From his first appearance in 1938, the Superman of comics and radio was a social justice warrior. The earliest Superman adventures saw the Man of Steel taking on corrupt businessmen, warmongering weapons manufacturers, and people who exploited workers, minorities, and the elderly. That grounded, two-fisted Superman was always front and center in The Adventures of Superman radio show, which ran for over 2,000 episodes between 1940 and 1951.
In 1946, Superman took on the Ku Klux Klan in a serialized radio adventure known as “The Clan of the Fiery Cross.” So the upcoming movie Superman vs. The KKK isn’t a live action version of this radio adventure, but rather the fascinating story of how “The Clan of the Fiery Cross,” complete with authentic descriptions of Klan rituals, came to be.
That story was the subject of Rick Bowers’ excellent 2012 book, Superman vs. The Ku Klux Klan, which is being brought to the screen by Lotus Entertainment and Paperchase Films. Stetson Kennedy had infiltrated the Klan, and was looking for ways to expose them as the sad, hooded douchebags that they are. It was his work that helped make “The Clan of the Fiery Cross” so authentic and effective.
“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,” said producer Marc Rosen when the project was first announced in 2017 (via Deadline).
“The story behind Superman vs. the KKK really struck a chord with me. 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,” added producer Marco Vicini.
Adi Shankar (of the Netflix Castlevania animated series, among other things) has also joined as a producer.
“Superheroes operate outside the scope of law and offer us hope that someone will rise up and protect us when government and other institutions cannot or will not. This story shows the power of the superhero mythology and it’s tangible impact on the physical world,” Shankar said in a statement.
“Adi Shankar has long been inspired to fight for just causes; he has successfully taken on the status quo and broken barriers long seen as insurmountable. This story highlights the power of the people against the alarming resurgence of some the darkest chapters of our country’s past. It is as historical as it is timely, as the nation is once again facing challenges to the principles of truth, justice and The American Way,” added Rosen.
You can listen to the first chapter of “Clan of the Fiery Cross” right here.