Just in case you didn’t think it was enough that director J.J. Abrams has managed to assimilate both the Star Trek and Star Wars franchises, it seems that he also came quite close to adding Superman to his list of conquests.
The above pic of Supes is from a newly released collection of concept art from Superman: Flyby–a Superman flick written by Abrams back around 2002. Back then, he was best known as the executive producer of shows like Alias and Felicity. Lost and Fringe were still just gleams in his bespectacled eyes, and he had little name recognition or experience in feature films save for a handful of screenplays written as “Jeffrey Abrams” back in the 90s. Thus, the studio wasn’t interested in letting him direct his script. The job was originally offered to Brett Ratner and McG, both of whom ended up turning it down and were replaced by Bryan Singer.
Singer essentially wiped his ass with Abrams’ script–and went on to make his mash note to the Richard Donner Superman films: The uneven, disappointing Superman Returns.
Abrams talked about the direction he would have taken the Man of Steel in his film last March:
The thing that I tried to emphasize in the story was that if the Kents found this boy, Kal-El, who had the power that he did, he would have most likely killed them both in short order. And the idea that these parents would see – if they were lucky to survive long enough – that they had to immediately begin teaching this kid to limit himself and to not be so fast, not be so strong, not be so powerful.
The result of that, psychologically, would be fear of oneself, self-doubt and being ashamed of what you were capable of. Extrapolating that to adulthood became a fascinating psychological profile of someone who was not pretending to be Clark Kent, but who was Clark Kent. Who had become that kind of a character who is not able or willing to accept who he was and what his destiny was.
Not a bad idea….in fact, not all that dissimilar from the direction Zack Snyder took the character in last year’s brilliant take on the Last Son of Krypton: Man Of Steel.
Perhaps he got a look at this.
Anyhoo, let’s have a look at that concept art I mentioned way back when–it’s largely exterior shots of Krypton and Metropolis:
Looks like it could have been pretty neat–here’s a few more sketches from last May.
But then, if Superman: Flyby had been made, and was successful enough to build a new Supes film franchise on–then the failure of Superman Returns would never have opened the door for Man Of Steel…AND the upcoming Batman Vs. Superman.
All in all, I think we can call this a sacrifice for the greater good–something I think Superman would approve of.