For years now, it’s been rumored that Michael B. Jordan could be the next actor to play Superman in live-action cinema. That speculation picked up steam when it was announced earlier this year that producer J.J. Abrams is teaming with writer Ta-Nehisi Coates for a Superman movie that’ll feature a Black actor playing the Man of Steel. While Jordan has already said that he won’t be donning the cape and ’S’ insignia for that project, word’s come in that the Creed II star is working on his own separate Superman story.
According to Collider, Michael B. Jordan and his production company Outlier Society are developing a Superman project for HBO Max. However, rather than focus on the main Superman, i.e. Clark Kent/Kal-El, this project will star Val-Zod, the Earth-2 incarnation of Superman. Initially it was unclear whether this would be a movie or limited series, but it's since been clarified that for now, it's being developed as the latter. Outlier Society has reportedly already hired a writer, and in addition to his producing duties, it’s also possible Jordan could star in the project.
Given his Hollywood status, not to mention already comic book movie cred under his belt from Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Fantastic Four and Black Panther, Michael B. Jordan would certainly be a logical candidate to lead a live-action Superman movie. There was even a point where Jordan was working with Warner Bros on such a creative endeavor, but it’s noted in the Collider article that he ultimately wasn’t interested in “racebending” Clark Kent/Kal-El, instead preferring to handle a character who’s already Black and holds the Superman mantle. This HBO Max project provides him that opportunity.
Introduced in 2014 as part of the New 52’s Earth-2 continuity, Val-Zod was one of several Kryptonian orphans who were saved by Jor-El and Lara Zor-El before the planet exploded. During his journey to Earth, Val-Zod became a pacifist after learning from his late parents’ teachings, but upon arriving on our world, he was taken in by Terry Sloan, who was known as Mr. 8 rather than Mr. Terrific on Earth-2. Years later, Val-Zod was discovered by Earth-2’s other superheroes, and while he was initially unwilling to use his superpowers for violence, eventually he embraced becoming the new Man of Steel to help fight back against the forces of Apokolips.
Val-Zod is one of two Black characters who are well-known for being Superman in other corners of the DC multiverse, the other being President Calvin Ellis from Earth-23. Neither characters have been depicted outside of the comics, but thanks to this Michael B. Jordan project for HBO Max, you can count on Val-Zod’s fanbase growing a lot bigger. This is the second DC Comics-related project Jordan is currently involved with, as he’s also producing the Static Shock movie.
While we wait for more information about Michael B. Jordan’s Superman project, including whether or not he will be the one bringing Val-Zod to life, you can next see the actor appearing in A Journal for Jordan, which comes out on December 10. Jordan will also both direct and star in Creed III, which arrives on November 23, 2022.
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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.