Dwayne Johnson Says Hollywood is Ready for a Black Superman

In an interview with Variety while on the red carpet for the world premiere of his new film “Fast & Furios: Hobbs & Shaw”, actor Dwayne Johnson spoke about diversity in Hollywood and whether or not we’d ever see a black Superman on screen anytime soon.

“I think they’re doing great,” Johnson replied. “I think, obviously Marvel has done a tremendous job in building out. And also, you know, for me, DC, we’re doing Black Adam with Warner Bros. and DC. We’re very excited about that.”

“So, I think, you know, as everything builds and grows, and you take the temperament of society and what’s happening, and I think here in Hollywood, especially with franchises and characters and publicly traded companies who are sensitive to that sort of thing. So yeah, I think they’re doing a great job.”

“Maybe one day we will see a black Superman,” Johnson said, before jokingly adding, “You’re looking at him.”

Before people go off about changing Clark Kent’s ethnicity, it should be noted that Calvin Ellis, a black version of Superman from a different Earth, is an already established character in the comic books.

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July 16, 2019 6:23 pm

No we’re not!

July 20, 2019 1:44 pm
Reply to  redcape

No, *you’re* not. FTFY

July 16, 2019 7:10 pm

The Calvin Ellis Superman doesn’t really interest me. The Val-Zod Superman on the other hand I think would be interesting to see.

July 16, 2019 7:12 pm

If they do use Calvin Ellis’s Superman, it would be like Marvel did with Miles Morales. Yet I want them to give Clark Kent Superman a better movie as well.

July 16, 2019 7:34 pm

I just feel that for Superman to be president, would be to give him to much power. He already has powers and abilities far beyond those of mere mortals. To give him political power as well as his own I feel would be a bit much. Val-Zod on the other hand I always found interesting. He is an adopted son of the El family. So he has a legitimate reason to wear the EL family S crest on his chest. Kal-El’s adopted brother.He wouldn’t be Kal-El/Clark Kent/Superman. He Would be Val-Zod/Superman. A whole new version of Superman. A different Superman… Read more »

July 16, 2019 8:01 pm

Maybe in some sort of “Spider-Verse-esque” way, where they make it clear it’s an alternate version of the character…
Though I have been thinking Michael B. Jordan would be excellent in a new John Henry Irons/Steel film.

July 16, 2019 8:28 pm
Reply to  afriend

That’s another possibility. Steel is also known as the black Superman. He may not have Clark’s abilities, but he has a suit of armor that has flight capabilities. Steel is also very strong. Maybe not superhuman strong, but still very strong. He has also worn the S on his chest with a cape as well. Plus he stands for the same values that Superman does. And you also bring up another good possibility of the multiverse afriend. The multiverse in live action hasn’t been done yet. A multiverse Superman movie might do very well in theaters. Imagine if there’s multiple… Read more »

July 16, 2019 8:33 pm

Changing Clark Kent will never go over, but bring in Val Zod or Calvin Ellis,maybe. How about we get the original Superman right first.

July 16, 2019 10:35 pm

I thought Dwayne Johnson and Henry Cavill shared the same agent. Does mean anything for Cavill as Superman?

July 17, 2019 3:45 am

Full disclosure, I’ve always been a bit of atraditionalist when it comes to Superman and I don’t like change for changes sake. That being said, I’m absolutely in favor of hiring the best person for the job. Any person who is able to embody all of the characteristics of Superman would be okay in my book whether he’s African American, Latin American, Asian American etc. we’ve already had Dean cain who was part Japanese and he is one of my favorite portrayals of Clark Kent. Dj cotrona was almost Superman and I think he has some Latin American in him… Read more »

July 17, 2019 5:48 am

As a comic book traditionalist, I don’t want to see a black, Asian or a blond-haired Clark Kent on the big screen or the main universe.

In fact, it would be great if we can just get a decent Superman movie that is faithful to the character and source material.

That being said, if DC feels the need for a “black Superman,” then Calvin Ellis has my vote.

July 17, 2019 12:38 pm

What’s all the talk about a black Superman? We can’t even get a proper sequel to a Superman film, let alone a black Superman.

July 17, 2019 8:15 pm
Reply to  liheibao


July 18, 2019 12:48 pm
Reply to  liheibao

If you look at what’s been coming out of the entire entertainment industry you can plainly see that they’re following a certain path that for some time now, has been excluding “white men” from leading roles in various category’s. If you look at Marvel and their ending of the Avenger series, that had leading white men, they now look to be going in a direction that’ll be surrounded with gay, black, Asian, Hispanic and of course more women. We’ll probably have to sit through Ethiopian Superman before we get the real deal. The industry can’t come up with anything original… Read more »

July 18, 2019 9:47 pm

Cavill got screwed.

July 19, 2019 3:28 am

A decade ago I was more traditionalist, but I honestly don’t really care now. I’m down for a black actor playing Kal. Just don’t use such casting as a platform for silly social commentary.

Having said that, I would also prefer a different version of Superman in this case, simply because I like the idea of opening up the mainstream to the more niche, unknown characters.

July 19, 2019 3:30 am

Before we do any different takes on him, I’d prefer it if we got one modern, decent version of him as he is first. But I don’t see that happening any time soon.

July 21, 2019 12:02 am
Reply to  Marnoman

Wasn’t that what MoS was supposed to be??

July 21, 2019 10:21 am
Reply to  redcape

If they were going to do a black Superman I would not want it to be because Clark Kent or the classic image of the character is being viewed as either damaged goods because of the Snyder films or otherwise considered persona non grata.

Thing is, Dwayne Johnson would not be my first or even my 40th pick for casting Calvin Ellis or Val Zod let alone Clark Kent.

July 22, 2019 3:17 pm
Reply to  MattComics

I like Dwayne, but he plays himself in every role which is fine for most of his action movies, but worries me with Black Adam. Could definitely not see him as Clark just based on size alone. If they were going to go with a person of different ethnicity, I would hope they would again go with a lesser named actor. Again though, it would have to be someone who truly embodies the character and has the right charisma to pull of the role. Change for changes sake has been already proven not to work, but casting the right person… Read more »

Super El
July 23, 2019 11:34 pm

Everybody likes to talk about Calvin Ellis and Val-Zod despite the fact that there has already been a Black Superman Movie in the past. Two, in fact. One of them was Meteor Man, a parody with some social commentary that never seemed to be recognized. The other was a more blatant one, Shaquille O’Neil’ Steel, based on the actual black Super-Man in the Superman comics. Neither was well received. But they exist nonetheless. This talk of Calvin Ellis and Val Zod in the comments and articles are missing the point, in that regard that it’s all simply superficial. There have… Read more »

July 26, 2019 10:56 am
Reply to  Super El

I always thought that the meteor that hit Meteor Man and gave him his powers was Kryptonite. It did look like kryptonite.

July 26, 2019 4:05 pm
Reply to  Superman2878

And it wore off at the end of the movie, right? Seems to fit with some of the “Smallville” rules of Kryptonite empowerment, maybe.

July 25, 2019 6:21 pm

My problem with Calvin Ellis is that President Superman’s secret identity is still Cal El. He’s still Barack Obama combined with Muhammad Ali. I think that says something distasteful about how we as a culture see black masculinity. When a white man is Superman, he’s allowed to be vulnerable, “mild-mannered” as it were. He’s Clark Kent, he’s lost the chance at a raise, he’s gotten turned down for a date. When Superman is black, he’s only allowed to be Superman. He can’t be Clark Kent. And the implications of that are disturbing to me. Val of course is a little… Read more »

July 26, 2019 1:26 pm
Reply to  Adekis

And that’s exactly what it is. This big time disease that’s been sweeping over the entire entertainment industry has now seemingly figured or concluded it must make over the entire past of character presentations for the sake of what,…..giving other races than white their due??

They’ve apparently got no new ideas so their answer is to make over and erase what was for the sake being politically and racially correct. A disturbing direction and I for one hope to NEVER see it come to life on the big screen.

July 28, 2019 1:20 pm

I like both the Calvin Ellis and Val-Zod versions of Superman, and would have no problem with either of them being introduced in some kind of multiverse story. But, yeah, let’s get a decent Clark/Kal-El Superman movie first. Please.