The most iconic superhero in American culture will soon see a dramatic change in skin color and purpose. It has been announced that Henry Cavill, who played Superman in three of the last DC movies, is no longer interested in the part of the “Man of Steel.” Now, producers are dropping hints that actor Michael B. Jordan will pick up the iconic role.
It all started after Cavill turned down a cameo appearance as Superman in the upcoming SHAZAM movie. As a result, Deadline reported that Warner Brothers is looking at casting Jordan, whose portrayal as Erik Killmonger in Black Panther thrilled fans. It also may be a very shrewd money move to appeal to Black audiences who for decades have failed to see Black superheroes on the big screen.
But playing Superman is also taking on a specific racial and cultural issue, that of the indestructible White man. It makes sense that Superman would be a hero of color for a variety of reasons. The first of which is he comes from a planet with a red sun and he gets his powers from the Earth’s sun. Scientifically, Superman should have a lot more melanin displayed in his skin tone. But changing Superman, a White skinned alien, to Superman the brother from another planet, is bound to cause issues. Many white fans lost their damn minds when actor Idris Elba played Heimdall, A Norse Viking god, in the Thor movie franchise. But this will not be Jordan’s first stab at playing a superhero who was originally white. In 2015, he played Johnny Storm, aka The Human Torch, a move that shocked fans until Marvel comics creator Stan Lee said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly staged about the casting, “It was more than okay. I thought it was a great idea!”
So far, there has been no firm decision on whether Jordan will be wearing the big S and a red cape soon. But his fans are waiting for the indestructible Black man to take his turn in the DC Universe.