The Man of Steel might soon fly back into theaters soon. According to Shadow And Act, and backed up by Deadline, Warner Bros. has tapped Ta-Nehisi Coates to write a new superman film, with J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot set to produce.
There’s no word on what the plot of the film will be—if it’ll follow the current DCEU continuity started with Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel and continued with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and both versions of Justice League, or if it’ll be a complete reboot that starts over with the character who was first played in a feature-length film by Christopher Reeve (pictured above).
There have been rumors of a direct sequel to the project, and last year, Deadline reported that Henry Cavill was in talks to reprise his character in some form, although it wasn’t clear what that would look like—either another film or a cameo in one of the upcoming DC adaptations.
Coates’ involvement is an interesting development—he’s an acclaimed writer who worked for The Atlantic, and has written several of well-received books about the state of race in America: The Beautiful Struggle, Between the World and Me, and We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy. He’s also working on an adaptation of a New Yorker article, “Wrong Answer” for Black Panther director Ryan Coogler, which is set to star Michael B. Jordan.
He’s also no stranger to the world of genre fiction and superheroes—he recently released his debut novel, The Water Dancer, and enjoyed a four-year run with Marvel Comics, where he wrote Black Panther, Black Panther: World of Wakanda, Black Panther and the Crew, and Captain America.
According to Shadow and Act, the project is in its early stages. It hasn’t lined up an director or cast, and in a statement to the publication, Coates noted that “to be invited into the DC Extended Universe by Warner Bros., DC Films and Bad Robot is an honor,” and that he looks forward to “meaningfully adding to the legacy of America’s most iconic mythic hero.”
Abrams commented in a statement that “there is a new, powerful and moving Superman story yet to be told. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with the brilliant Mr. Coates to help bring that story to the big screen, and we’re beyond thankful to the team at Warner Bros. for the opportunity.” The project adds to Abrams’ workload with Warner Bros, with whom he signed a major overall deal back in 2019: The studio recently announced that Bad Robot is working on another DC reboot, a new take on Constantine.