Superman's been doing well for himself on the big screen in years. Henry Cavill's iteration of Kal-El/Clark Kent has starred in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, he's returning later this year in Justice League and there are already plans to release Man of Steel 2 later down the line. While the Kryptonian hero continues to be spotlighted in the DC Extended Universe, a different kind of Superman movie is on the way; one that will spotlight his battle against the Ku Klux Klan in the 1940s.
Superman vs. The KKK, based on the nonfiction book Superman versus the Ku Klux Klan: The True Story of How the Iconic Superhero Battled the Men of Hate, is now in development as a theatrical production under Lotus Entertainment, Paperchase Films and financier/executive producer Marco Vicini. Author Rick Bowers' work chronicled The Adventures of Superman radio show in the mid-1940s having the Man of Steel go up against the Klan and what the aftermath of those broadcasts was in real life. The movie's plot will revolve around a former KKK member who goes undercover in 1946 to work with the Anti-Defamation League and the producer of the Superman radio show. According to Deadline, the Superman vs. The KKK script is being written by Katherine Lindberg, who directed and penned the 2001 movie Rain.
Superman fights a variety of bad guys, from simple bank robbers to alien invaders. But every so often he manages to both save the day and make a social difference, and occasionally his fictional exploits manage to leave an impact on reality. One of those instances happened in 1946 when the Superman radio show broadcasted the 16-episode story "Clan of the Fiery Cross," which depicted Superman fighting the Ku Klux Klan. The story originated from human rights activist Stetson Kennedy went undercover into the racist organization and learned crucial information like codewords and ritual details. Upon getting out, Kennedy approached The Adventures of Superman radio show about incorporating what he learned at the KKK into their broadcasts. Thus "Clan of the Fiery Cross" was born, and the episodes were instrumental in driving down the KKK's recruiting and membership.
I can't help being reminded of Hollywoodland when reading about Superman vs. The KKK, in that while both movies involve the Superman character, he isn't actually the star of the "show" since the focus is on historical events. It'll be interesting to see just how much Superman material this movie will be able to use given that the character's rights rest at Warner Bros, but at the very least, this will be a good way to shine some light on a lesser-known way the Man of Steel has made an important and real difference on the world during his nearly 80 years of existence.
Does this Superman vs. The KKK movie pique your interest? Let us know in the comments below.
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Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.