The fate of the DCEU had been in flux prior to 2019. But the cinematic year proved bountiful for the comic adaptations, revealing a massive market for R-rated super-films like Joker and rewarding films willing to take themselves less than seriously (Aquaman, Shazam!). Now that these movies have illuminated the path likely to be lucrative for the Warner Bros.-owned films, the future of some of DC’s greatest heroes may be to head back to the big screen — and with one of the biggest directors in the world behind them.
That’s what Variety implied is possible in its recent report on the state of the DC Films. Much of the story focused on the September signing of a $500M first-look deal between WarnerMedia and J.J. Abrams’ company, Bad Robot. Abrams recently helmed Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, making him an even hotter commodity than when he’d just been in charge of Star Trek and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Now that heat might be transferred to heat vision: Variety claims that “there have been discussions with J.J. Abrams” about him taking over a Superman reboot.
That goes slightly against what he told Rolling Stone in November, in front of “a notable number of Superman toys.” “We haven’t had those discussions yet,” Abrams said in the interview, though the writer of the story noted that this denial was given “not quite convincingly.”
This may or may not have been about the vision pitched by Black Panther actor Michael B. Jordan, who — ahead of Superman rumors — presented Warner Bros. with his vision for playing Superman. That said, neither have committed to anything, with Jordan in particular having declined because his schedule is stacked and any potential Superman film lacks a director and script. Variety predicts that if everything goes right, 2023 might be the earliest fans can see Superman return.
But that’s not the only DC superhero Abrams is being offered. The Green Lantern Corps. movie in the works from Geoff Johns is still a reported priority for the company, with a script to be delivered by the end of the year. That script “may be presented to Abrams,” though there’s also talk that superproducer Greg Berlanti could be involved at a later date. Berlanti co-wrote the original Ryan Reynolds film and has had a hand in pretty much every DC TV series since Arrow...including an upcoming HBO Max Green Lantern series.
Do you think Abrams has what it takes to make Superman a cinema superstar again? Or is Green Lantern where his talents are best suited? Or...should the Star Wars helmer stick to sci-fi?