Like father, like son. For some time, there have been rumors that that Jaden Smith was going to follow in dad Will's footsteps and take on a superhero role. Now we feel even more confident that, indeed, Jaden will be playing Static Shock, a character in the DC Comics universe and a member of Teen Titans, who can control electricity. There's still no official confirmation that Smith is the studio's final choice, but after "Walking Dead" actor Tyler James Williams spilled the beans at ComicCon, it seems all but certain that we will be seeing Smith don a suit and cape soon.
If Smith does get the role, it will be an important moment for both the comic and the film industries. Even though superhero movies have become hugely popular in the past decade, we still have very few example of black stars headlining these projects. Jaden's dad Will played Hancock back in 2008 (and he's currently filming his role as Deadshot in the upcoming "Suicide Squad"), and Wesley Snipes starred in the "Blade" trilogy in the '90s. But beyond those instances, African-American actors have had to make due with supporting roles and bit parts. There has been a lot of talk about the possibility that the next "Spider-Man" film could focus on Miles Morales, a later iteration of the character who is part black and part Hispanic, not Peter Parker. But as of yet, that change has not been confirmed.
Static Shock is more than just another comic character that's coming to the big screen. He represents a necessary change in the way superheroes are portrayed.
Here's Williams talking about Smith's potential new role: