Sunday, March 4, 2018

Cancelled Superhero Films 1 - JJ Abrams' Superman: Flyby


Casting was close to completion with reliable reports stating that Anthony Hopkins would play and a pre-Iron Man Robert Downey Jr. cast as Lex Luthor. Downey would basically play an evil Tony Stark, what with Luthor written as an evil genius billionaire. A teenage Shia LaBeouf would play Jimmy Olsen while Lois Lane would be played by either Selma Blair or Scarlett Johansson. Before the creation of the Snyder DCEU, a 20 year old Henry Cavil was screen tested for the Superman role in this film. Other actors considered for the role include Jared Padalecki, Ashton Kutcher, Michael Cassidy and Jason Behr. However, the Warner Brothers executives really wanted Justin Timberlake or Josh Harrnett for the role. Meanwhile, producer Brett Ratner wanted Matt Bomer as the Man of Steel.

The Story

Just like Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, Flyby starts off in Krypton, which is home of Jor-El who is seen as a king by his people. Unlike the 2013 film, however, all the scenes on Krypton were to be spoken in Kryptonian, which will actually be developed with subtitles provided. We are also introduced to minor Kryptonian characters like Predius, who Abrams promised we will get to know more in the next films in this planned franchise. In this script, the planet is not fully destroyed, although a major part of it has been destroyed after it was bombed by Kal-El's uncle, Kata-Zor. Kal-El is sent to earth a found by the Kents on their farm in Smallville.

There is a musical montage showing how the Kents raise Clark to hide his abilities in order to protect him. However, a grown up Clark decides to embrace his superpowers and take up the Superman persona to protect Earth. Years later, Kata-Zor is still searching for his nephew and sends Ty-Zor, a soldier in a Kryptonian pod to Earth to track him down.

Lex Luthor, who is an extraterrestrial enthusiast in this film, finds the pod with its passenger inside dying. The side effects of this encounter makes Lex super intelligent but also bald.  He quickly becomes the successful billionaire we know by establishing LexCorp and he decides to run for President.Suspicious at his quick rise to power and fame, Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane decides to investigate him after learning he is experimenting with alien technology at LexCorp's laboratory.

Eventually, one of Lex's experiments cause Air Force One to almost crash into Metropolis. Fortunately, Clark saves the day as Superman. Lex meets with Superman and tries to get him to join his side, but Clark turns down his offer. As a result, Lex unleashes Ty-Zor into Metropolis and it is up to Clark to save his city and the world. At some point, Superman dies but is quickly reborn. After saving the city, Superman boards the craft he arrived in to fly off to Krypton and find out more about his background.


In the end, this script was never filmed because its ' first draft would have been too expensive to film at the point. Even the second draft would have been impossible budget-wise. However, certain elements of this script did make its way into Superman Returns, like the plane rescue scene. Ultimately, Flyby's script was a more self-contained film that did not set out to start a DC cinematic universe.

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