It's taken a while, but Superman is expected to return to a big screen near you — and the project is coming from a few A-list creatives. Deadline reports that Warner Bros. is developing a reboot of its film franchise centered around DC's famous Man of Steel.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (a National Book Award winner and writer of a Black Panther and Captain America comic book series for Marvel) is signed on to write the project, with J.J. Abrams (currently enjoying a mega-deal with the studio) producing. No director has been announced at this point.
While the aim is to revamp the series, the report notes that Henry Cavill has expressed an interest in reprising the role of Clark Kent — though there's no word yet on the direction in which Coates and Abrams want to take the character.
That said, The Hollywood Reporter's Borys Kit tweeted that the aim is to possibly introduce a Black Superman, which is "something that the studio has been trying to find a way in for months if not a year or two." Other reports also note a search is imminent for a new Superman, so Cavill's long-term fate as the Man of Steel is certainly... up in the air. Apparently, Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther, Static Shock) attempted to do something similar when he signed an overall deal with WB in 2019, but ultimately, the idea didn't pick up enough momentum.
Interestingly, this isn't Abrams' first stab at the Man of Tomorrow. Back in the early 2000s, the up-and-coming producer wrote a screenplay entitled Superman: Flyby. The project, which even commissioned some original concept art, was never made once Warner Bros. decided to green-light Bryan Singer's Superman Returns instead. Abrams is also working on Justice League Dark and Constantine TV shows for HBO Max.
“To be invited into the DC Extended Universe by Warner Bros., DC Films and Bad Robot is an honor,” Coates said in a statement published by Variety. “I look forward to meaningfully adding to the legacy of America’s most iconic mythic hero.”
Added Abrams: "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."
Variety writes that there is "no director attached to the [reboot] project at this time and the search for an actor to play Kal-El / Superman has not yet begun." This seems to imply that WB is looking for a full Superman reset after the lukewarm reception to the DC Extended Universe foundations laid by Zack Snyder with 2013's Man of Steel. Things didn't necessarily improve with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice two years later, and the entire experiment threatened to collapse with the release of 2017's Justice League.
It seems Snyder's final contribution to the onscreen mythos will be his preferred cut of Justice League, a four-hour miniseries that premieres on HBO Max next month. Given that the studio is looking to take the DCEU in a different direction, Snyder has described his established continuity as now being part of an "Elseworlds" universe.
Luckily, the studio has a perfect chance to leave the past behind by opening up an entire multiverse in next summer's standalone Flash movie starring Ezra Miller. Directed by Andy Muschietti, the film will feature a brand-new version of Supergirl, played by sopa opera actress Sasha Calle.
"Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me opened a window and changed the way many of us see the world,” said Toby Emmerich, chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group. “We’re confident that his take on Superman will give fans a new and exciting way to see the Man of Steel."