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J.J. Abrams Teases What Could Have Been in Superman: Flyby


McG’s planned Superman: Flyby might never have been made, but its legacy still lives on. J.J. Abrams wrote the script for the undeveloped Superman movie, and he opened up recently about what the story would have been.

“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,” Abrams told Empire. “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.”

He continued, “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.”

This sort of psychological profile isn’t exactly what we’re expecting in Man of Steel, but Abrams sees some parallels between his movie and what Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan are cooking up.

“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,” Abrams said. “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.”

Opening June 14, Man of Steel stars Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Michael Shannon as General Zod, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Russell Crowe as Jor-El, Ayelet Zurer as Lara Lor-Van, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, Antje Traue as Faora, Harry Lennix as General Swanwick and Christopher Meloni as Col. Hardy.


  • joe35

    Sounds awful, but that’s to be expected from Jar Jar Abrams.

  • Hugo Sleestak

    As I read this, I thought, “Wow, that sounds an awful lot like ‘Smallville’ in some ways. In ‘Smallville,’ even guys like Green Arrow who didn’t have powers at all got off of their butts and took charge. Meanwhile, Clark had all of these psychological blocks that kept him in check and earthbound. After seeing what Abrams did with “Star Trek,” I’m happy that this particular vision didn’t get to the screen.

  • Fry Cook on Venus

    As I recall, Abrams also wanted Kal-El to get his powers from his suit, Lex Luthor to be a secret Kryptonian, and Krypton itself not to be destroyed but rather be a faraway planet dealing with civil war.

    Here’s hoping Nolan and Snyder didn’t borrow too much from Abrams’ script.

  • David Fullam

    Another Superman film I’m glad did not get made.