The actor Regé-Jean Page has addressed reports he was turned down for a leading role in the superhero TV series Krypton because of his skin colour.
“Multiple sources” cited by the Hollywood Reporter earlier this week suggested the producers of Krypton – an origins series focused on Superman’s grandfather – were “passionate about doing some nontraditional casting” when recruiting for the show, which ran for two seasons starting in 2018.
This reportedly led to Page landing an audition, until his possible appointment was vetoed by Geoff Johns, the co-founder of DC Films, who said Superman “could not have a black grandfather”.
Tweeting on Wednesday evening, Page wrote: “Hearing about these conversations hurts no less now than it did back then. The clarifications almost hurt more tbh. Still just doing my thing. Still we do the work. We still fly.”
In a statement to E! News, a representative for Johns said his client felt fans would expect Superman’s grandfather, , “to look like a young Henry Cavill”, referring to the actor who most recently played Superman on the big screen.
They continued: “Geoff never said Superman can’t have a black ancestor or be black – there have been diverse versions of Superman throughout the comics for decades so he does and can be diverse.
“However, the expectation for Krypton was that it would initially be perceived as a possible prequel to Man of Steel by the fans and the lead was expected to invoke a young Henry Cavill.”
Page’s decision to leave the hit Netflix show Bridgerton after one series has surprised many and led to numerous rumours about possible next roles for the actor, who recently hosted Saturday Night Live.
He is the current favourite to replace Daniel Craig as James Bond, following the release of No Time to Die in September. Some reports have also attached him to the Black Panther series. Although the title role is not thought to be up for grabs, following the death of star Chadwick Boseman last August, director Ryan Coogler and Marvel producers are said to be eager to expand the roster of characters whose stories would be explored in future films.