LONDON – 25th MAY, 2021 – Hot on the heels of recent reports that Warner Bros is currently scouting for the first ever Black Superman and Black director, award-winning artificial intelligence (AI) provider, Largo.ai, has put the most speculated contenders under the microscope.
Revealing which actors and directors are predicated to generate the highest grossing Box Office revenue. The Superman reboot is expected to deliver its script to WB in December and the rumour mill is churning as to who might fill Cavill’s cape. As the franchise’s highest grossing ever Superman at Box Office1, it’s a pretty big cape to fill. Using cutting-edge AI technology, Largo.ai reveals which of the would-be Supermen have the Krypton-Factor.
Whilst there has long been precedent for a Black Superman in the DC comics with the Barack Obama inspired character of Calvin Ellis, a big-screen vision represents a seismic shift towards a more inclusive multiverse of Superheroes.
Topping the bill with a score of 88.6% is Star Wars icon and Hollywood heavyweight, John Boyega. As one of the best acting talents of his generation, British actor, Boyega, represents the most bankable choice, and could effortlessly lead the franchise.
From Hollywood heavyweight, to breakout star – thirsty fans of Netflix steamy drama, Bridgerton, will delight as its heartthrob Rege-Jean Page swoops in as second favourite AI score of 87.8%. With his chiselled jaw and clean-cut sex appeal, his candidacy for the Man of Steel is strong.
Ranking as third favourite with 87.8% is critically acclaimed actor Jonathan Majors. Currently attached to appear in Marvel’s Ant Man and The Wasp in 2023, this could pose as a stumbling block.
Next up is populist choice, rumoured to have pitched a new take on Superman to WB in 2019, Michael B. Jordan with 86.2%. Jordan is seemingly tailor-made as a suitor and hasn’t ruled the possibility out according to recent reports.
Also in the top five, is American actor Winston Duke with 85.4%, best known for his role as M’Baku in Black Panther. Standing at 6’5” and weighing 250 pounds, Duke impressive stature suits up well for the role.
Largo.ai’s scoring system works by creating a DNA footprint of each actor which comprises over 1000 on-screen character attributes, such as character typology, story elements, and cinematographic tones. The system then analyses each of these attributes – weighing up audience reaction by cross-comparing the data against historic films. The system also looks at the actual film character (Superman) and creates another DNA footprint for the character. It then cross compares the actor’s DNA footprint against the characters. In this instance, the software looks for correlation between the two. This is crucial given research and previous projects have found a very high correlation between the success of a movie and the actor/character match rate – such correlation is more important than the popularity of the actor.
According to insiders Warners and DC are committed to hiring a Black director to helm the franchise’s reboot, taking the reins from Zack Snyder who directed the previous three films with huge Box Office success. Largo.ai’s director match system works similarly to the actor matching system. The system creates a DNA and cinematographic profile of a director by analysing the director’s past movies and successes.
Top of the AI predicted bill for best director match is Hollywood heavyweight Antoine Fuqua scoring an impressive 87.5%. Renowned for his action movie credits, he undoubtedly has the credentials needed to take on the challenge.
With a favourably matched 85.1% is Ryan Coogler, director of Marvel’s Black Panther, DC’s rival, which claimed the superhero genre’s first-ever Best Picture nomination, cementing him as a firm favourite to take on the challenge.
Next in line is Steven Caple Jr with 79.77%. Caple Jr. is currently in pre-production for an untitled Transformers film which may rule him out of the running for the Superman gig. One of the most hotly speculated contenders, J.D Dilliard comes in next with 78.63%. In fifth position with 65.7%, Shaka King is an established favourite with the studio’s after earning a Best Picture nomination for his second feature Judas and the Black Messiah.
Sami Arpa, Co-founder and CEO, Largo, said: “As a bastion for good, hope and humanity, Superman is one of the most beloved and coveted roles and its fans are deeply passionate guardians of the brand. AI has evolved rapidly in recent years and is now an integral part of successful filmmaking – casting is just one small element AI can support. It’s important to understand that the role of AI in filmmaking is best kept as an assistance tool – helping to quickly provide insights that underpin human instincts rather than replacing them. We’re proud to join the debate and open up the power and possibilities of data-driven storytelling.”
Notes to editors:
1. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice highest grossing worldwide Box Office https://www.the-numbers.com/movies/franchise/Superman#tab=summary
3. Reported in The Hollywood Reporter
CLARK KENT – BLACK SUPERMAN
1. John Boyega (88.6%)
2. Rege-Jean Page (87.8%)
3. Jonathan Majors (84.4%)
4. Michael B Jordan (86.2%)
5. Winston Duke (84.4%)
6. Daniel Kaluuya (83.7%)
7. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (82.7%)
8. Mike Colter (82.2%)
9. Leslie Odom Jr. (81.57%)
10. Jesse Williams (81.50%)
1. Antoine Fuqua (87.5%)
2. Ryan Coogler (85.1%)
3. Steven Caple Jr (79.7%)
4. J.D. Dillard (78.6%)
5. Shaka King (65.7%)
6. Barry Jenkins (56.9%)
Largo is a Swiss company providing Largo.ai as a data-driven intelligence platform to the audio-visual industry. Largo.AI is able to analyse a film from as early as the script phase and provide insights also at post-production and distribution stages by analysing first video versions of the movie. The company was awarded the best start-up prize at the San Sebastian Film Festival 2019 and was selected as one of Horizon 2020 Top Start-ups in Berlinale. The company was selected by Slush as one of 15 finalist start-ups among 1500 start-ups all around the world. Largo recently raised CHF 750M from private investors and private programs, which brings a total financing of CHF 2.3M since its launch. The company has gained worldwide press coverage in publications such as Variety, Screen International, Indiewire, and 24 Heures.