With increased speculation regarding what will happen with Superman in the DC Extended Universe, as well as other independent projects, there have been a lot of question marks around the future of the character on the big and small screen. And things might have gotten just a little more confusing but a little more awesome with this most recent announcement. Collider has it that Michael B. Jordan is now developing an HBO Max series around another iteration of the character. We could have three concurrent Superman characters running when it’s all said and done.
This latest announcement for Michael B. Jordan did have some specifics attached around which direction they will take the Superman character. Jordan’s version will be based on Val-Zod, a Black Superman who first appeared in the comics within the last decade. The new project is currently being written as a limited series for the platform and is set to explore a totally new storyline for the character. Apparently, Jordan and his production company are the ones working on development, with some chance the former stars in the production. It isn’t known whether that will happen or not, but good money would suggest he will.
This new Michael B. Jordan Black Superman project isn’t to be confused with another movie in development right now coming from J.J. Abrams and writer Ta-Nehisi Coates. While details on that project are thin, there had been speculation it would focus on the Calvin Ellis story arc from the comic books. That one envisioned a world in which there was a different version of Kal-El that came to Earth and rose to superhero prominence eventually becoming President of the United States. Apparently, Jordan wanted to distance his project from that character, leaning more in the direction of someone different from Kal-El altogether.
Michael B. Jordan and his Outlier Society production company will handle the story of Val-Zod, a Kryptonian introduced back in 2014 for the Earth 2 storyline. He is a black man who, in this story, knew Kal-El and Kara Zor-El on Krypton before it exploded. All three come to Earth, though Val-Zod is protected and kept away from the world by a version of Terry Sloan/ Mister Terrific. Eventually, Val-Zod comes out of seclusion when the world needs him to fight off a brainwashed version of Superman. In the comics, at least at first, he doesn’t develop an alias, leaving this story somewhat different than other versions.
And if your head is spinning around the current state of Superman these days at DC, don’t be worried. There’s a lot going on. Sure, Michael B. Jordan is going one way, with a series, Abrams is doing a separate movie, and we still have Henry Cavill’s version to think about. The latter doesn’t seem to have a firm commitment from the studio about what the future looks like for that character even following the events of Zack Snyder’s Justice League. There very much appears to be a holding pattern on that front.
Michael B. Jordan is no stranger to the comic book movie world either. He has already played Erik Killmonger in Black Panther as well as Johnny Storm in the ill-fated Fantastic Four. Plus there was 2012’s Chronicle which dealt with superpowers and the inherent issues around having them.
There will surely be plenty of news coming for this new Michael B. Jordan Superman project and it’s an exciting time to think about all the different ways the story can play out. In the meantime, we will see him next with Creed III which will also mark his first time behind the camera as a director.