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J.J. Abrams confirmed to Insider that he won't direct the long-awaited Black Superman movie.
Sources previously told The Hollywood Reporter it would be "tone-deaf" for Abrams to direct.
Abrams remains a producer on the project, while Ta-Nehisi Coates is writing the screenplay.
J.J. Abrams confirmed he won't direct the first "Superman" movie to feature a Black actor in the role of the iconic superhero.
"I will not be directing that movie, but I can't begin to express how excited we are for that project," Abrams told Insider during a press junket for the upcoming Apple series "Lisey's Story," the Stephen King adaptation that Abrams is producing, on Saturday.
Abrams' comments to Insider come weeks after sources at Warner Bros., the studio behind the "Superman" movie, and DC Comics, the publisher behind the character, told The Hollywood Reporter that it would be "tone-deaf" to have the "Lost" cocreator direct the movie given Hollywood's push for diversity in executive positions.
The same sources shared that Warner Bros. was committed to having a Black director lead the project while Abrams would remain attached to the film as a producer.
The studio had previously announced in February that author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates was writing the screenplay, which isn't set to be delivered until later this year.
Zack Snyder, who directed the latest 'Superman' films, called the new project a 'long overdue move'
Actors like Henry Cavill, Christopher Reeve, and Dean Cain have all portrayed Superman/Kal-El/Clark Kent in various movie and TV adaptations about the DC superhero.
While Abrams didn't share much about the forthcoming "Superman" project (which is still in early stages) beyond telling Insider that he is "excited," fans have been speculating about how the production will approach having a Black actor in the role for the very first time.
As Inverse reported earlier this month, some fans have guessed that the movie might see a Black actor continue in Cavill's, Reeve's, and Cain's footsteps, playing the classic Clark Kent version of Superman.
Others have theorized that the actor might play a Black Superman from an alternate universe, like Calvin Ellis, the Superman of Earth-23, or Val-Zod, a Kryptonian who picked up the Superman mantle on Earth-2.
But Warner Bros. and DC sources told THR in May that the movie will likely bear a close resemblance to the original comic books and will center around Clark Kent as Superman, instead of Calvin Ellis or Val-Zod.
No matter what direction Abrams, Coates, and the not-yet-announced director decide to take with the character, they appear to have "Man of Steel" (2013) and "Justice League" (2017) director Zack Snyder's blessings.
"My feeling is that I love J.J. [Abrams], I love what he's done in the past," Snyder, who directed Cavill as Superman, told RadioTimes.com on May 10.
He added: "I'm interested to see what happens, it's a bold and cool and probably long overdue move.
Read the original article on Insider