I pose this question to my black brothers and sisters here on DC Universe Infinite. JJ Abrams has a new Superman movie in development. The script is being written by, Ta-Nahisi Coates. There is a mandate that the actor be black. Full disclosure: if you didn’t know I’m a big Snyder fan and I would like to see Henry Cavill return and see the Snyderverse restored. However, I understand the value that could be had here too. I can imagine a young boy or girl of color picking up a comic book because they see someone that looks like you on the big screen. And in return that comic could help that child learn how to read or read better. What would it mean to you to see a Black Superman on the big screen? Is this something you’re interested in? What are some other black characters in DC you think Warner should be looking at for a live-action movie?
If they can tell a great story, I would be fine with it.
I remember when Daredevil first came out, they had Michael Clarke Duncan as Kingpin, he was really perfect for the role.
I would give this Superman a chance.
Yeah, I’m curious to hear any and all feedback. We know next to nothing about it. Everyone likes a good story.
I would much rather see an Icon movie. I find his origin more interesting than Superman’s, and it’s something we haven’t seen before. He is nearly as strong as well and was created by black creators. I’m not black, so I can’t speak for this, but I wonder if that would resonate better with the younger generation. Like bringing static to the screen and how so many kids loved him and could see themselves in him, they have a chance to do the same with Icon and, no pun intended, make him an icon bring this black character out from what some people would consider obscurity and make him the power house he is and give an entire new generation this black hero they can look up to and dress up as.
That sounds fantastic. I am not familiar with the character but you just gave an excellent sells pitch.
Check this out. You can find more info if you find him interesting but I think this is a good overview of the character. https://youtu.be/uf3YjI52EpI
Great! Thanks man.
I would be down for an Icon movie. He’s got an interesting origin similar to Superman. The video informed me a little about Milestone. I can remember picking this issue up as a boy.
Agreed. The Milestone characters in general would make a great addition to Warner Bros.’ superhero output.
I’ve talked elsewhere about my hesitation when it comes to alternate versions of Superman, and how I’ve come around to the idea lately. Won’t delve into that too much here. However, I will say that in my mind, there’s definitely a baseline of expectations:
Upbringing by good Earth parents. I feel like a strong wholesome Earth family is an important element.
The powers: flight, super strength, heat vision, super speed, invulnerability etc.
True hero. Uses his powers for good.
The feel. Needs to feel like Superman. There’s a lot to dig through when it comes to his personality. Humility, sternness, hopefulness, strength, etc. Doesn’t have to be perfect, but don’t veer too far off the deep end.
The look. Yeah call me superficial, but the suit, the symbol, and the cape matter a great deal to me. Do your own take, sure, but get it right. The visual needs to say Superman, not generic hero X.
Very simple. You can accomplish the above by doing a traditional Clark Kent the way we’ve known and seen him for decades. Or you can accomplish it with your own take. Race is not an issue for me. Just get the baseline right.
I’ll let our Black DC friends here explain what it would mean to them, because I feel like that would be much more meaningful feedback.
I think a movie about Calvin Ellis, President Superman, could be intetesting. However, I’m not overly familiar with him, so there are other heroes I’m currently more interested in seeing. The closest to to the thread topic would be Steel. For the DCEU, death of Superman was already covered, so having John working on this would fit… if that’s even a thing at this point.
Same here. Big fan of Morrison though, just not familiar with it yet. I think if you’re going with a black Superman, go with Icon. That’s something that has my attention. We just don’t have a lot of info.
What would it mean to you to see a Black Superman on the big screen?
I think it would be great for little black kids to see someone that looks like them up on screen like that. That’s a huge thing. That’s a big deal.
And of course I’d like to see it too. It would be cool to me too.
And I’m not sure many white people (maybe a lot?) have something like that that’s top of mind – seeing something on screen like that that looks like them being important; because it’s never been something that they’ve had to deal with once, ever in their entire life. It’s always been there for them, so it’s nothing out of the ordinary.
I guess maybe it’s like being at a comic book convention where there’s nothing but Marvel fans and you’re a DC fan. Then you see someone across the way with a Superman t-shirt on and it’s like “Oh-my-god, a DC fan.”
But it’s not a comic book convention, it’s your entire reality, your entire existence.
At about at the 7:48 minute mark of this video it talks about storytelling and representation.
And the little Angela Abar says when asked by her grandmother why she’s carry around this movie, and she says “She looks like me” with a shrug of her shoulders.
And it’s just that simple.
Now, can Warner Bros. do an Icon or Static movie, or Hardware movie?
Sure, and they’re doing a Static movie, and the writer was announced the other week. So it’s coming.
In the meantime, Warner Bros. are doing a movie with a Black Superman too. And if it does well, and the Static movie does well, then they’ll most assuredly do an Icon movie too.
But of course one has to happen before the other one can.
And I think an Icon movie could be better than a Black Superman movie. And they both can be great. But again, you can’t get one without the other. Kill one and you kill them all.
And I was half-joking the other week about starting up a campaign for an Icon movie. And maybe using the hashtag #ByTheirOwnBootstraps – from the title page of ICON #1.
But of course the ignorant Snyder boys have killed all of that for everyone else. No one, at least certainly not Warner Bros., are going to do anything like that again anytime soon.
So we just have to rely on the good graces of the people at Warner Bros., and support this Superman movie, and the Static movie.
Because if you don’t support one thing, then you’re not going to get any more of it.
And they’re not going to make a half a dozen super-hero movies with a black lead character every year. No, you’re only going to get one every once in a while. So they have to be big every time out in order to get more.
And again on an Icon and a Black Superman movie.
I said that they both can be great because we have no I idea what Ta-Nehisi Coates is going to do with his Superman.
Starting with Icon first: we already have his great origin, so they probably wouldn’t change that up too much in an Icon movie. And then once you go from there you’re not likely to do too many more different things than you could or would with a Black Superman.
Well, maybe tackling race harder with an Icon movie than you would with a Black Superman movie – and harder with Icon for the sake of “protecting” the “image” or “brand” of Superman or something or whatever. But that may be about it.
And even that’s debatable. Because you’re then working under the assumption or mindset that Superman can only do certain things within a certain parameter, even a Black Superman. And that straight-jackets the character, and would probably explain why Warner Bros. aren’t doing a movie with a traditional Superman right now. Because the traditional Superman has been straight-jacketed to death that he can’t really do anything without someone crying foul.
Anyway, Ta-Nehisi Coates with a Black Superman…
I’m assuming his Superman most certainly won’t be anything like the traditional Superman in terms of origin. So freedom from that straight-jacket right there in that aspect. And as great as Icon’s origin is, it’s not like it can’t be topped.
Because I didn’t think Superman’s origin could be topped. Then I read Icon’s, and was it like… “Huh, well, I guess it topped that.”
Anyway, once you get past the origin, then there’s no Superman story (or at least next to none) that you can tell with the traditional Superman than you can’t tell with a Black Superman too. But there are stories that you can tell with a Black Superman that you can’t with a traditional Superman. So even more freedom from that straight-jacket.
So story is not going to be a problem. Just one of acceptance.
That’s awesome. I love the feedback and discussion on this. I wish we knew more about the project. It would be so cool if Ta-Nahisi Coates was doing, Icon. I know he’s not, but if he was, wow. I agree with you if Black Superman works Icon probably isn’t far behind.
I remember how important Batman 1989 was to me as a boy. It’s what got me into comics.
I like your post, and how passionate you are about the idea, in general. Question though, what did you mean by this?
Did you mean one of them has to come first? Naturally of course, unless they release ‘em both on the same day. Doubt you meant that though. You seem to be implying that one has to pave the way for the other. Curious, why?
Full Disclosure: I am not POC. Just an ally trying to show support. Feel free to gloss over this response.
I just wanted to touch on why I think starting off with a Black Superman movie is a much smarter and safer move than an Icon movie. While I am personally a huge fan of Icon and all the Milestone characters, I think it’s fair to say that the general public don’t know anything about them. That’s not to say that if you didn’t have the right marketing/plan, you couldn’t make an Icon movie a hit. I just think it’s MUCH harder than promoting a Superman movie. It’s the same convo we have about changing a character’s race in comics. Like, yeah, I’d love an original black character, but Batman sells way better. So you introduce a Batman comic with a new lead and then you can start to sell other characters off them.
In the same way, you can bank on a Superman movie doing well, which is important if you’re trying to get POC characters/actors in more prominent roles and more widely shown overall. Then you can do your Icons after. I think there’s also something very special for POC kids (and specifically Black kids in this case) being able to go to a movie and see a Superman that looks like them. Not just any superhero. Arguably, THE superhero.
That’s just my two sense. That’s all I’m going to say in this thread since I want to make sure we leave it open as a platform for POC to let us learn and have their voices heard. If you’re POC, feel free to tell me if you’d like this post removed for that reason and I’ll delete it promptly. Just wanted to show my support!
No need to delete. Excellent reply in the thread, great points
Yeah, I think Ta-Nehisi Coates could write an awesome Icon movie. I think he would be great.
And of course I’m basically assuming his Superman will be more or less that, an Icon movie with a guy with an “S” on his chest.
Because I don’t believe Warner Bros. are going to do a Superman in “black face” movie. Just like Miles Morales isn’t Spider-Man in “black face.” No, he’s his own character.
But of course unlike Miles Morales, I don’t believe this Superman will have any connection with the traditional Superman like Miles Morales does with the Peter Parker Spider-Man.
And one thing on Batman in 1989. I can totally understand liking him as a kid, but it’s not like you had a choice. Batman was it, that was the only choice you had.
Just like me with Superman in '78, and earlier with the Super Friends cartoon. That was the only choice I had. Either like that or like something else or than super-heroes.
Today kids can like Batman or Black Panther. Or both. Or Miles Morales or Peter Parker. Or both.
And even for a Black Superman…
To a lot of black kids Superman may be this corny old white guy who isn’t cool at all.
Show them a Black Superman and they may think he’s the coolest thing in the world.
And kind of funny, but I think to a lot of kids period Superman is just this corny old guy who isn’t cool at all. But what can you do?
I guess change him and make him cool… do Jonathan Kent or something, I dunno. [insert smiley face]
Yeah, one of them have to pave the way first. That’s what I meant.
Warner Bros. could have easily gone with an Icon movie first. But like @OmniLad said, it’s kind of a risk and much easier to do a Black Superman, I think.
And one has to pave the way first because the first one has to make money… lots of money. Because just think what would have happened if the Black Panther had done poorly.
Of course it was a huge success and made $1.3 billion dollars, and is the fifth highest grossing super-hero movie ever… and yet it’s still taken years just to get another high profile super-hero movie with a black lead character off the ground.
Marvel themselves are only doing a Black Panther sequel and a Blade movie at some point.
And Warner Bros. are just doing one… and the Rock too, I guess in a way with Black Adam.
But you would think that copycat Hollywood would be falling all over themselves to make these kinds of movies, because the audience is there. But I guess these kinds of things apparently take time, even when it’s proven to be a massive success.
I mean, you would have thought that Warner Bros. would have green lit an Icon movie back in the fall of 2018 after what the Black Panther did – or a John Stewart movie. Yet here we are three years later and we’re still just getting off the ground.
And on risk… that’s kind of a touchy one.
Because say Warner Bros. were to do an Icon movie. Okay, what kind of budget are we looking at? If you’re going to spend $250 million dollars on a traditional Superman movie, are you willing to spend $250 million dollars on an Icon movie too?
And if not, what, are you going to do a second-rate movie with Icon, and a first class movie with a traditional Superman?
So, y’know, it’s like, “Boy oh boy.” And if you don’t believe in it, then maybe don’t do it.
And I believe the Static movie may be coming to HBO Max and not the theaters. So maybe it won’t be second-rate, but it’s not really first class either. And yet Zatanna is getting a movie.
So I dunno… and Static may be coming to the theater, so I don’t know.
And yes, I’m assuming this Superman movie will be a first class movie – just like the Black Panther was…
On thing on a Black Batman, like The Next Batman…
I don’t like him at all, even though John Ridley, my favorite comic book writer because of THE OTHER HISTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE, is writing it.
Jace Fox is interesting to me, what John Ridley is doing with that is interesting to me. But him as The Next Batman is boring as hell, I think.
I even have no interest in seeing a Black Batman movie – mainly because it’s Batman. And The Batman I’m waiting until it comes to HBO Max. I want to see it, but not enough to go to the theater.
That’s how I was with the Christopher Nolan Batman movies too. I didn’t see any of them in the theater until the last one, and that’s because it had the Man of Steel trailer attached. I was tempted to leave after the trailer but I stayed and watched the whole thing. [insert smiley face]
I believe that’s the only time I’ve seen The Dark Knight Rises too. And not that it was bad, I just didn’t care enough to watch it again.
That’s the same with the Tim Burton Batman movies. I didn’t care enough to see Batman in 1989 in the theater. And I saw Batman Returns because it was a date, otherwise I wouldn’t have seen that in the theater either. And the other two I don’t believe I’ve even seen all of those in their entirety on HBO or whatever.
Anyway, yeah, I’m a Superman guy, not a Batman guy. [insert smiley face]
When they cast for a part, my hope is always that they get the best actor for it period and not limit themselves to a black, white, or whatever actor. A black Superman could definitely be done. Kingpin was mentioned above and he was perfect for the role. Also, can you imagine anyone but Samuel Jackson playing Nick Fury ?