It’s been a good year to be a Superman fan.
After Superman & Lois premiered earlier this year to glowing reviews, Superman fans were already basking in our yellow sun. However, then they found out that The Flash movie would feature a version of Superman’s cousin Supergirl, so there was even more reason to celebrate.
Mileage varies for how excited fans are for the J.J. Abrams Superman project, but the fact is that there has been a lot of development involving Superman in film.
And it’s not about to stop now.
First reported by Collider, Michael B. Jordan and his production company Outlier Society are developing a HBO Max limited series focused on the Val-Zod version of Superman.
Val-Zod is “the Superman from Earth-2, where he is one of the last Kryptonians, and the second to assume the mantle of Superman. The character was orphaned after his parents were executed by Krypton’s high court, though he was found on Earth 2 by Terry Sloan, who offered the young alien asylum to “protect” him from the outside world.”
Colliders says that a writer has been hired and is currently working on the script. Jordan is currently only on board to produce, but there is a possibility he might sign on to star as Val-Zod down the road.
Michael B. Jordan’s name came up in a lot of conversations a few months back as the popular choice to play Superman in J.J. Abrams and Ta-Nehisi Coates’ upcoming take on the character. Their film will still follow the Clark Kent / Kal-El iteration, who while depicted as white in the DC Comics will be played by a Black actor. However, Jordan rejected any notion of wanting to star in the upcoming film saying that he was “flattered that people have me in that conversation. It’s definitely a compliment, but I’m just watching on this one.”
Well, it turns out that “Jordan has not wanted to engage in conversations about racebending Kal-El for the same reasons many of the fans are pushing back on the current Warner Bros. re-imagined version of Clark Kent, but that he would be interested in engaging on a Black Superman project centering on the Val-Zod storyline.”
The report continues that the “distinction is an important one, particularly within the Black community, [and that] it would be tone-deaf of Warner Bros. and DC to ‘racebend a white character and erase Black characters that already exist in the DC universe under the Superman banner” such as Val-Zod.
Well, I have to give props to Michael B. Jordan for not taking the easy way out and race swapping a popular white superhero. I’m definitely more interested in seeing who Val-Zod is and how different he is from the Clark Kent version of Superman than seeing a black Clark Kent.
Val-Zod also has the benefit of having zero Hollywood baggage. No other actor has ever portrayed the character on screen. It’s a chance to really leave an impact on the superhero genre. All the limited series will be judged on is if it was good or bad. No one will be comparing Val-Zod to Henry Cavill’s portrayal since they are two different characters with different backstories and ideologies.
TL;DR: Michael B. Jordan is making a Val-Zod / Superman series and it will almost certainly be better than whatever Abrams & Coates does with their raceswapped Clark Kent project.
No word yet on when the Val-Zod series might begin production or even hit HBO Max. We’ll keep you posted.