Superman has seen a few iterations on the big screen over the decades though most had adhered to the original look of the character from his time in the comic books. It’s been a traditional casting of sorts from Christopher Reeve, to Brandon Routh to now, Henry Cavill. But that is set to change soon with DC about to take the character in a totally new direction. And we have some inkling about the inspiration for this new version. Geekosity is reporting the next Superman story will come from the Calvin Ellis arc in the comic books and we know that character was inspired by one President Barack Obama. This will be a new look for the character for sure.
It came out a couple of months ago that JJ Abrams would be taking over the next Superman movie for Warner Bros and they had hired Ta-Nehisi Coates to pen the script. At the time, it was assumed that this would take the character in a new direction and that a black actor would take over the role. This wasn’t expressly stated but was widely assumed. And the first place to turn with this rumor would be the Calvin Ellis storyline. This character first appeared on the printed pages back in 2009 as part of a Multiverse offering in Final Crisis. In this story, Calvin Ellis, known on Krypton also as Kalel, is also President of the United States. In this way, the Superman/ Barack Obama connection is really 1:1.
Calvin Ellis really only makes appearances in the comic books rather than having a fully dedicated story. They didn’t delve too much into how the character was inspired by Barack Obama. So there are a lot of ways to take this new Superman if this is the path the writers are on. It makes sense though if DC is looking to distance itself from the current Henry Cavill version and add more diversity to their ranks. It could mean that this is simply the inspiration for the character rather than the fully thought-out plotline. I’d be a bit surprised if they put the new Superman in the White House right from the jump. It would seem like that would be a lot to handle. But catching up with Ellis in his early years for a new origin story would be cool.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League was considered a success and breathed some new life into the DC Extended Universe, especially around the Superman and Batman characters. But it’s pretty clear Warner Bros. is set to, at minimum, explore different directions for their characters. This new Calvin Ellis/ Obama story won’t exist in the current DC universe, making it a reboot of sorts. Whether it ends up spawning all new versions of characters remains to be seen. For now, it won’t have any of the current Justice League roster joining the Obama-Superman in the White House.
And if DC Comic book properties are starting to get confusing, it’s not just you. There are so many different versions of characters out there these days that you practically need to hire an assistant to keep track of them all. There’s the Henry Cavill/ Superman Ben Affleck/ Batman group that’s the core of the Justice League. But we are about to get the Robert Pattinson version of the caped crusader in The Batman which will also be in its own universe. And there’s this Abrams/ Coates Superman which will be on its own too. And don’t even get me started on the Arrowverse.
See what I mean? It’s complicated. But this new Obama-inspired Superman should still be a very cool story and a totally different way to see the character than we’ve had in the past.