Val-Zod: Was This Michael B. Jordan Superman Series Canceled By HBO?
Michael B. Jordan is coming out with Val-Zod, a Superman series for HBO in the DC Extended Universe. It appears to not be canceled and still in development.
A new Val-Zod series is a good example what a weird place the DC Extended Universe and the Superman character are in right now. For starters, coming after the Justice League timeline of stories, it hasn’t been totally clear if there is a path or larger direction for the franchise as a whole. And then there was the whole Batgirl cancelation fiasco.
Plus, look no further than Superman with what could be happening with this character over the next few years. Henry Cavill may or may not be back in the mix, and there are other plans for different versions of the Kryptonian. And then there is the possible JJ Abrams/ Ta-Nehisi Coates adapatation. And fianlly, the Val-Zod series coming from Michael B. Jordan which is set to explore an alternate version of Superman. It’s an interesting project for sure, one that has flipped around a bit since it was first announced.
Let’s take a look at everything we know about Val-Zod, how Michael B. Jordan is actually involved, and what it might mean for the Superman character going forward. There’s quite a bit to get excited about here.
VAL-ZOD IS FROM THE EARTH-2 DC TIMELINE
Val-Zod is part of the Earth-2 DC timeline of stories with a background similar to that of Clark Kent/ Superman. In the comics, he was born on Krypton though his parents were executed following the events of a trial. He was taken in by Jor-EL and Lara, the original parents of Kal-El who would go on to become the Clark Kent version of Superman. In this story, Val-Zod is sent to Earth along with Kara Zor-El (Supergirl) and eventually taken in by Terry Sloan/ Mister Terrific.
A pacifist at heart thanks to the teachings of his Kryptonian adoptive parents, Val-Zod does carry many of the hallmarks of the Superman character in this way. He doesn’t grow up on a farm like Clark Kent but still doesn’t begin his superhero-ing right away either.
Because Sloan sees him for what he is, he does keep Val-Zod away from society which has some negative side effects on his overall personality. Where Clark went to high school and tried to pass off as “normal” Val-Zod doesn’t take this same path. Though eventually, he joins up with the Wonders and they do fight off the Brutaal version of Superman.
From a powers perspective, Val-Zod can do all of the same things as Superman, though some of those come about later in his growing up. And he does have to teach himself some of these things along the way. Val-Zod is a black version of the Superman character, though not the first.
MICHAEL B. JORDAN COULD PLAY VAL-ZOD
It was announced in July 2021 that Michael B. Jordan was developing a Superman project with Warner Bros. At the time, it was speculated that he was going to produce a version of the Superman character who was black, leading to speculation that he might take the lead role. It’s been about a year since this first announcement but there doesn’t seem to be any strong indication, at least at this point, that he is planning on starring in the Val-Zod series. That isn’t to say it won’t be happening, it just hasn’t been confirmed at all.
For starters, Michael B. Jordan’s dance card is pretty full at the moment. He’s in post-production on Creed III which will return him to the role of Adonis. That movie is due out on November 23, 2022. Though they are done filming, it will require press obligations around the time of the release.
And after that, he’s set to star in Methuselah from Danny Boyle. It looks like it is going to be a take on the biblical character who lived to be almost 1,000 years old. Except this version will have the character as a survivalist who has developed deadly skills along the way.
And then there is Wrong Answer which was already announced. It will have him playing a teacher who fudges test scores. Finally, in something of a surprise, I Am Legend 2 was announced as in the works which would put Michael B. Jordan and Will Smith together on the big screen for this sequel. This is all to say that adding a Val-Zod HBO series to the mix could prove a heavy lift.
DARNELL METAYER AND JOSH PETERS ARE HELMING THE SERIES
In October, the Val-Zod series got another lift when it brought on Darnell Metayer and Josh Peters. Though the two are relatively new to the scene there are some bigger works on their resume already. For starters, Metayer is involved with the next Transformers movie Rise of the Beasts, and also penned BMF. Peters meanwhile has a number of production credits and he and Metayer have been a creative team for a bit now. As up-and-comers in the industry, this is a good sign for the series when it comes to the overall vision.
The series is being made through Michael B. Jordan’s production company Outlier Society which also has a first-look deal now with Amazon. Jordan is going to executive produce along with Elizabeth Raposo. The company has also had its hand in other Michael B. Jordan productions like Just Mercy, Without Remorse, A Journal for Jordan, and Fahrenheit 451
THERE IS NO OFFICIAL TIMELINE FOR THE VAL-ZOD RELEASE
This is the big question right now. There are so many DC projects in the works right now that don’t have clear timelines for release. This is one of them. And remember, there is another Superman project going right now that has J.J. Abrams producing with a script from Ta-Nehisi Coates. That is said to be another version of a black Superman, this one supposedly following the Calvin Ellis character from the comic books.
Without any firm casting news at this point, we could still be years away from getting a Val-Zod series. Heck, by that point maybe Michael B. Jordan will be too old to take the role. We’ll keep this updated with any news we here about the HBO Max series and what to expect from another Superman in this universe.
The good news is that the series seems to have survived the rash of cancelations from Warner Bros.