As the pieces continue to fall in place for J.J. Abrams’ year-long dream of taking on a Superman film, with Warner Bros. recently announcing that he would direct a film based on the Man of Steel written by Black Panther comic writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, a new rumor suggests that the studio may pass on putting the Bad Robot producer in the director’s chair and instead go with a black creative to helm the film.
Courtesy of a new exclusive from Giant Freakin Robot, reporting on information provided to them by an alleged inside source, while Abrams is still DC and Warner Bros. top pick to direct, they are also considering giving the job to a person of color.
Says GFR’s exclusive, “the Superman reboot has not named a director yet because Warner Bros./DC wants JJ Abrams to direct but there is some discussion about giving the job to a Black director instead.”
They add that the feeling among studio executives is a black director will both provide good optics and, if the rumors that Abrams and Coats plan to race-swap Big Blue hold true, accurately represent the main character’s perspective.
Additionally, Warner Bros. has not yet narrowed in on a star for the film, but there is a belief the role will be race-bent for the first time. Rumors suggest that Michael B. Jordan is a front-runner to don the Last Son of Krypton’s signature tights.
“With this version deciding to make the Man of Steel a person of color, there is the thought that a Black director will provide a better perspective on the film as well as be good optics for the production,” the site said.
GFR further remarks that, with representation being such a big deal to Hollywood with famous IPs, having it on both sides of the camera might be non-negotiable. And it wouldn’t be filmmaking in the 2020s – I say completely tongue-in-cheek – if diversity wasn’t on their list of priorities.
While GFR’s source notes that such a decision, if it is on the table at all, has not been finalized.
That said, I (and most of us) can agree that there would be an upside to Abrams staying out of the director’s chair and strictly producing. His past efforts, up to and including The Rise of Skywalker, have generated strongly divided reactions from audiences, with many ultimately wishing that the Alias and Cloverfield creator never laid eyes on their inviolate franchises.
What do you think of Abrams being replaced on Superman with a black director? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!