been so many retcons over the decades that a black Superman shouldn’t be a big deal.
Yes. The ethnic stereotypes are much more sophisticated now.
Truth – but I have no idea how a man wiht great physical powers can help against a political system. I suppose you could turn into a Moses figure – but boy that will lead to all kind of things.
@raven: Low Budget, the story of my life. ?
I came across this clip of Roger Stone vs Larry Klayman and if ever there was a root for injuries situation it’s this one. Also: Christ what an asshole.
Just Some Fuckhead
My favorite live performance ever. Lenny Zakatek jumps down in the crowd at the start of the song and completely fucks over the camera operators. Then the crowd – mostly teenaged boys – refuses to sing along when prompted.
‘Chariots of Fire’ on TCM right now. Now that is one white movie.
A Ghost to Most
I think I’m almost as sick of comic book movies as I am of Rs. Almost.
@?BillinGlendaleCA: Yes. The answer you’re looking for is yes.
There’s already a black Superman (well, there’s two, actually, but let’s not be greedy) who not only saves the world on a regular basis but also finds the time to be President of the United States.
Coates will be well aware of Calvin Ellis and his status as, perhaps, the ‘main’ Superman of the DC Multiverse, so it would be nice to think that he’s actually going to be telling his story as part of a wider DCCU storyline. Marvel are certainly leaning into the Multiverse idea for their next tranche of blockbusters, and you know what these studio execs are like when it comes to following the money.
I’ll be honest, a Crime Syndicate spin-off TV series would keep me couchbound through the 2023 Lockdown period very happily indeed.
@cain: They have cast the Pakistani-American to play Ms. Marvel.
@Ken: yes, this exactly! (and I loved ‘All-Star’ btw)
Just. get. going. with the freaking stories, already!
A few notes on this:
@Brachiator: It’s tremendous. It’s something I try to push on my non-reading family members on a regular basis. Totally eye-opening. I think we covered the Great Migration for about 15 minutes tops back in HS – sad!
Immortalized in Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.
@Bruuuuce: yup, it was great!
It’s like the movie people have never heard of ‘in media res’ or something. EVERY comic book worth its salt starts off in the middle of the action and steps on the gas!
James E Powell
In 2010, the character who programmed HAL, Dr Chandra, is Indian, but they cast Bob Balaban, a Jewish guy from Chicago. What was that all about?
@cain: Anyone in particular you’d like to see?
DC or Marvel?
James E Powell
Brother from Another Planet is classic from the era when indie movies were truly indie and definitely looked like it.
@cain: I would commit petty crime for good Indian themed sci-fi.
I wonder why it’s so unexplored? I mean, I recall a video game from like, the mid 2000s loosely patterned on the Ramayana. And that’s about it.
RPG wise there’s Coriolis, which is much more Arabian Nights, but has a pretty interesting take on polytheism as dominant religion that seems a bit Indian in nature.
That’s really about it, though.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
Seems an appropriate place to drop a link to a concert by a friend of ours, “In the Spirit of the Spiritual”, songs and letters of enslaved people.
Live YouTube right now. John is founder and director of the Chester Children’s Chorus (this is the chorus channel), an amazing, amazing group.
@James E Powell: A decades long tradition of Hollywood white-washing Asian characters. (Emma Stone, Scarlett Johansen et al)
@Jay: Also something in there about the daily restraint needed for survival. And patience. And forgiveness.
Huh. The more I think of it, I’m almost more fascinated by the idea of a black Klark Kent than a black Superman…
Ceci n est pas mon nym
This is discussed in at least one episode of the Aziz Ansari Netflix series Master of None. I think it was the “Indians on TV” episode. Toward the end of the episode one of his friends asks plaintively, “What about Mindy Kaling? Is she real?”
@James E Powell: Spaghetti western principle.
It’s still a whites-only town. White just means Italian now, too.
Could open up a slew more story lines if he’s adopted by a mixed race couple?
@NotMax: Oh god…that would be so fucking cool.
Black/Asian or Black/Latino would really bake their sad little noodles, wouldn’t it?
Have you read Roger Zelanzy’s Lord of Light?
Queen & Slim:
Betty: They Say I’m Different, a biography of Betty Mabry Davis.
Coming tomorrow @7pm Eastern on TCM, the too-seldom shown To Sleep with Anger. Directed by Charles Burnett with a straight out of the Mojave sense of humor.
@Woodrow/asim: There’s a story in (FTFNYT link) the biography of Obama’s mother of their time in Indonesia when he as a kid. He was being picked on by neighbor kids, them throwing rocks at him, etc., and him finding ways to dodge them and not be bothered. She made sure he found his own way to find his place even when he was an outsider. One could find lots of parallels if one wants to look. ;-)
@Ken: Zelazny, but who’s counting…?
I have not, yet.
Thanks for the suggestion.
@Jay: Look man, I don’t have that kind of time.
@Subsole: Grant Morrison’s comic Vimanarama (I may have misspelled it.)
@Ceci n est pas mon nym: Chester Children’s Chorus used to practice in the Meeting House of my Quaker meeting in Chester. Now they practice in Swarthmore. Thanks for the link, I had not seen this.
This may be a minority opinion, but I really rather they don’t do a black Superman unless they’re doing Calvin Ellis. Hell, what is the point of having black Superman when Icon is just sitting there begging to be realized?
Huge fan of Coates, who is a terrific writer, but notably also clearly likes and respects the comic book form. Nothing drives me crazier than seeing people who clearly have contempt for comic books making them into films.
The casting thing is going to be interesting. A lot of people will lose their shit if they make Superman black, and they’ll be showing their racism when they do. Similar to Spider-man…there’s nothing about the origins and core of the classic character that preclude them being another race or demand that they be played by a white actor. Casting an actor of color should almost certainly inform the story you tell and how you tell it…but it’ll still be Superman. And if you wanted to, you could make an interesting statement by casting a black Superman and ignoring any racial implications at all in the story & scripting.
With Coates writing, I have a level of confidence in the storytelling that makes me very interested to see what happens…but they’ll need a strong director too in order to ensure it doesn’t end up a studio hack job.
I’ve seen this comment before and I find myself disagreeing with the assertion that people who object to a black Clark Kent/Superman are merely displaying racism. (Totally losing their shit though? Very possibly.)
I’m very happy that Coates has been tapped for this assignment, and that is part of the reason why I hope they don’t try to racelift the character. I’m interested to see what he has to say about Superman as opposed to having it be yet another example of “black writer only allowed to write for black characters”.