Actor Michael B Jordan is reportedly developing his own black Superman project for HBO Max, which will focus on the story of Val-Zod.
Jordan and his production company Outlier Society have already hired a writer to work on the script, according to film news site Collider, which also reports that the project will take the form of a limited series, rather than a feature film. Jordan will produce and potentially star in the series.
Val-Zod is a Superman from Earth 2, where he is one of the last Kryptonians. The character was orphaned after his parents were executed by Krypton's high court, but able to escape from Krypton moments before its destruction. He was found on Earth 2 by Terry Sloan, who offered the young alien asylum.
This is the second black Superman project currently in the works, as JJ Abrams and his company Bad Robot are also set to produce a black Superman film for Warner Bros. This will focus on the better-known Kal-El/Clark Kent iteration of Superman, who will be played by a black actor in the new film, which is being scripted by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
While Jordan was initially rumoured to be linked to the Abrams project, he recently renounced any ties to the film, saying: "I’m flattered that people have me in that conversation. It’s definitely a compliment, but I’m just watching on this one.”
It appears that Jordan is less interested in rebranding the traditionally white Kal-El character than he is in the story of Val-Zod, who has always been depicted as black.
“It’s important for people to see themselves in roles that they normally wouldn’t see,” Jordan told The Hollywood Reporter in April. “What that does to the next generation, to a kid or somebody that didn’t think that is something that they could achieve — now they’re thinking about it and daydreaming about it.”