The next Superman will be Black — and so will the director

Warner looking for Black director for Black Superman movie
(Image credit: DC Comics)

We're learning more about upcoming Black Superman movie. A new report shows that Warner Bros. knows it needs a Black director to helm its upcoming Superman movie (the first to feature a Black actor as The Man Of Steel). Yes, the J.J. Abrams-produced Superman movie, first announced in February, will likely not feature J.J. behind the camera.

This news comes from a report on The Hollywood Reporter, that said "Warners and DC are committed" to hiring a Black director for the project. One source even said putting Abrams in as director would be "tone-deaf." The new director would be in charge of bringing the first Black Superman to the big screen, from a script penned by author Ta-Nehisi Coates. His writing on reparations notably inspired the recent HBO Watchmen series.

In a way, Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Entertainment appear to be looking for their own Ryan Coogler, the mastermind behind the Black Panther movie, who is signed on with Disney for both Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and a Disney Plus series taking place in the fictional African country.

THR notes that this situation is the latest chapter of the eternal war between Marvel and DC. Apparently, Marvel is also looking through the big list of Black directors for who will helm its upcoming Blade film, which has Mahershala Ali set to star as the day-walking vampire. 

Big names they could consider include Regina King, who's earned award nominations for her work directing One Night in Miami. There's also Shaka King, who directed the Warner Bros. picture Judas and the Black Messiah, which earned plenty of nominations this past awards season. 

Coogler is likely not in the running. As mentioned above, he's got a lot on his plate over at Marvel. That said, don't expect the next Superman movie to arrive soon. The script isn't expected to be finished until the end of the year.

There's also the question of who will be the first Black Superman. While there haven't been any leaks for who Warner Bros. and DC are considering, a bit of chatter on social media has suggested William Jackson Harper (The Good Place, Midsommar) should be considered.

The most recent Superman actors — Brandon Routh in Superman Returns (2006) and Henry Cavill in Man of Steel (2013) — were both relative unknowns. Neither film was a smash at the box office, though, so Warner/DC may be looking to cast a big name to get the film even more attention. 

The next Superman may not be a part of the DCEU. Much like the Snyder Cut, THR reports that Abrams and Coates' Superman project "appears to be moving onto its own track and won’t be part of the universe, as of now."

That means we won't see this Clark in The Flash movie, which is set to bring the concept of multiverses to the big screen, and reintroduce Michael Keaton as Batman, with a storyline similar to the Flashpoint arc from the comics. Don't expect to see Robert Pattinson's The Batman cameo in the next Superman's Metropolis, either, as his movie (much like Joaquin Phoenix's The Joker) isn't a part of the overarching canon.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.