Michael B. Jordan has responded to the rumors that he will be the next Superman, but explained that he would rather portray Calvin Ellis. The actor has been a favorite to don the Man of Steel’s cape ever since reports that Henry Cavill was officially stepping down from the role, but it would seem that Jordan has other ideas.
Making his debut in the 2009 major DC event Final Crisis, Calvin Ellis was created by Grant Morrison and Doug Mahnke. The Superman of Earth 23 also happens to be the President of the United States of America. Morrison himself confirmed that the character was actually based on both President Barack Obama and famed boxer Muhammad Ali, although the name Calvin Ellis was introduced by Alan Moore as an alias for Superman back in 1985.
Oprah Winfrey asked Michael B. Jordan about the swirling rumors of his potential Superman casting on the upcoming episode of Super Soul Conversations, set to air in full on Saturday, Feb. 16, at 8/7c on OWN. The actor responded that he had also heard these whispers and found them quite flattering. When pressed about whether he would even want the role, Jordan seemed conflicted, stating that, despite the undeniable upside, “Just being under that microscope of being picked apart and compared to so many different versions of Superman, I would rather do something original.” Revealing himself to be “a comic book guy,” he then went on to suggest Calvin Ellis. Jordan stated that he felt that “comic purists” would have an easier time accepting that than visualizing him as yet another Clark Kent.
Of course, Jordan already has significant history with Marvel, having portrayed Erik Killmonger in Black Panther. The character is widely considered to be one of the MCU’s greatest villains. He may not have survived past the end of the film, but there have been hints that he will return in Black Panther 2, which Ryan Coogler will also write and direct. This would make taking on a significant DC role difficult for Jordan, but probably not impossible.
Jordan’s notion of bringing Calvin Ellis into the mix is definitely an interesting one. As a relatively new character, Ellis has few adaptable storylines, but his lack of significant history in DC Comics also obviously leaves a lot of leeway for writers to tell new stories. Plus, introducing Ellis also leaves the door wide open to the appearance of his own world’s Justice League, which is mostly comprised of black heroes. The team debuted in Multiversity.
There is no denying that adding more diversity to the DCEU would be an excellent idea and seeing a person of color stepping into Superman’s red boots would no doubt mean so much to people all over the world. However, there is also something to be said for making way for new stories with more original characters, which would bring about similar change, but in a different way. Jordan is also right to be concerned about having every aspect of his life and performance picked apart, were he to take on such an iconic role. Regardless of how anyone felt about Brandon Routh or Henry Cavill, both would always be in Christopher Reeves’s undeniably long shadow, as would anyone else to take up the mantle. Perhaps what we need is a fresh take on Superman and many would agree that Jordan is the perfect actor to bring that to the big screen with Calvin Ellis.
Source: Super Soul Conversations
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
- Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- DC Super Pets (2021) release date: May 21, 2021
- The Batman (2021) release date: Jun 25, 2021
- The Suicide Squad (2021) release date: Aug 06, 2021