Regé-Jean Page Reportedly Got Passed Up for a Role in Syfy’s Krypton Because 'Superman Could Not Have a Black Grandfather'

In this screengrab, Regé-Jean Page speaks at the 52nd NAACP Image Awards Virtual Press Conference on March 27, 2021 in Various Cities.
In this screengrab, Regé-Jean Page speaks at the 52nd NAACP Image Awards Virtual Press Conference on March 27, 2021 in Various Cities.
Screenshot: Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards (Getty Images)

Another day, another unimaginative, mediocre white man not knowing what the hell he’s doing in Hollywood. I’ll explain.

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For a while now, The Root’s Staff Entertainment writer Tonja Renée Stidhum has been doing thorough job at keeping you in the loop regarding all the latest developments concerning Justice League actor Ray Fisher and the investigation into work abuse and insensitive behavior and practices at the hands of director Joss Whedon and former DC Entertainment President and Chief Creative Officer Geoff John.

Now in an eye-opening interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Fisher is setting the record straight. Revealing to THR just how far-reaching Whedon and John’s discriminatory practices went, Fisher divulged a missed moment concerning Bridgerton breakout star Regé-Jean Page, who was ultimately passed over a role in the Syfy series Krypton because “Superman could not have a Black grandfather.” Per THR:

“Two individuals who worked on Syfy’s Krypton TV series talked to Fisher about events that had taken place on the series. Multiple sources tell THR that the show’s creators were passionate about doing some nontraditional casting and that Regé-Jean Page, who would go on to become a breakout star of Bridgerton, had auditioned for the role of Superman’s grandfather. But Johns, who was overseeing the project, said Superman could not have a Black grandfather. The creators also wanted to make one superhero character, Adam Strange, gay or bisexual. But sources say Johns vetoed the idea.

Geoff celebrates and supports LGTBQ characters, including Batwoman, who in 2006 was re-introduced as LGBTQ in a comic-book series co-written by Johns,” says Johns’ rep in an email. Johns also pitched Warners on developing a television show around the first LGBTQ lead DC superhero television series, he adds. As for the role of Superman’s grandfather, the rep says Johns believed fans expected the character to look like a young Henry Cavill.”

“I appreciate Geoff Johns bringing on a crisis team to try to explain away his discriminatory behavior, but his excuses are WEAK,” Fisher wrote in a tweet. “If Geoff believed fans expected Superman’s grandfather to look like “a young Henry Cavill”—why was he ok with the Zods not resembling Michael Shannon?”

*Deep, heavy, Negro spiritual sigh*

I don’t know who needs to hear this but, last time I checked: IT WAS AND IS A COMIC BOOK SERIES. Which means it’s fiction. Which means that literally any one of these characters can be reimagined for the big and small screen because they aren’t real! And even if it was based off real people, umm, hello... genetics and DNA can do some pretty amazing things. You know like, oh I don’t know, skip 2-3 generations and slap the next one upside the head with some traits your great-great-great-great-great grandfolks had.

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C’mon Hollywood: this argument is old, this argument is tired, and this argument is inherently racist. Furthermore, what good is being “passionate about non-traditional casting” if you’re too afraid and/or myopic in your thinking to even attempt to diversify a traditional character’s lineage? Make it make sense. (Spoiler alert: it doesn’t. Maybe that’s why the show only got two seasons.)

Regardless, it’s clear that Page was too hot of a potato for them to handle as his star is continuing to rise thanks largely in part to his phenomenal portrayal of the Duke of Hastings in Netflix’s Bridgerton (despite the recent, unwelcome news of his departure.) He’s also currently booked and busy elsewhere, having just wrapped up production on the upcoming Netflix spy thriller The Gray Man opposite Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling. Plus, there’s also been word that Page secured a lead role in the Hasbro/Paramount film adaptation of popular board game Dungeons and Dragons as well.

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Onward and upward Your Grace, all the welps in Welpington will continue to root for you.

DISCUSSION

I’m not trying to defend Geoff Johns, but is there any proof that he oversaw the development of Krypton? Because other than him nominally being the head of DC Entertainment at the time, David Goyer was the one who developed the series. If he had anything to really do with the show, you’d think he’d at least get an executive producer credit, but no he doesn’t.