It’s been nearly a whole decade since we’ve seen a standalone Superman film on the big screen. Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel” was our first introduction to Henry Cavill’s version of Clark Kent and for the longest time he held the mantle. As of now, the chances of Cavill returning to the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) are looking slim. In fact, director J.J. Abrams and author Ta-Nehisi Coates are planning a fresh reboot for the Kryptonian.
A bold, new vision for the Man of Steel that could include a black version of the character. This isn’t a particularly new idea within DC’s comic book history. As far as cinematic canon goes though, an African American rendition of the character would mark a historical moment for the classic icon.
The idea of a person of colour bearing the mark of El is certainly an intriguing one. We certainly have some great candidates in mind on who could play Superman. These are our top picks for actors who could portray Superman in the new reboot!
1. Michael B. Jordan
For the last few years, actor Michael B. Jordan has quickly become a rising star within the film industry. His most prolific role being the revolutionary Erik Killmonger in Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther”. He first popped up on our radar in 2015’s spin-off of the beloved “Rocky” franchise, “Creed”. Jordan plays the son of the deceased boxer Apollo Creed, Adonis. There he delivered one of the most powerful performances of his career. Another lesser known film “Fruitvale Station” saw Jordan flexing his dramatic muscles there. The Chairman of Warner Bros Toby Emmerich even described Jordan as “a leading voice in a new generation of talent and is creating real change in the industry”.
A defining aspect of the Man of Steel is his boundless optimism and natural charisma. He is a symbol of hope after all. Jordan’s time in the “Creed” films and dramatic range makes him a front-runner for someone who could definitely play a more hopeful Pre-Crisis Superman. Superman in the prime of his days.
2. Mike Colter
Before Disney axed “Luke Cage”, it was one of the best comic book TV shows we’d seen in a long while. A phenomenal series that balanced the gritty, street-level troubles of Harlem with the character’s unnatural propensity for compassion and heroism. In no small way was this due to Mike Colter’s performance as the titular Luke Cage. Colter brought a believable humanity and honesty to the character. He wasn’t trying to be Iron Man or Thor. He simply wished to better his community and do the right thing. He was not only a crime-fighter, he was also a positive role model and leader in Harlem. Which is exactly why we believe Colter would be a shoe-in for the role of Superman.
Different eras make slight variations on the character of Superman. For example, the recent rendition of the character in DC’s “Rebirth” comics depicts Superman as a wiser and more fatherly figure. Someone who chooses to settle problems through words and only ever uses violence as a last resort. His stint in Marvel is over now, maybe it’s time for him to come over to DC!
3. John David Washington
Perhaps Abrams and Coates’ vision of Superman isn’t in line with the traditional version of the character. They may choose to use the Superman of Earth-23 as their guideline instead. Introducing Calvin Ellis aka Kalel, who is both the Man of Steel and the President of the United States of America. Now that’s power right there. A perfect candidate to embody the role of Earth’s protector and America’s leader would be none other than John David Washington. Yes, we’re aware that he hasn’t been in a ton of films. In the films he has starred in, though, Washington has always brought a natural swagger and charm to his roles. Whether it’s Ron Stahlworth from “BlackKklansmen” or the Protagonist from “Tenet”. Washington is someone to watch.
Just like his daddy Denzel, John David Washington was built to be an action-hero. He also has the class to play a presidential role as well. Can you imagine Washington playing a President Obama type Superman? Sign us up immediately for that.
4. John Boyega
Recently there’s been some very interesting reports surrounding John Boyega, the actor who played Finn in Disney’s “Star Wars” films. Apparently, there’s been rumours about Boyega possibly taking up the mantle of Superman in the reboot. Personally, we think Boyega would make an excellent pick as a young Clark Kent trying to figure out his powers. It’s been a delight to see Boyega grow as a performer over the years. Ever since 2011’s “Attack the Block”, we’ve watched Boyega transform himself from stoic lead to a versatile actor. Obviously, we wouldn’t expect him to go the orthodox farmboy road as Clark Kent. He could put an interesting spin on the character. Playing up Kent’s more rebellious days as a teenager or young adult. All while learning to control his powers.
Given time, we can picture Boyega being the face of a Superman film series. The first film would see him learning the ropes before having him truly come into his own. As the films go on, we get to grow alongside him as he becomes the world’s greatest hero.
5. Jessie Usher
Our final pick is someone who you’ve probably never heard of. Fans of Amazon Prime’s “The Boys” may recognise him as the actor who plays A-Train in the series. We’re talking about Jessie Usher. Sometimes, it’s best to go with a relatively obscure actor when you’re trying something new. Big name actors tend to come with the pressure of typecasting and tailored roles. Usher, however, represents pure potential and talent. Based on what we’ve seen in “The Boys”, Usher could easily carry the role of a younger Superman. We’re aware that he played a major jerk in “The Boys” and arguably, he was one of the villains of the series. That being said, he had this uncanny ability to make you root and care for the guy. Which in our books, it is a big plus.
Abrams and Coates are clearly looking to start something new with their reboot. It would make sense for them to have Usher take up the mantle of Superman. This time he could play an actual superhero, instead of being some homicidal Flash knockoff.
— LodiX (@lodix1) February 27, 2021
So who do you think should play Superman in Warner Bros’ new reboot? Oh and keep in mind that actor Idris Elba is already playing Bloodsport in James Gunn’s “The Suicide Squad”. Be sure to let us know in the comments down below!