James Gunn’s Superman Movie Hasn’t Erased the Ta-Nehisi Coates, J.J. Abrams One

James Gunn’s Superman Movie Hasn’t Erased the Ta-Nehisi Coates, J.J. Abrams One

With Superman: Legacy, the first true film in James Gunn’s new DC Universe, beginning to come together for a 2025 release, one might assume all other takes on that character are as gone as Krypton. However, Gizmodo has learned that’s not the case.

Gunn is getting ready to release Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, his final film for Marvel Studios, next week and then move full time to not only directing Superman: Legacy, but moulding the DC Universe as a whole with his DC Films co-president, Peter Safran. That move seemingly pushed everything happening at DC before their appointment back, which was disappointing for many reasons, but none more so than the rumoured Ta-Nehisi Coates-written and J.J. Abrams-produced take on Superman. However, speaking with Gizmodo this weekend, Gunn confirmed that just because his Superman movie is coming, doesn’t mean that one is completely off the board.

“Those two things are totally unrelated,” Gunn told Gizmodo. “That’s an exciting movie. I know that Chantal Nong, who is the executive on that project, is extremely excited about it. So if it comes in and it’s great, which I haven’t read the script, and if the timing is right, that could absolutely happen. That’s totally unrelated. It would be an Elseworlds tale like Joker.”

So there’s the loophole. Along with their announcement of the upcoming DC slate in January, Gunn and Safran said that movies that didn’t fall into their robust, ambitious shared universe – movies like Matt Reeves’ The Batman Part Two and Todd Phillips’ Joker Folie à Deux – will be clearly labelled “Elseworlds,” denoting those as separate from the main story. It sounds like, as Gunn said, if everything works out, the Coates and Abrams project could still see the big screen under that banner along with Robert Pattinson and Joaquin Phoenix.

News of the Coates/Abrams project broke way back in 2021 and, rumour had it, a script was supposed to be done by the end of that year. We aren’t sure if the script is finished and sitting there, or if it’s still being worked on, but early rumours did suggest it could star a black Superman and be set in the 1900s. A very different take than Gunn’s more modern one, for sure.

Do you hope we get to see this second Superman film from DC? How would you like it to be different? Let us know below and look out for the rest of our exclusive James Gunn interview later this week.

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