In a new scoop by Collider, we have just learned that Michael B. Jordan will be developing his own Black Superman project for HBO Max based on the multiverse character Val-Zod. An undisclosed writer is already working on the script and it will be released as a limited series produced through Jordan’s Outlier Society brand, but Jordan has NOT been confirmed to star.
As far as we know, this project will be independent of the Ta-Nehisi Coates/J.J. Abrams Superman movie starring a Black Kal-El/Clark Kent.
New Details on Michael B. Jordan’s Val-Zod Superman Project
Collider also notes that this lines up with a previous report by Jamie Broadnax at Black Girl Nerds, who revealed before that “Jordan has not wanted to engage in conversations about racebending Kal-El … but that he would be interested in engaging on a Black Superman project centering on the Val-Zod storyline” with the goal to avoid any tone-deaf backlash from “racebend[ing] a white character and eras[ing the] Black characters that already exist in the DC universe under the Superman banner — Calvin Ellis and Val-Zod.”
Based on a follow-up report by The Hollywood Reporter, we have also learned that Jordan initially tried developing a Black Superman movie under his first-look deal at Warner Bros. At the time, Jordan wasn’t allowed the control he wanted as an actor-producer so it stalled. Warners eventually passed the Black Superman movie to J.J. Abrams, who enlisted Ta-Nehisi Coates to restart the story from scratch. However, HBO Max later asked Jordan to retool his project for the streaming service. Jordan’s series is now in early development at a different production pace, so the two projects aren’t expected to conflict upon release.
Val-Zod and Calvin Ellis themselves are disparate incarnations of the Superman character. Val-Zod (Earth 2) lost his parents capital punishment from Krypton’s high court and was later raised by Terry Sloan (the original Mr. Terrific). Calvin Ellis (Earth 23) lived a much more comfortable life, eventually rising to the role of President of the United States.
Jordan/Outlier Society’s upcoming projects include A Journal for Jordan, an emotional awards-contender starring Jordan and Denzel Washington, which will release in theaters December 22; Creed III (directed by Jordan), Static Shock, and a new Thomas Crown Affair remake. What do you think of this Superman news? Let us know in the comment section below or over on our social media!
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