J.J. Abrams Is Producing a New ‘Superman’ Film Written by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Man of Steel returns. (Again.)
Eight years since the last solo Superman film, Warner Bros. has begun development on a new cinematic version of the character. This one will be produced by J.J. Abrams and written by author Ta-Neihisi Coates.
Coates told Shadow and Act “To be invited into the DC Extended Universe by Warner Bros., DC Films and Bad Robot is an honor. I look forward to meaningfully adding to the legacy of America's most iconic mythic hero.” And Abrams added “There is a new, powerful and moving Superman story yet to be told. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with the brilliant Mr. Coates to help bring that story to the big screen, and we’re beyond thankful to the team at Warner Bros. for the opportunity.”
At present there’s no director attached — or a Superman, for that matter. Henry Cavill played Superman in the previous DC Extended Universe movies; the fact that Coates says he’s been specifically invited into the DCEU suggests Cavill could potentially reprise the role in this film.
Coates has written for The Atlantic, The New York Times, and elsewhere, and penned numerous acclaimed non-fiction books, including Between the World and Me. In recent years, he’s also written popular storylines for Marvel’s Black Panther and Captain America comics. He hasn’t worked on Superman before, but Abrams has; he wrote Superman: Flyby, one of the unproduced Man of Steel movies Warner Bros. developed and abandoned in the ’90s and early 2000s during a fallow period in the franchise’s history.
Abrams’ project was developed after Kevin Smith and Tim Burton’s Superman Lives fell apart, and before Warner Bros. finally put Superman Returns together. It was a variation on the Superman origin story, and was at one point going to be directed by Brett Ratner. (When he dropped out, McG joined the project.) Like the Burton Superman, Flyby collapsed before it could go into production. Now, Abrams gets another crack at it, with a great author and comics writer. With the right Superman in the lead role, this could be the most interesting DC Comics movie in years.
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