SupermanConceptArt

Way back before Superman Returns or even Batman Begins, Warner Bros. tried to revive their DC film franchise with writer J.J. Abrams. That project, titled Superman: Flyby, never came to pass, but now Abrams has offered some explanation as to what his film would’ve been. Turns out it’s not totally different from what became Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. Hit the jump to read more.

As previously reported, Flyby would have featured, among other things, the death and resurrection of Superman and a new Kryptonian villain named Ty-Zor. Those elements haven’t carried over into Man of Steel (as far as we know, anyway), but thematically Flyby and Man of Steel seem to have a few things in common. Abrams dished the details in a conversation with Empire.

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.

The idea in the movie was that he became Superman because he realized he had to finally own his strength and what he’d always been. I don’t know if that’s what Zack and Chris [Nolan] are doing, but it looks like that’s part of the idea and I could not be more thrilled to see that movie. That to me was always the way to go.

Abrams’ Flyby script was famously criticized by AICN in 2002, so harshly that that review is believed to have killed the film. Abrams doesn’t delve into the script’s more controversial aspects, but his description of the movie’s themes sound pretty fascinating. Do you like his take on Superman, or are you relived the movie never got made?

For more on Superman: Flyby, check out our archives.

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