Ta-Nehisi Coates is one of his generation’s finest essayists, a man whose works like “The Case for Reparations” and Between the World and Me are some of the most moving and poignant reflections on the Black experience in modern letters; must-reads for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of the current state of race in the U.S. Coates is also a huge superhero nerd who writes Black Panther and Captain America for Marvel Comics. Now, he’s taking his talents to the big screen. WB has hired Coates to write its latest attempt at a Superman reboot and has Coates’ fellow nerd J.J. Abrams on hand to produce.
WB has struggled to get Superman off the ground for years, first with Bryan Singer’s melancholy and middlingly successful Superman Returns in 2006 and then with Zack Snyder’s angry, angsty Man of Steel. You get the sense that the studio knows they’ve got the rights to the most well-known superhero in history but can’t quite figure out what to do with them, and there’s a lingering suspicion that audiences are tiring of the middling attempts. But if you want to juice interest, getting Coates on board for a fresh vision is the right move. No word on exactly what that vision will look like, but consider us intrigued. Few people have a more interesting, thoughtful take on what truth, justice and the American way might mean in our contemporary era.
Currently, Coates has teamed up with Ryan Coogler (Black Panther, Creed) for a drama called Wrong Answer but as soon as that wraps, it’s up, up and away.