Rumors are circulating thick and fast regarding the alleged draft of the script Ta-Nehisi Coates has submitted for the J.J. Abrams produced Superman movie.
Back in May 2021 The Hollywood Reporter informed us that Coates was scheduled to deliver his script in December 2021. Here we are in April 2022, and there are rumors from various sources indicating that details of that script may have leaked online.
From what we knew, the movie was supposed to be all about a black Kal-El/Clark Kent, with Michael B. Jordan as the actor long rumored to connected with the role. However, with the recent acquisition of Warner Bros. by Discovery, there is a renewed interest in revitalizing Superman as a character, with many indicating that the Coates script could easily be adjusted to allow Henry Cavill to return to the role.
Now, an interested Twitter thread by CherryFalooda reportedly drops some details about the Coates script…
Where Cherry comes by the information is never revealed, so take the following with a grain of salt and healthy skepticism.
Many thought the script was originally supposed to be a period piece, likely set in the 1940s or 1950s. However that may no longer be the case.
If the movie remains about a black Superman, the plot will not focus on him dealing with racism due to his skin color, but will use his alien heritage as a parallel to racism.
While the film may not be set in the 1940s, Superman’s powers may be at the levels of his 1940s iteration, with the Man of Steel only able to “leap tall building in a single bound” rather than having full flight capabilities. Also gone are his vision powers and cold breath. His super speed is said to be limited to “Mach 7”.
According to CherryFalooda the script indicates that Lois Lane is written with an Asian actress in mind, while Perry White is once again an African American man (similar to what we saw in “Man of Steel” with Laurence Fishburne). However, Jimmy Olsen is “a freckled redhead” as per his popular comic book appearance.
As for the villain of the film, the story once again goes back to Superman’s Golden Age roots, selecting the non-Gorilla version of the Ultra-Humanite as the main antagonist. For those unfamiliar with the Ultra-Humanite, he was Superman’s first supervillain, first introduced in “Action Comics #13” in 1939. Where Superman is a physical specimen, the bald criminal mastermind has a crippled body with a highly advanced intellect.
Reportedly the script is quite long at 165 pages. With the general rule of thumb being 1 page equalling 1 minute of screen time, this would put the film at 2 hours and 45 minutes. The report indicates that this may be due to Warner Bros. hoping this film will be “an awards contender rather than a regular Superhero film”.
Tying in to Superman’s Golden Age origins once more, the Man of Steel is portrayed as a “Champion of the oppressed” who is mistrusted by the government but loved by the people. With a dedication to Superman’s creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster written into the script, Jonathan Kent’s character is reportedly based on Siegel’s appearance.
Whether any of these details prove to be true remains unknown at this point in time. Scripts and movie treatments undergo many changes throughout the pre-production process. The fact that we’re even talking about a Superman movie at this point in time is a positive thing.