Representation and diversity are very important to Hollywood today. More than that, gender and race swapping franchise characters is the new trend. James Bond is the latest to get a reboot in this fashion — Lashana Lynch was unveiled as the new Agent 007.
One historic property they haven’t altered yet, though there has been massive talk about it, is Superman. The chance of a person of color wearing the blue tights and red cape is at the forefront of public consciousness right now. None other than Dwayne Johnson brought it up to Variety at the red carpet for his new movie Hobbs & Shaw.
A Black Superman?
On the topic of diversity and inclusion for superheroes, The Rock says Hollywood is doing great, especially Marvel. He praised Marvel as “tremendous” for the job they are doing in terms of representation. He added things are growing and publicly traded companies are sensitive to “the temperament of society.”
In conclusion, he expressed his belief “maybe one day we will see a black Superman,” and quipped “You’re looking at him” — with a smile. Have a look at the full clip:
— Variety (@Variety) July 14, 2019
Johnson is half-black and half-Samoan and comes from a very eminent wrestling lineage on both sides. Sports entertainment is in his blood. On top of that, he is one of the biggest box-office draws in the world. What’s more, he’s physically jacked, so he is more than capable of bringing an ethnic Man of Tomorrow to screens. He already believes he is playing someone on the same power level as will be seen in Black Adam.
Dream casting for a black Superman is all over the place. Fan art circulates the internet depicting Michael B. Jordan wearing the S. Rumors ran hot that Jordan would replace Henry Cavill if he gave up the cape. When asked about it by Oprah earlier this year, Jordan clarified he’d rather play Calvin Ellis — a black Superman from Earth 23 — or some other character. In fact, Val-Zod is also a possibility.
Conservative pundit Ben Shapiro roasted the idea of a non-white Superman last year when he tweeted they may as well make the Man of Steel a female, transgender minority.
Kryptonians of Color
Coincidentally, the House of Zod is black on Syfy’s prequel series Krypton, led by Colin Salmon (Punisher: War Zone, Arrow) as General Zod. And, there are strong implications they have blood relations with the future House of El.
Kryptonians of color were introduced in the 1970s. They lived as an enclave on the independent and advanced continent Vathlo Island, which gets sparse reference these days. However, it’s been retconned and, conversely, most modern readers accept Krypton was always an integrated society.
As a twist, Johnson’s Hobbs & Shaw costar Idris Elba plays villain Brixton Lore, a super-soldier who refers to himself as “black Superman.”
Your thoughts on a black Superman? Would you care to see Rock, Jordan, or anyone else in the red cape? Let us know.