Michael B. Jordan has already played a superhero and a supervillain in his career, with Fantastic Four and Black Panther. But the actor remains a popular choice for fan castings in other major comic book movie roles. One rumor that has long persisted is that Jordan will become the first black actor to play the Man of Steel in J.J. Abrams’ Superman Reboot. In an interview for Jake’s Takes, Jordan admitted he is aware of the rumors, but kept mum about any possible details of such an arrangement.
“You hear the whispers and the rumors and stuff like that and it’s just a compliment. You know, I appreciate people that think about me in that type of way for these roles. I don’t really have anything more to give on that other than it’s just flattering and I appreciate it. But, you know, whoever they get or if it goes that way, I think it’ll be an interesting thing to see.”
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Rumors about a Black Superman have gathered strength now that it has been confirmed that J.J. Abrams is looking to reboot Superman for Warner Bros with prolific writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, who often writes on African-American issues, penning the script.
If the new film was going to introduce a Black Superman, it would most likely not simply be a race-swapped version of Clark Kent. In DC Comics, Calvin Ellis, the Superman of Earth-23, is based on Barack Obama and happens to be the President of the U.S. in addition to being Earth’s greatest champion. In a previous interview with Oprah Winfrey, Jordan had confirmed that he is aware of Ellis, and would be interested in playing him.
“It’s tough. I hate being a businessman and understanding both sides of the situation. There is a huge upside to it, but being under that microscope, being picked apart and compared to so many different versions of Superman… I would rather do something original. I’ll be Calvin Ellis.”
The truth is, Michael B. Jordan has been burnt before when it comes to superhero castings. When it was announced that he would be playing a race-swapped version of the Human Torch in Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four, there was a minor but very vocal section of the fandom that condemned the decision with so much anger that Trank revealed he slept with a gun next to his bed for safety’s sake.
It is understandable for Jordan to be concerned about a similar possible pushback with Superman. For now, the actor is producing the upcoming Static Shockmovie for the DCEU and confirmed that he has had meetings with Warner regarding a film about the Man of Steel.
Jordan will next be seen in WithoutRemorse, an adaptation of a Tom Clancy novel of the same name, where he will play the lead role of John Clark, a combat veteran from Syria who is enlisted for a CIA mission in Russia after fighting operatives in D.C.
Directed by Stefano Sollima from a screenplay written by Taylor Sheridan and Will Staples, Without Remorse stars Michael B. Jordan, Jodie Turner-Smith, Jamie Bell, Lauren London, Brett Gelman, and Guy Pearce. The film premieres on April 30 on Amazon Prime Video.