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THR: JJ Abrams' Superman Won't Be Part of the DCEU Universe, Will Feature a Black Kal-El

Reallink

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Just use some existing black characters or make new ones. Trying to appear woke by changing established characters is just sad. I hope the backlash is a bomb and loss, money talks.

Hollywood would never make a black character white or Asian and no one would support it, this is a double standard.

Oh it won't, it'll all but assuredly be the most successful DC movie several times over, possibly a contender for highest grossing film of all time. Every black person on the planet will pay to go see it in theaters several times, as will most liberals, millennials, and zoomers of every other race. If for no other reason than to own the boomers and republicans who are the most likely demographic to complain about a black Superman. Controversy sells, studios have a literal cash cow on their hands retconning iconic white characters for the ID Pol crowd.
 
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LRKD

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To make Kal El black is incredibly retarded, and it's amazing how many people here are showing there low iqs and licking boot. There are already multiple black supermen. No one has a problem with black superman. People have a problem with black Kal El. If this was JJ Abrams was making a black superman movies staring whatever black actor, and the character was Val Zod, Calvin Ellis, or even an original character. No one, except like two racist nobodies, and some trolls looking to make people triggered would care. In fact, I think MANY people would love to see a movies staring Val Zod
, although they don't know it yet.

Short story long, You wouldn't make Peter Parker black. You wouldn't make Miles Morales, or Eric Brooks white. They are all established characters, with established personalities and looks. Hollywood are just being shitty hacks and way too many idiots here are defending these dumb ass decisions.
 
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Ixion

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Releasing a big budget feature film about a black Superman is just a hugely symbolic and cultural victory for black people, especially in the US. It's something we all knew was coming eventually for this reason alone. And if it's a solid enough movie, it will cause a lot of waves and make a lot of money.

Personally, I haven't watched a new superhero movie in about 5 years (besides Joker if that counts), so I don't care either way. There's just way too many of these movies and shows coming out now, that I've become numb to it all.
 
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arkhamguy123

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Releasing a big budget feature film about a black Superman is just a hugely symbolic and cultural victory for black people, especially in the US. It's something we all knew was coming eventually for this reason alone. And if it's a solid enough movie, it will cause a lot of waves and make a lot of money.

Personally, I haven't watched a new superhero movie in about 5 years (besides Joker if that counts), so I don't care either way. There's just way too many of these movies and shows coming out now, that I've become numb to it all.
Racebending a white character is a win for us? Not with ya on that one brother. That's just cheap pandering theft. I think it's largely corporate disney MCU garbage despite Ryan Coogler being a talented filmmaker. (because these directors hardly even get to direct their MCU movies), but something like black panther is a real win. An ACTUAL black superhero grossing as much or more than other heroes. And getting great critical acclaim. Even though I thought it was merely okay.
 
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JeremyEtcetera

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By the way can we talk about how fortunate of a guy JJ Abrams is? He managed to come out of Star Wars with an unscathed career because the top suits decided they couldn't wait for him to finish his other project and put a different dude on episode 8, and that dude just happened to have his own agendas for his own trilogy. That dude stupidly put his agenda and a ton of mistakes into his work of episode 8 and split the fanbase, which meant no matter how badly Abrams could fuck up, he would be forgiven for episode 9 because he spent most of the screen time cleaning up the mess of the other guy.

An entire franchise was almost tanked and yet Abrams took almost zero blame for it and now is in talks to direct a Superman film. The man has 9 lives as a director. You can't make this stuff up.
 

LRKD

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I take it you never heard of Calvin Ellis?
I mean I literally stated Calvin Ellis in my post.... But I know what you mean, and you do raise a good point. I have totally forgotten how terribly lame he was in some regards...

Yeah his name is also Kal El, and it's not like you can even handwave it as just a common name, since his parents have the same name as E1's Kal El. He is just alternate universe Kal El but black and also potus...lame...


He feels like a joke character, he only has what two appearances? Which is a shame, Obama as superman is such a cool and stupid concept that it should get more appearances, and he should get his own name and origin story apart from E1 Kal El. Calvin Ellis deserves better then to be a shadow of E1 superman.
 

IntentionalPun

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By the way can we talk about how fortunate of a guy JJ Abrams is? He managed to come out of Star Wars with an unscathed career because the top suits decided they couldn't wait for him to finish his other project and put a different dude on episode 8, and that dude just happened to have his own agendas for his own trilogy. That dude stupidly put his agenda and a ton of mistakes into his work of episode 8 and split the fanbase, which meant no matter how badly Abrams could fuck up, he would be forgiven for episode 9 because he spent most of the screen time cleaning up the mess of the other guy.

An entire franchise was almost tanked and yet Abrams took almost zero blame for it and now is in talks to direct a Superman film. The man has 9 lives as a director. You can't make this stuff up.
He headed tons of incredibly successful movies, including Episode 7 which was insanely successful. What 9 lives are you even talking about? Episode 9 was a dud for sure, but everything else he's done wasn't.. and why should he even get the blame when Rian took the trilogy in such a different direction?

I'm not a big fan, but he's hardly a "luck" kind of guy career wise.
 
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JeremyEtcetera

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He headed tons of incredibly successful movies, including Episode 7 which was insanely successful. What 9 lives are you even talking about? Episode 9 was a dud for sure, but everything else he's done wasn't.. and why should he even get the blame when Rian took the trilogy in such a different direction?

I'm not a big fan, but he's hardly a "luck" kind of guy career wise.
I'm mainly talking about his Star Wars run, not his entire filmography. Any other director/executive producer would have taken even the slightest hit from that career-wise, but somehow JJ didn't and just tucked and rolled into this project. To me that's impressive.
 

Billbofet

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I also feel if this movie had been made around the time of Man of Steel - which was a reboot after years of no Superman - it would have been more genuine and perhaps exciting to see what they do with a black Superman. Having this come out now, it's just too obvious that it's pandering and trying to show that a multi-billion dollar industry really gives a shit about social issues. I love Superman, and I will see this and go in with an open mind. I hope it's good, but if it sucks I won't be able to be critical of it in any way or have any meaningful discussion on it. Again, I think that's why eye roll when stuff like this is announced. The reality is that most movies at this level and budget really do suck, but Hollywood's found a way to insulate and deflect any wrong doing back on to the fans.
 

8bitpill

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This is a younger generations Blaxploitation films. It might not have the tongue and cheek titles but history repeats its self. Instead of a Blacula, we have Black Superman,



This short of "shoe horn" character isn't interesting in the lease. DC has been a whole lot of misses over the years and you really just need to turn your brain off and enjoy the eye candy because if you critically think about most of these movies, there is a lot of cash grab garbage out there.

Could you imagine if Hollywood went and changed the race of BLADE to asian. People would lose their minds over it.



I'm looking forward to the new Blade movie and would be super bummed if Hollywood tempered with the main character just to pander and make sure money is coming in.

Most of this short of thing is a running joke. But instead of getting bent out of shape about it, just don't support it,
 

sol_bad

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The main problem (for me) is announcing the race before any casting. So it's not like they had an open casting call for supes with a script that was race agnostic and this fresh black actor DESTROYED it.

Nope, I strongly suspect race will be a key story element.

Compare it to the Hannah actress getting Red Sonja. Perhaps she just auditioned that well. But announcing the casting without a "we are gonna have a non white Red Sonja" type virtue signal at least opens the possibility that the actress got the role based on merit and not because she checked enough boxes AND that the script allows for a range of races because it isn't DEPENDENT on race. We can only pray that we never even see RSs parents (who now will probably be interracial or mixed race themselves) so we won't have to sit through ANOTHER "daddy issues" origin story.

I mean, generally, the actor would be announced be announced before any plot details are released. The only thing is that 95% of the time the actor was expected to be white.
Plus, did you read the quotes on the first page, there were no announcements, it's an insider that was talking to a reporter.


Chances are they have a story in mind and for whatever reason a black person would be a better fit. Hollywood can never win with these scenarios. You get people complaining about "forced diversity" and that people of colour are thrown into movies with no significant value, they are there just because. But then if there is a story that is written for a specific ethnicity you still get people complaining about "wokeism".

I'll personally be annoyed if this film is set in the 40's, 50's or 60's where they can really push the racism angle. That is one thing I am sick of with some recent shows, they set them in those eras where they can push hard on that aspect. As much as I enjoyed Lovecraft Country that is one of the elements that annoyed me. Shows can be set in modern times and still tackle the same themes, just not as hard.
 
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Brian Fellows

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It’s times like these that I’m super happy to have never gotten into DC in my 30 years of reading comics.

From Snyder to Abrams. Ouch!
 

jason10mm

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I mean, generally, the actor would be announced be announced before any plot details are released. The only thing is that 95% of the time the actor was expected to be white.
Plus, did you read the quotes on the first page, there were no announcements, it's an insider that was talking to a reporter.


Chances are they have a story in mind and for whatever reason a black person would be a better fit. Hollywood can never win with these scenarios. You get people complaining about "forced diversity" and that people of colour are thrown into movies with no significant value, they are there just because. But then if there is a story that is written for a specific ethnicity you still get people complaining about "wokeism".

I'll personally be annoyed if this film is set in the 40's, 50's or 60's where they can really push the racism angle. That is one thing I am sick of with some recent shows, they set them in those eras where they can push hard on that aspect. As much as I enjoyed Lovecraft Country that is one of the elements that annoyed me. Shows can be set in modern times and still tackle the same themes, just not as hard.
Lovecraft Country, the book on which the show is based, is set in the 50's because it DELIBERATELY wanted to tackle the race angle (despite being written by a white man). It was also riffing off of a real thing, the negro travel guide aka the green book (I think that was the name) that kinda requires it to be in a pre-civil rights america. So taking any of the main characters and making them white would defeat the purpose, which was to tell a faintly lovecraftian (really more Bradburian) story from a black POV and contrast it to the human racist angle. Of course the show has no subtlety or class so it just amped what was already a race filled story to 11 with really overt stuff.

So any superman story that either excludes the default (for what, ONE HUNDRED YEARS?) ethnicity/backstory or focuses exclusively on one ethnicity (but not the established one) is doing it because there is a specific story reason. Maybe DC knows the base story is shit and hopes a race angle will bump it up. Maybe they are gonna cut the budget and hope for a quick cash grab. Maybe they are totally desperate. Maybe this is all bullshit and this film is never gonna see the light of day. And maybe, just maybe, there is a really really good novel idea there that requires a black superman. But it is very unlikely IMHO.
 

xrnzaaas

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They're also looking for a black director for the next film. Totally not racist.
 

Bitmap Frogs

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But that's exactly why they're tinkering around with it. Right now seems very important for companies to be perceived as being progressive.

Appearing progressive means you don’t get shit on social media, but I wonder if it actually generates revenue…
 

GeekyDad

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Appearing progressive means you don’t get shit on social media, but I wonder if it actually generates revenue…
We'll see, I guess. It's easy to get why they do it, but like them, who knows what actually works. If I were a betting man, though, I'd always put my money on inspiration, creativity and ability to execute those things. Honestly, in spite of the obvious success of the Marvel movies (and my preference to Marvel comics growing up), I've yet to find the patience to sit through any of 'em (except for the first Spider-man with Tobey McGuire). The Dark Knight trilogy is currently still my favorite, and really, though I loved the Dark Knight novels (back in the late 80s, I think it was), I was never a huge fan of DC comics. And yet, like you said, the Marvel movies (Avengers and such) seem to have been quite successful monetarily.
 

Bitmap Frogs

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We'll see, I guess. It's easy to get why they do it, but like them, who knows what actually works. If I were a betting man, though, I'd always put my money on inspiration, creativity and ability to execute those things. Honestly, in spite of the obvious success of the Marvel movies (and my preference to Marvel comics growing up), I've yet to find the patience to sit through any of 'em (except for the first Spider-man with Tobey McGuire). The Dark Knight trilogy is currently still my favorite, and really, though I loved the Dark Knight novels (back in the late 80s, I think it was), I was never a huge fan of DC comics. And yet, like you said, the Marvel movies (Avengers and such) seem to have been quite successful monetarily.

They’re ok popcorn flicks but I mostly cared because they were building towards the infinity war and I loved that comic when I was a kid, read it a dozen times.

Which btw, they butchered. Royally.

I don’t care anymore about marvel anymore except dr strange - I liked his comics and his guest appearances on strawcinsky (sp) ultimate Spider-Man were legendary.
 
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Diatribe1974

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And when this movie fails to be a blockbuster, the media will proclaim that white people were the reason it didn't do well, that we're all racist for not supporting it and whatever bull they want to include. What they should've done was make a character in his own universe who is a superman like character and create and foster that franchise and if it's a good movie, watch people support it. But now, we're going to create a movie based off an existing IP that changes what people have long since accepted as the lore and character and for the sake of "mah diversity" they change key aspects.
 
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IDKFA

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There it is. You're comparing actual people to comic book characters made for children? I think if a movie is based on a real person they should do their best to get someone who looks and can talk/act like the person they're covering. Superheroes aren't real, so getting someone to look nearly identical to the character doesn't matter. I'm sure you have a huge issue with Passion of the Christ being a bunch of white dudes in the middle east.

I agree with you with fictional characters to a certain amount. I see nothing wrong with a black James Bond or black Batman because these fictional characters are not defined by their race. However, I would be down for a white actor playing Shaft for example.

In terms of historical figures, this is where the it gets murky. I would have no issue with race blind casting of historical figures, but currently this is only happening with white historical figures.

To give a few examples, there is a recent drama about the life of Anne Boleyn, and the actress they cast is black when Anne Boleyn was white. A black actress also plays Queen Charlotte in Bridgerton, when Queen Charlotte was white.

However, there is no way a black or Asian historical figure would ever be played today by a white actor, so the idea of race blind casting, which I actually like, only really works if it's a white historical figure being played by someone of a different race.
 
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jason10mm

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To give a few examples, there is a recent drama about the life of Anne Boleyn, and the actress they cast is black when Anne Boleyn was white. A black actress also plays Queen Charlotte in Bridgerton, when Queen Charlotte was white.

However, there is no way a black or Asian historical figure would ever be played today by a white actor, so the idea of race blind casting, which I actually like, only really works if it's a white historical figure being played by someone of a different race.
So the real point here is if producers want a diverse (or at least not all white) cast, then WHY DO THEY KEEP TELLING THE SAME DAMN STORIES????

The answer is obvious. They KNOW that a story drawing from a non-european, even non-english, setting is gonna tank. So rather than put in the work to sell audiences on an Egyptian dynasty series, the Destruction of the Library of Alexandria (which would be AMAZING!) or Morroccan pirates or the like they just hit up jolly old England yet again but mix up the casting for virtue points. Hamilton paved the way for this somehow being acceptible.
 

voidenberg

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Hollywood sought out white directors for decades. That's not racist?
Did they specifically hire directors based on the color of their skin to match the color of the skin of the lead actor/character?

This neo-segregationism is so stupid.
 
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IDKFA

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So the real point here is if producers want a diverse (or at least not all white) cast, then WHY DO THEY KEEP TELLING THE SAME DAMN STORIES????

The answer is obvious. They KNOW that a story drawing from a non-european, even non-english, setting is gonna tank. So rather than put in the work to sell audiences on an Egyptian dynasty series, the Destruction of the Library of Alexandria (which would be AMAZING!) or Morroccan pirates or the like they just hit up jolly old England yet again but mix up the casting for virtue points. Hamilton paved the way for this somehow being acceptible.

Would it tank? I'm not so sure. I'd love to see a film or series based on the life of Shaka (founder of the Zulu Empire), a big budget TV series based on the Japanese Genpei War or the epic Queen Amina Of Zaria etc etc

I'm sure I'm not alone either. It's just going to take somebody with balls to make this work. In fact, I'm sure if people started telling studios that they wanted to see these types of adaptations then they would be made.
 

El Pistolero

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Batman to be an Egyptian Falafel vendor next...I mean, why not adapt stories revolving around black superheroes, of which there are many or, wait for it...how about creating new ones that we might all enjoy and rally behind? Is it too much to ask?
 
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Javthusiast

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Creativity is long gone. We live in checklist times. A fictional character who always was white, not on the checklist anymore baby.
 
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sol_bad

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Did they specifically hire directors based on the color of their skin to match the color of the skin of the lead actor/character?

This neo-segregationism is so stupid.

They certainly didn't actively look at black directors or other minorities as a primary option. They didn't actively look for female directors either.
So I guess yes, they did specifically target and hire directors based on skin colour?

If Hollywood just kept chugging away as it has like the last 5 decades, white male directors would continue to be the primary defacto option. We know how Hollywood works, either the director approaches the studio with an idea or the studio has an idea and they have a director in mind. Directors who approach studios and get greenlighted would predominantly be white because they have a good history and Hollywood previously let them into the club years ago. If the studio has a director in mind, it's generally going to be a white person because that's the race that has predominantly made movies in Hollywood.

I have no proof of this but I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of aspiring minority directors got rejected just because, or their script wasn't even looked at. And how can a studio choose a minority director if there are barely any to choose from? Obviously I'm talking about the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s here.

Hollywood needs to figure out a way to let more minorities into the industry and again, unfortunately, when it comes to super heroes the majority of them are white because they were created in a time of white society. If we stick to all white super heroes being white we are cutting off a massive potential talent pool. I'm dumb founded at how much American culture has changed over the last 7 years, it's ridiculous. Barely anyone batted an eye when Michael B Jordan was announced as Johnny Storm in that shifty Fan4stic film back in 2014. Yeah, some people complained but not many. Now announcing a black actor as a white comic book character is the end of the world. Now I don't agree with all super heroes being race swapped, some I'm ok with and others I'm not, Kal-El is fine because he is an alien.

I know you'll say that they should make original super heroes. DC and Marvel have had hundreds of new characters over the last 20 years, guess how many have become as popular as Spider-Man, Batman or the Avengers? Now coming up with an original super hero film that requires a 150+ million dollar budget? It's a massive risk and undertaking and the only studio who could take that risk is Marvel Studios because people trust them, because they have made 23 high quality films.l
 

voidenberg

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I know you'll say that they should make original super heroes. DC and Marvel have had hundreds of new characters over the last 20 years, guess how many have become as popular as Spider-Man, Batman or the Avengers? Now coming up with an original super hero film that requires a 150+ million dollar budget? It's a massive risk and undertaking and the only studio who could take that risk is Marvel Studios because people trust them, because they have made 23 high quality films.l
Spiderman is the only character Marvel has that is as big as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman.

The average normie had no idea who iron man, guardians of the galaxy, or black panther were. And these movies were huge hits. Just make a good movie and people will watch it.
 

belmarduk

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Oh really?

So all the "whitewashing" complaints we heard over the past several decades can be tossed out then, right?

Glad this is settled.

Me too. Its supposed to be entertainment. If your first thought is to be offended by the race of this iteration of Superman, then you're doing it wrong.
 

sol_bad

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Spiderman is the only character Marvel has that is as big as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman.

The average normie had no idea who iron man, guardians of the galaxy, or black panther were. And these movies were huge hits. Just make a good movie and people will watch it.

They aren't new properties though, they weren't popular until 2008 and 2010 but they still weren't original properties. People angry about black super heroes who are usually white argue that original characters should be used. It's a huge box office risk to create a new hero just for the big screen.
 

Batiman

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Spiderman is the only character Marvel has that is as big as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman.

The average normie had no idea who iron man, guardians of the galaxy, or black panther were. And these movies were huge hits. Just make a good movie and people will watch it.
I’d say that was true maybe 10 years ago. I’d say most marvel characters have past WW by now because of the MCU. The young generation knows more about any marvel character then they know of superman or Batman. They only know their appearance really. I’d say more kids know captain America, black panther, Ironman, hulk more than even SM.
 

Xenon

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Wow, JJ and Coates working together on this together is like the dream team. That last battle between Black Panther and Killmonger was one of the most engaging explosive battles in all of the Marvel Universe. Then you have JJ Abrams, who is respect for source material highlights a huge body of his works. I just know when I sit down to watch this movie, the pedigree of these two creative forces is going to just smack me in the face.
 
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BigStef71

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I'll give this take on the character a chance. I know the internet hates the idea so I'm curious how the general audience will react. It's a shame we most likely will never see Henry in the role again.
 
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Blade2.0

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Lol first Into the Spider-Verse has to go to another dimension to find a black Spider-Man. Now we go to a new universe for a black Superman.

I would have more respect for these race hustling hacks if they stuck to their guns. Just make the main real superhero black and quit bluffing.
There's precedent In the comics for this, though. Miles was literally from the ultimate universe in the comics until he was brought to the main one and DC comics has else worlds Kal El that's black. And the elseworlds with him are fucking great.
 
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