J.J. Abrams confirms he won't direct new Black-led 'Superman' reboot

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 18, 2019: J.J. Abrams attends the European film premiere of 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' at Cineworld Leicester Square on 18 December, 2019 in London, England.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
J.J. Abrams attends the 2019 European film premiere of 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' in London. (Photo: Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

J.J. Abrams has done Star Trek, Star Wars and Stephen King, most recently with the upcoming Apple TV+ miniseries Lisey’s Story, which he is executive-producing.

If that’s enough, the prolific creator will soon dip into the DC Extended Universe with a hotly anticipated Superman reboot written by author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates and strongly believed to be starring a Black actor as the Man of Steel.

While speculation is rampant about who will star and who will direct, Abrams did confirm to Yahoo Entertainment who will not be helming the superhero tentpole.

“I will not be directing that movie,” Abrams, a producer on the project, told us over the weekend while promoting Lisey’s Story (full interview to come).

“But I will say it’s a project that means an enormous amount to us and when the time is right I really can’t wait to talk about it, but unfortunately that time is not now, but I look forward to that happening when it does.”

Abrams’s confirmation comes on the heels of a report from The Hollywood Reporter that Warner Bros. and DC Comics are actively seeking a Black filmmaker to take the reins on the reboot and that the feeling, according to a source, is that Abrams directing it, despite his pedigree, would be “tone deaf.”

THR mentions such filmmakers as Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), Ryan Coogler (Black Panther), Steven Caple Jr. (Creed II), J.D. Dillard (Sleight), Regina King (One Night in Miami) and Shaka King (Judas and the Black Messiah) as possible candidates, some of whom could also be in the running to direct Marvel’s Blade reboot starring Mahershala Ali.

As for who will play Supes? Nothing official has been announced, however, we know one bold-faced name who has pushed back against casting rumors: Fantastic Four and Black Panther alum Michael B. Jordan, who reportedly tried to interest Warner Bros. in a Black Superman project in 2019.

“I’m flattered that people have me in that conversation. It’s definitely a compliment, but I’m just watching on this one,” Jordan told THR.

Jordan did leave the door slightly more ajar in a recent interview with Yahoo Entertainment.

“Being a huge comic book fan, I’m going to continue to dive into that space and that world,” he said. “Whether it’s for myself or creating opportunities like Static Shock for somebody else, it’s part of being a filmmaker and a storyteller.”

Lisey’s Story premieres June 4 on Apple+.

Watch the trailer:

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