Home Entertainment JJ Abrams talks SUPERMAN FLYBY, his Man of Steel movie that never was

JJ Abrams talks SUPERMAN FLYBY, his Man of Steel movie that never was

3 min read

If there was ever somebody to challenge Joss Whedon’s reign as Supreme Geek Overlord, JJ Abrams would be it. But while Whedon came to his title through, well just outgeeking every other geek, Abrams did it through simply owning all the toys.

With both Star Trek and Star Wars now in his pocket, Abrams has become quite the geek power player, but if he had his way, he would have added another alien-centric franchise to his collection: Superman. And this Superman would have had an uncanny similarity to another vision we’re about to see.

Earlier this year, a treatment leaked online for Superman Flyby, his………

Oh I’m sorry. I just had to quickly take a break while I violently divorced my stomach of it’s contents through my face holes after reading that horrible title. Now where was I? Ah, yes…

Earlier this year, a treatment leaked online for Superman Flyby (whimper), Abram’s own vision for world’s most famous superhero that would have seen the big blue boyscout getting a swift reboot to the outside underpants way before Zack Snyder’s current version, Man of Steel, went into production. However, as Abrams explains to Empire, the two wouldn’t have been that far apart:

“The thing that I tried to emphasise 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 realised 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.”

So he’s actually Not-Quite-So-Super-Killed-His-Own-Parents-Emo-Man then? Gotcha, Abrams!

Jokes aside though, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is exactly what we ended up seeing in Snyder’s film. Him, producer Chris Nolan and screenwriter David Goyer had always maintained that they were initially unsure of how to tackle a modern Superman until Goyer cracked the case by suggesting an unique, more realistic angle on the character as a whole. This certainly sounds like it could be that very angle.

Now whether or not we actually want to see that angle is another story, since we already got burnt to a crisp on emo superheroes in Spider-Man 3. However, if the overwhelmingly early buzz for Man of Steel is to believed, whatever angle Snyder and co have taken, it seems a pretty – pardon the pun – super one.

And besides, at least they’re not sticking Nicolas Cage in a set of day-glo pajamas.

Man of Steel stars Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane and Laurence Fishburne and will be leaping tall cinemas in a single bound on June 14, 2013.

Last Updated: March 26, 2013


  1. Jeez. That actually sounds like a surprisingly considered take on a character given Abrams usual habit of brushing over characters in favour of spectacle.

    I certainly hope that’s a part of the new film as that’s sounds really cool


    • James Francis

      March 26, 2013 at 19:01

      I agree! Oh wait I thought you were talking about Whedon…


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