I wasn’t paying attention when it was reported on 2.26.21 that Warner Bros. and DC had hired Ta-Nehisi Coates to write the screenplay for a Black Superman flick to be produced by J.J. Abrams.
Earlier today THR‘s Tatiana Siegel and Borys Kit reported that everyone is committed to hiring a Black director…natch.
The idea, of course, is to fill the mythical-superhero void left by the passing of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman. But Coates still has to come up with some kind of semi-plausible plot that will link up with the traditional Superman saga…right? The classic Superman tale and D.C. legacy would have to be incorporated to some extent.
Assumption #1: If Black Superman will possess the same kind of superpowers that all the previous Supermans had going back to Kirk Alyn and George Reeves, he has to be from a Krypton-like planet…right? Or from Krypton itself. If the latter, Black Superman would have to be yet another survivor who escaped the planet before it self-destructed. Coates would have to explain that Krypton was always a biracial society, etc.
HE idea: The obvious strategy (one that would totally ring Quentin Tarantino‘s bell) would be to follow the Wonder Woman time-travel template and set Black Superman somewhere in the pre-Civil War Antebellum South. Have an infant Black Superman arrive on planet earth in the year 1852, encased in a special vacuum-sealed, oxygen-supplied cylinder that slides into a cotton plantation somewhere in the heart of the Confederacy. Or in 1862 with the war going on. Or he arrives as a 20something with his powers fully developed. Either way the story writes itself.
Hollywood Reporter illustration by Clayton Henry.