The Good Place star William Jackson Harper would love to play DC icon Superman on the big screen but is just flattered to be mentioned by fans when discussing potential casting ideas. Harper was wonderfully Clark Kent-like in his response to ongoing fan campaigns pushing for the actor to don the red cape, even stating that he would not enjoy the diet and exercise.
“It definitely blindsided me. I was doing another interview and this guy was like, ‘Yeah, this got 55,000 likes,’ and I was like, ‘What? Why? Who knows me?’ But that would be dope. That would be the best thing that could happen to me, to be able to play Superman. I don’t want to do the diet and the exercise.”
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Best known for his role as the bespectacled, neurotic professor of ethics and moral philosophy, Chidi Anagonye, in the hit comedy The Good Place, the actor was asked whether he believes it is this character’s similarities to Clark Kent that have led to his name being suggested for Superman.
“I mean, I think so. That’s got to be the only explanation. Otherwise, I’m just a nerdy professor dude, so I don’t know.”
There is something Clark Kent-ish about Harper’s character in The Good Place, but it is not too hard to imagine him throwing away the glasses, standing up a little straighter and saving the world as The Man of Steel. Plus, as demonstrated in one of The Good Place’s many hilarious sequences, William Jackson Harper is already in surprisingly great shape, so the diet and exercise shouldn’t really be much of a problem.
The idea of Harper as the Last Son of Kypton comes following reports that producer J.J. Abrams and writer Ta-Nehisi Coates’ upcoming Superman Reboot will center on a Black actor as the titular DC superhero. It was first reported earlier this year that J.J. Abrams will reboot the Superman franchise for Warner Bros. with prolific writer Ta-Nehisi Coates writing the script. Abrams has since said of the project that “There is a new, powerful and moving Superman story yet to be told. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with the brilliant Mr. Coates to help bring that story to the big screen, and we’re beyond thankful to the team at Warner Bros. for the opportunity.”
Since the announcement was made, rumors have been circulating wildly about whether the Superman in question will be Kal-El AKA Clark Kent, or whether the story will introduce one of DC comics’ other Men of Steel, either Calvin Ellis or Val-Zod. It has even been claimed that, since The Batman will reportedly be set in DCEU’s Earth-2, an alternate Earth that will be familiar to comic book fans, the new Superman will also take place here, creating a separate shared universe led by Robert Pattinson’s Dark Knight and Abrams’ rebooted Man of Tomorrow.
An actor who exudes likability and charm, Harper would certainly make an interesting choice for the title role in Abrams and Coates’ Superman. For now, we await official announcements and let the speculation continue. This comes to us courtesy of Jimmy Kimmel Live.
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