Former Lois and Clark star, Dean Cain, has put his full support behind the idea of casting Michael B. Jordan as Superman. Amid news of Henry Cavill’s departure from the DCEU, rumors began to swirl that the Black Panther star would be the next actor to don the Man of Steel’s red cape.
Jordan recently debunked the rumors, saying that he had heard them as well. Although he was flattered, the actor explained he would prefer to portray Calvin Ellis, the black Superman of Earth 23. CBR wrote an article in response to Jordan’s comments, exploring whether or not Superman needs to be white. The piece has since been amended to include Dean Cain, who is partially of Japanese descent, but he was not included in the discussion about Superman's race when the article was first published. The piece caught the attention of the actor, who played the Man of Steel in the mid-90s during the four season run of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.
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Media Matters reports that Dean recently appeared on Fox & Friends to discuss his feelings on the omission, but in doing so, he also voiced support for the casting of Michael B. Jordan as Superman. Cain stated:
“So they said the idea behind the article was to talk about, you know, could Superman be a person of color. And of course Superman could be a person of color. Superman is more of an ideal than it is a person, you know, a race or a color. Superman is about the, you know, truth, justice, and the American way, and I believe that.”
When discussing the potential controversy, Cain then went on to remind everyone that Cavill was a questionable choice in the minds of certain fans based solely on the fact that he’s British. The actor also addressed the rumors of Jordan’s casting. He stated that he knew Jordan well and that he “has all the qualities and characteristics” to play Superman “wonderfully well.” Cain continued, saying that he “wouldn’t have blinked” if Jordan were to be cast as the character. The hosts all seemed to agree that there wouldn’t be an issue if the studio were to cast a person of color in the role. One of them even commented, “If you go to the logical conclusion, should I be asking the question, can the Black Panther be played by a white guy?”
Unfortunately, the world that these hosts have described sounds quite different than the world that we are currently living in. It’s not a question of whether or not there should be an issue with casting a person of color in this iconic role. As an alien, it seems pretty safe to say that Supes is not bound by any traditional ideas about race. That being said, Jordan has already been on the receiving end of this controversy after his casting as another white hero, Johnny Storm. The issue was eventually abandoned since Fantastic Four had few supporters in the end, but it’s important to remember that there was a small, but vocal group of “comic purists” who were unhappy with the decision.
Putting aside the fact that casting a white person as Black Panther would in no way be comparable to casting a person of color as Superman, let’s just acknowledge that if history is any indicator, not all fans would be receptive to Jordan’s casting. Dean made a point of supporting Jordan for the role and balked at the idea that it should be an issue of race. He’s right, it most definitely shouldn’t be - that doesn't necessarily mean it wouldn't be though. Jordan has proven his acting chops repeatedly and for a lot of fans, he would be the perfect choice to portray Superman. Most would agree that those who tried to sabotage Black Panther and who have been trolling Captain Marvel’s Rotten Tomatoes page don’t really deserve a vote here.
Source: Media Matters