This edition of the Geek News Brief includes stories about Michael B. Jordan's Val-Zod limited series, Season 13 of Doctor Who, and Anna Torv joining the cast of HBO's The Last of Us series.

Host: Rob Logan [Twitter] [Twitch]

Michael B. Jordan’s Vad-Zod project, Doctor Who Season 13, & Anna Torv joins The Last of Us – 2021-07-26

Michael B. Jordan developing Val-Zod project for HBO Max

Michael B. Jordan and his production company Outlier Society are developing their own black Superman project for HBO Max that centers on the Val-Zod incarnation of the character.

Sources have told Collider that Outlier Society has hired a writer who is currently working on the script, which is being written as a limited series that Jordan will produce and possibly even star in, though he has yet to officially commit on the latter.

As previously reported, J.J. Abrams and his company Bad Robot are set to produce a black Superman movie for Warner Bros. that is expected to follow the Kal-El/Clark Kent version of the character. Though Clark Kent is traditionally depicted as white in the DC comics, the character will be played by a black actor, which will likely be directed by a black filmmaker, as Abrams is simply expected to produce.

While Jordan did work with Warner Bros. on developing a black Superman movie at one point, he recently shot down rumors that he would star in Abrams’ new film, saying “I’m flattered that people have me in that conversation. It’s definitely a compliment, but I’m just watching on this one.”

A recent editorial penned by Jamie Broadnax for Black Girl Nerds provides some context, as her sources told her, “Jordan has not wanted to engage in conversations about racebending Kal-El for the same reasons many of the fans are pushing back on the current Warner Bros. re-imagined version of Clark Kent, but that he would be interested in engaging on a black Superman project centering on the Val-Zod storyline.”

The distinction is an important one, particularly within the Black community, as Broadnax explained how it would be tone-deaf of Warner Bros. and DC to ‘racebend a white character and erase black characters that already exist in the DC universe under the Superman banner — Calvin Ellis and Val-Zod.’

Val-Zod is the Superman from Earth 2, where he is one of the last Kryptonians, and the second to assume the mantle of Superman. The character was orphaned after his parents were executed by Krypton’s high court, though he was found on Earth 2 by Terry Sloan, who offered the young alien asylum to “protect” him from the outside world. Ellis, on the other hand, is the Superman of Earth 23, where he is the President of the United States.

Season 13 of Doctor Who will be a singular story

We learned more about the next season of Doctor Who during their recent panel at Comic-Con@Home. According to showrunner Chris Chibnall, unlike prior seasons, Season 13 will tell a singular story. This change was made because of the shooting schedule wrought by the challenges of the pandemic, which has also shortened this season to eight episodes. But it also hearkens back to the original incarnation’s days as a cliffhanger serial.

The panel also welcomed new companion John Bishop, who was announced at the end of the holiday special. He replaces previous companions Ryan and Graham O’Brien.

Doctor Who is still in production for Season 13, but expects its first shows to arrive later this year.

HBO’s The Last of Us casts Anna Torv as Tess

Anna Torv has been cast as Tess in the upcoming HBO series The Last of Us. Tess was introduced in the original video game as Joel’s smuggling partner in Boston. She also played an important role at the beginning of Joel and Ellie’s cross-country journey to locate the other members of the Fireflies. However, it sounds like the TV show is expanding her backstory, because Torv will apparently be a recurring guest star. The live-action version of Tess is also described as a smuggler and hardened survivor in a post-pandemic world.

Torv is best known for her five-year stint playing Olivia Dunham on Fringe. In the years since the series ended, she has booked starring roles on other acclaimed shows like Secret City and Mindhunter, both of which ran on Netflix.

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Rob Logan

Rob is a movie buff, computer whiz, gamer, huge Batman fan, and above all... a geek. In addition to being the Founder and Host of The Geek Generation, he is also a photographer, graphic designer, certified clinical hypnotherapist, a former professional wrestler, and a current superhero.

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