Superman has fought all kinds of foes in his 79-year history, from slum lords and mad scientists to alien invaders and his own mirror image. But one threat struck close to home for some readers: the Klu Klux Klan. That’s the story Lotus Entertainment and Paperchase Films plans bring to the big screen.
The film is a planned adaptation of Rick Bowers’ 2012 book “Superman Versus the Ku Klux Klan: The True Story of How the Iconic Superhero Battled the Men of Hate,” which tells the story behind the 1946 radio play that pitted the Man of Steel against a hate group much like the Klu Klux Klan. The play was made possible by human-rights activist Stetson Kennedy, who infiltrated the Klu Klux Klan and subsequently supplied the Anti-Defamation League and the play’s producer with key details about the group’s inner workings.
“Fighting the forces of evil with brain over brawn, artists taking down bullies and the power of a good piece of content, it’s a real case of truth being cooler than fiction,” Marc Rosen, one of the film’s producers, said in a statement.
Airing in 1946, the play was performed in a series of episodes for the “Adventures of Superman” radio drama titled “Clan of the Fiery Cross,” and were meant to strip away the mystique held by the Klu Klux Klan. To that end, Kennedy supplied the play’s producers with details about code words, rituals and recruiting tactics within the Klan. The play was effective enough for Klan members to denounce the show and its sponsor, Kellogg’s.
“The story behind ‘Superman vs. the KKK’ really struck a chord with me,” Vicini said. “Right away I knew I wanted to re-live it by being a part of the nonviolent resistance against oppression. It is a great honor to be able to embark on such a relevant and meaningful project with such a devoted and highly experienced team of like-minded individuals.”