Michael B. Jordan is no stranger to comic book movies, with his compelling turn as the villain Killmonger in the blockbuster film “Black Panther.” Now, he is using that experience to spearhead his own comic book franchise as the producer of Warner Bros. and DC’s “Static Shock” movie project.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Jordan emphasized the importance of creating diverse material and developing a completely new world that focuses specifically on Black characters.
“I’m proud to be a part of building a new universe centered around Black superheroes; our community deserves that,” Jordan said. “Outlier Society is committed to bringing to life diverse comic book content across all platforms and we are excited to partner with [Reginald Hudlin] and Warner Bros on this initial step.”
The feature project, which was initially revealed at DC’s FanDome event in August, revolves around the “Static” comics series, which debuted in 1993. “Static” would become a central comic book franchise in the development of Milestone Comics, a company established by Black artists and writers meant to address the lack of minority representation in comics. The company had distribution through DC and produced the series until they shut down their comic book division in 1997.
In 2000, the character was brought back for a “Static Shock” animated series, which centers on a Black boy named Virgil Hawkins who gains a secret identity after contact with unusual gas gives him electromagnetic powers. In 2008, Static was integrated into the main DC Universe.
Jordan is producing the film through his production company Outlier Society, which inked a first-look deal with Warner Bros. last year.
Outlier Society was launched in 2016 as a means to “create opportunities for diverse jobs and stories in Hollywood.” It was the first production company to publicly adopt the inclusion rider, a clause that can be added to contracts of anyone working on a film, and requires that movie’s producers employ a diverse cast and crew.
“Inclusivity has always been a no-brainer for me, especially as a black man in this business,” Jordan said. “[But] it wasn’t until Frances McDormand spoke the two words that set the industry on fire — inclusion rider — that I realized we could standardize this practice. It allowed me to formally pledge my production company, Outlier Society, to a way of doing business.”