It might take a while for all the back-slapping, hand-shaking, and congratulatory nonsense to be done with, but it does feel as though it’s going to take another mistake or more to get DC to realize that switching things up this often is bound to create a legacy that’s already in the works since their cinematic presence has been a mess punctuated with a few successes so far. Wonder Woman, Shazam, and Aquaman are by far their shining examples, and there’s still plenty of things to be said about each movie, which is natural. Wonder Woman 1984 is still pulling down criticism and the Snyder Cut is still up in the air as to how it will go when it comes out, but the idea of rebooting Superman once again, especially without Henry Cavill taking on the role, is something that is bound to divide a lot of people. It’s way too easy to be dismissive of this idea so stating that it might have a few redeeming qualities would be fair, but finding out what those would be is a tad difficult, especially if one isn’t a huge fan of writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, who has been brought in to work on the movie with J.J. Abrams. All personal biases aside, Coates has proven to be a very influential writer and one that many agree with when it comes to his stance on quite a few aspects of life, but it’s yet to be seen just what he can do in terms of the superhero genre.
The possibility of seeing Superman as a person of color due to the presence of multiple universes has already been floated and it might be something that actually happens, but much as it happened with Ariel from The Little Mermaid, it’s bound to have some blowback from the fans simply because it’s never been done before. The truth of it is though that the multiple universes theory does make it possible and the idea that Michael B. Jordan is ready and willing to take such a role has been seen in the news more than once. Change is something that we have to deal with and it’s been happening rather often throughout the world these days. From the most radical alterations to the most obvious and mundane, people have been experiencing a change in a manner that has been problematic and in some cases quite simple. If one really wants to be honest, the switch from a blond-haired, blue-eyed white man to Jason Momoa was a huge change for Aquaman, yet no one really appeared to care. One of the only real arguments that might be erased because of a reboot is that Krypton was not quite as diverse as it could have been since in Man of Steel it was established that the people were grown and that their genetics were carefully controlled, which is horrifying to be certain since it’s way too Matrix-like for some folks.
But one can easily believe that there will be some pushback on the idea of making Superman into a POC if only because it’s a change that people will find to be a little too radical for their liking. If it happens then it happens, but it would be wise to expect that some individuals won’t want to see it while others might be curious enough to see what might happen and others will be completely approving for various reasons. Like it or not, politics have entered entertainment in a big way over the years and it’s been more than the simple act of emulating politics, it has become a push for everyone in Hollywood to take up the political call and start to translate this into the movies and shows that we watch today, as it’s been felt in pretty much every part of the industry. For better or worse it’s been given the push to influence just what we enjoy and has even been used in a very touch-and-go type of way to try and divide people by their beliefs and what they find acceptable. The downside of a Superman reboot is that it could very well be the case that Coate’s belief and his love of comic books could come together in an attempt to create a narrative that will take the recognized story of Superman and turn it into something that will push his own beliefs while disregarding what came before entirely. That’s a rather paranoid thought, but it’s one that some folks appear to be fostering at this time.
Whatever comes, it’s simple to have faith that Coates, who is a fan of the comics and is an astute writer, will work with Abrams and come up with something that people can get behind. It’s still easy to think that many will be holding their breath, metaphorically speaking.