A number of alleged leaks for the Ta-Nehisi Coates written and J.J. Abrams produced Superman film claim the movie will use “Superman’s alien heritage as a parallel to racism.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates at the University of Virginia during the MLK Celebration 2015 Photo Credit: Eduardo Montes-Bradley, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

These alleged leaks were recently shared to Twitter by user GeoPanda24 who provided quite a bit of information about the film.

First, the user noted, “while the project was originally intended to be a period piece, the final draft submitted by Coates recently is not a period piece.”

Source: GeoPanda24 Twitter

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Next, they revealed, “It’s not about a black superman being a victim of racism, rather it uses Superman’s alien heritage as a parallel to racism. They are, however going through with colorblind casting.”

Source: GeoPanda24 Twitter

Moving to Superman’s abilities and powers that describe him as being “heavily nerfed.” The user details, “Superman is heavily nerfed, being taken back to his golden age roots. He can no longer fly, but he can instead “leap tall buildings in a single bound”, He also lacks heat vision, frost breath and x-ray vision. He’s also described as moving at Mach 7.”

Source: GeoPanda24 Twitter

Next, the Twitter user revealed they planned to race swap Lois Lane and Perry White. The user tweeted, “They do have descriptions of the characters in the script which gives away their races. Lois Lane is written with an Asian Actress in mind Perry White is written as an African American man and Jimmy Olsen is described as a freckled redhead (no racebending with Jimmy).”

Source: GeoPanda24 Twitter

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As for the film’s main antagonist they reveal it is The Ultra-Humanite, “The Film is currently utilizing The golden age version of The Ultra-Humanite as the main antagonist although this may change. At no point in the story does he use the Albino Gorilla body.”

Source: GeoPanda24 Twitter

Next, they detail the film is supposed to be awards bait rather than a traditional superhero film with Superman supposed to be a champion of the oppressed.

“The script is rather long, clocking in at 165 pages. This may be due to the fact that the film is being written as an awards contender rather than a regular Superhero film. It portrays Superman as a champion of the opressed. The government hates him but the people love him,” the user tweeted.

Source: GeoPanda24 Twitter

Finally, the leaker detailed, “The film is a love letter to Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’s original comics. It also has a dedication to them. Pa Kent’s character is based off of Jerry Siegel. It actually has a dedication to a lot of writers such as Jack Kirby, who serves as the inspiration for Dan Turpin.”

Source: GeoPanda24 Twitter

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One thing that stands out to me is the fact that on one hand, the leaker claims that they might not race swap Superman and are instead “going through colorblind casting.” However, two tweets later and they are claiming they are race swapping Lois Lane and Perry White.

That doesn’t really make any sense, and appears to be a clear contradiction. If you were going with colorblind casting for Superman why wouldn’t you do that with the other characters? Even then colorblind casting shouldn’t even be discussed because the casting should match up to the characters’ source material.

Source: Earth 2: Society Vol. 1 #4 “Nexus” (2015), DC Comics. Words by Daniel H. Wilson, art by Jorge Jiménez and Alejandro Sánchez.

The idea that Superman would not be race swapped also conflicts with reporting from The Hollywood Reporter (THR) in May 2021 that claimed the film was looking for not only a black actor but a black director. 

THR’s Tatiana Siegel and Borys Kit wrote, “Insiders say Warners and DC are committed to hiring a Black director to tackle what will be the first cinematic incarnation of Superman featuring a Black actor.”

There are definitely a couple of big reasons to doubt the legitimacy of this rumor.

Source: Final Crisis #7

As for the idea of making Superman’s roots a parallel to racism and having Superman seen as a champion of the oppressed that is entirely believable given Coates’ other writing is flooded with that type of messaging.

One could argue that’s all he really knows how to write. Just look at his recent runs on Marvel Comics’ Black Panther and Captain America.

Race swapping Lois Lane and Perry White is honestly expected. White was recently race swapped in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel and the ensuing DCEU movies. Hollywood’s modus operandi is to pretty much race swap everything under the guise of their racist diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Source: Infinite Frontier: Secret Files #1 (2021), DC Comics. Cover art by Bryan Hitch.

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It’s unclear if the movie will ever see the light of day. A recent rumor from scooper Mikey Sutton claimed there were two major problems with the project.

“Number one, the script, the story, they’re not cracking the code, Syl,” he explained. “It’s just very ambitious, trying to bite off more than they can chew. Trying to make a social commentary like an Oscar bait type of film.”

“It’s not Superman enough. It’s not really resonating as a Superman project,” he added.

Source: Infinite Frontier #1 Card Stock Variant Cover (2021), DC Comics. Variant cover art by Bryan Hitch

Sutton also noted he heard from one of his sources, “He doesn’t feel that Discovery — when they take over — is going to approve of this project at $300 million.”

“He really doubts that this will go forward and I’m not saying it’s dead, but as of right now it’s in quicksand,” he stated.

Source: Tom Taylor Twitter

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The project might also have a major audience problem given not only Abrams’ attachment to the project, the producer’s brand is now synonymous with bad storytelling and franchise killing, but also Coates’ attachment given his numerous racist statements.

YouTuber Orange Hat Reviews elucidated this point in a recent video discussing these new alleged leaks. 

He said, “Ta-Nehisi Coates, I will not support this film with him as a writer. It’s not because he’s making a black Superman or a black Clark Kent. It’s because this man wrote in one of his biographies or whatever that the first responders of 9-11 deserved what they got — the ones that died when the trade centers fell on them.”

He added, “I will not support this film. It is not the Superman that follows truth, justice, and the American way, but rather a BLM version of Superman.”

Source: Superman The Golden Age Omnibus HC Vol. 02

The YouTuber further explained, “Folks, this is why people are railing against this stuff. What is wrong with identifying with a white Superman if you’re black simply by his morals and his virtues? What is wrong with identifying with any character that is different from your skin color because of their virtues or their philosophies or their morals?”

“Me? I identify with Lando Calrissian. He has to protect his own. He’s thinking about or he thinks about protecting his own. He also cares to do the right thing. He’s imperfect. He screws up. But he eventually tries to make it right,” he elaborated.

Source: Action Comics Vol. 1 #803 “The Harvest, Part Two” (2003), DC Comics. Cover art by Dave Bullock.

What do you make of this alleged leaks? Do you have any interest in this? Is this film dead on arrival for you with Abrams and Coates attached?

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