J.J. Abrams Talks SUPERMAN: FLYBY And Zack Snyder's MAN OF STEEL

J.J. Abrams talks about his defunct movie for the Last Son of Krypton titled Superman Flyby and briefly touches on the upcoming Man of Steel, directed by Zack Snyder and produced by Christopher Nolan.

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By Mark Julian - 3/22/2013



Silver Age Krypton J.J. Abrams Zack Snyder

J.J. Abrams turned his script in for Superman: Flyby in 2002. At that time, the biggest draw to his name was the television drama, Felicity. Fast forward to 2013 and Abrams has a proven track record and shown that he has a flair for injecting new life into older film franchises with Mission Impossible, Star Trek and is now setting his sights on Star Wars. 'Flyby', like Man of Steel, was going to feature a Krypton at war and a Kryptonian villain who plagues Clark Kent on Earth. Below, Abrams talks a bit about what his Superman film would have explored and briefly shares his thoughts on Man of Steel.

Superman: Flyby costumer J.J. Abrams"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.”


It's a little mind-boggling to think that somewhere at Warner Bros. there's a vault with a Superman script from J.J. Abrams and a Wonder Woman script from Joss Whedon. I guess if you're a young, up and coming director who gets commissioned by WB to writer a script for a superhero movie that ultimately doesn't get made....you should consider yourself on the right career path.


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Running Time: In post-production
Release Date: 14 June 2013 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Starring: Henry Cavill, Michael Shannon, Amy Adams, Kevin Costner,Russell Crowe, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Christopher Meloni, Richard Schiff, Harry Lennix
Directed by: Zack Snyder
Written by: Christopher Nolan (story), David S. Goyer screenplay)

Man of Steel follows the Last Son of Krypton on his epic journey to become mankind's shinning beacon of hope for a brighter future. With the beliefs and values instilled by his adoptive parents Jonathan (Kevin Costner) and Martha (Diane Lane) Kent, a young Clark (Henry Cavill) sets out to find his place in the world. But when the nefarious General Zodd (Michael Shannon) arrives on Earth, Clark will have to choose between being a normal human or Kal-el,son of Jor-El (Russell Crowe) and humanity's greatest protector and champion. Filmed in IMAX and shot in Vancouver, Chicago and Plano, Illinois, Man of Steel will be released on June 14, 2013 by Warner Bros. Directed by Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) with a screenplay by David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight) the Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Rises, Inception) produced feature film will surely be the summer blockbuster of 2013.


Source: Empire Magazine
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breakUbatman - 3/22/2013, 3:40 AM
Interesting
kevberg - 3/22/2013, 3:44 AM
And Thats the flaw In Abrams thinking,

He's ASSUMING Clark as a baby is as powerful as is at adulthood. which its NEVER been implied.
Why is that all these wizards of smart always jump to the negative aspects of something as " the way to go"?

Alaba - 3/22/2013, 4:07 AM
Wow that's awesome! Could explain why Clark acts so insecure and nervous. Fantastic!
themcdougalbugle - 3/22/2013, 4:14 AM
Warner Bros. can't take risks.
killerkooljames - 3/22/2013, 4:27 AM
Bad grammar bro. Fix it.
BackwardGalaxy - 3/22/2013, 4:38 AM
It is logical. Not the way I'd go, but logical.
StrangerX - 3/22/2013, 4:40 AM
Well I can see some similarities. They def read JJs script and used some ideas. Even the concept art looks like the same suit.

As for Clark not using his powers. I can understand why The Kents would not want him to use his powers. If the gov found out they would freak. That's why the realism is being brought in. What would really happen if an alien with all these powers came to earth. People would prob think its the end of the world.

DCNY - 3/22/2013, 4:42 AM
WB also has a fantastic Flash script from Goyer lying around...

They have vaginas. Period.
bs77 - 3/22/2013, 4:46 AM
The script is online and was half decent for a first draft. Ironically, Superman Returns borrowed some of the weaker elements of JJ's story and completely left out the good ones. MOS looks like its borrowing the stronger elements from the same story. If you've read the script you'll probably find it as bizarre as I do that both movies really seem to take pieces straight from the JJ script. The Superman Earth 1 story also shares some similarities with JJs script. If I hadn't known the JJ script was from 2003, I would've assumed he was ripping off ideas, but he predates them all.
alanb - 3/22/2013, 4:47 AM
"He's ASSUMING Clark as a baby is as powerful as is at adulthood. which its NEVER been implied."

Or maybe he figured that this material is FICTIONAL and perpetually SUBJECT TO CHANGE and INTERPRETATION? You know, that there wasn't an actual real guy called Superman, there wasn't a planet called Krypton and that - just because someone has a different interpretation than you - it doesn't make their version wrong.
Amazo - 3/22/2013, 4:51 AM
@Kevberg
He's not assuming that at all! Only that Kal is more powerful than a kid should be.He doesn't say that he's fully fledged in childhood.
You assumed.
yingyangpalms - 3/22/2013, 4:53 AM
Abram's Flyby reminds me of Whedon's crappy ass Batman movie pitch that he still thinks is great.

Flyby simply has Kent/Superman with a different attitude that likely wouldve morphed back into the same old thing.

Every version of Superman starts with him being a baby sent to Earth. Why not have him be from a planet at war and hes maybe a teen soldier when he gets sent to Earth. At least he would be a badass even without powers and people wouldnt hate him for having it so easy.

Its like this: the old story is nice and its been told and retold for 70 years and again this year in MOS. Its had its day. And the premise has not only been exhausted but maybe its designed for past generations and it is not attractive to todays generation or those to come.

DC needs to get it together and do a real re imagining of their line so they can get the cornball crap out of their characters and also start with new origins, settings and supporting casts that would give writers fresh ideas to work with instead of playing with decades old premises.

If they ever have the balls to do it right everything should be on the table including origins, powers and alter egos. And silly cheesy crap like Clark Kent and the glasses disguise could finally be gone. Thats the dumbest idea in the DC Universe.
kevberg - 3/22/2013, 4:57 AM
@alanb
Or you're making excuses.

If he bothered to research it, He's know the material , he wouldn't assume clark would slaughter the Kents.

Again, he jumps to a negative conclusion with nothing substantive to support it. He just decided to do with Clark having some psychological problems.

BTW, If JJ bothered to check his take , Smallville handled that well in the first few seasons, regardless of how the later seasons went.

well you , besides the whole " he would've likely killed the Kents in short order" Thing.......


wow Wolverine would be jealous. :P



kevberg - 3/22/2013, 4:59 AM
@Amazo

If you can read, try rereading the quotes...

You assumed ....
StrangerX - 3/22/2013, 5:03 AM
I think the point many are missing is why they chose to go with the lesd cheesy more realistic. Its actually makes sense.

The truth and honestly I'm sure many would agree and I'm sure this is where they might go with it. In reality if there ever were such a being flying around the planet with all this power and practically invulnerable. People would prob randomly start bowing down their knees without question believing him to be God. That's Real Talk. A point Watchmen tried to make with Dr Manhattan. Superman has to prove he is there for the people not meant to rule them. Zod on the other hand.
ImnotDaredevil - 3/22/2013, 5:26 AM
@BallisticWhale -I know mine did! Boom;)
ScRipt69 - 3/22/2013, 5:29 AM
I have always thought that a baby from Krypton would become a toddler and have absorbed so much yellow sun radiation than a cuddle or a slap (as smost babies do in frustration could kill the Kents easily or maim them for life, same as when Kal is having 'relations' with Lois at the time where you lose control and let your senses go crazy you have to be careful not to kill the poor girl with one almighty thrust. I hope they touch on my first point, as it is important, imagine having your kid at a park knowing that if it pushed another toddler it would fly a thousand feet in the air and end tragically. The Kents would be recluses and never mingle until they knew Clark could handle other people with control over his vastly increased strength and speed, I imagine heat vision and freeze breath came later in his years. CANNOT WAIT TO SEE THIS FILM, WE NEED A GREAT SUPERMAN MOVIE a blend of the emotional but with killer action, KILLER KILLER action, Iron Man and The Dark Knight are two near perfect films for me, all other are take it or leave it, Cap America I've seen, never want to see it again same as Thor I wont even mention GL!
nikgrid - 3/22/2013, 5:30 AM
Whedons Wonder Woman would have sucked...he doesn't understand the character.
ScRipt69 - 3/22/2013, 5:35 AM
@BallisticWhale, It wouldn't make sense that they did, X-men sure it does but with Supes he has no reason to develop these powers at puberty, I've always thought of him having his abilities from the moment he crashed well actually before that even, would a baby survive such a crash landing without super powers, in all film versions that rocket has hit the ground hard!
alanb - 3/22/2013, 5:57 AM
"If he bothered to research it, He's know the material , he wouldn't assume clark would slaughter the Kents."

He just had a DIFFERENT INTERPRETATION. Shocker, huh? That other people think differently than you. Just seems like a whole lot of fanboy whining that 'this guy doesn't get the character (and therefore doesn't get ME)'. You haven't read the script CLEARLY, but want to bitch and complain about it anyway. Sheesh ...
MJPETTY7 - 3/22/2013, 6:04 AM
Kal-El as a baby wasn't really all that powerful. He had been in that ship for a long while, to the point of he wasn't able to absorb the sun's rays because the ship was in the way. And here's the thing, Clark's powers never fully developed until adulthood because for most of his childhood he believed he was human. It was a psychological wall that stopped him from gaining all his powers at once. Once he embraced his Kryptonian heritage, he was able to use all his powers to even higher standards than OTHER Kryptonians because he had been absorbing the sun's rays his entire life, which ultimately makes him the most powerful Kryptonian out there because he's been absorbing the yellow sun's rays the longest. That's why Superman will always win, because he is the most powerful and the strongest, because he's been absorbing the longest.
MrEko - 3/22/2013, 6:25 AM
Flyby was utter sh*t:
- Prince Kal-el.
- Kryptonian undercover FBI agent Lex Luthor.
- A prophecy that made no [frick]ing sense (classic Abrams).
- Krypton that was never destroyed.
- Martial Arts/Kung fu fighting slo-mo bullet time Kryptonian battles (this was after The Matrix came out).
- A neurotic, spineless Clark Kent.

AND THE GREATEST PART OF ALL (Sarcasm... of course!!!)

- Jor-el (who is alive and well on faraway planet Krypton) commits suicide to revive superman, after supes drowns in a Kryptonite laced pool. His ghost tells Clark to live, blah blah blah "the prophecy" and Clark just ups and wills himself back to life.



I can not make this sh*t up.

If Flyby was anything but a Superman movie, it might have made good... possibly great sci-fi BUT as a Superman movie it was [frick]ing deplorable. Flyby is the mirror counterpart to Arronofsky "Batman Year One"; in both stories the writer goes so far out of their way to rewrite a character's mythos that they lose sight of the very essence of the character.

Reading Flyby you can tell Abrams IS a superman fan, albeit an arrogant fan who stubbornly set out to make his own version of superman (much like he did with Star Trek), disregarding about 80% of core superman lore and went off the rails in the process.

I for one am glad this movie was never made. It might have been a long wait but we got Man of Steel ;)

BboiBlack - 3/22/2013, 6:29 AM
PEOPLE PEOPLE, let's not forget alot of the crazy crap that script draft had. Abrams is in such a good light right now just as marvel is due to avengers that this fan boy lot sees thing in flower tinted googles.

ALIEN LEX LUTHOR
SUIT IN A CAN LITERALLY..
just stop.
ATrueHero1987 - 3/22/2013, 7:17 AM
"It's a little mind-boggling to think that somewhere at Warner Bros. there's a vault with a Superman script from J.J. Abrams and a Wonder Woman script from Joss Whedon. I guess if you're a young, up and coming director who gets commissioned by WB to writer a script for a superhero movie that ultimately doesn't get made....you should consider yourself on the right career path."

lol! I like that quote.
SUPERSHADOWBAT - 3/22/2013, 7:26 AM
While some people want to see the origin of Superman be different, to me it doesn't make sense to change it. Superman's origin is one of the properties of this character that makes him unique and identifiable to the public. You change too much of a character's core properties, especially from childhood, then you will not have the same character or person in adulthood. If you are going to go that far then you cannot call him. Superman.
Let's remember that in all the versions through the years young baby Kal-el showed some signs of being stronger than a normal human being. While his other powers did not manifest until later in life . It could be that they came and went throughout his youth, but in just about every version his strength and speed seemed to be the powers that were known to him and the Kents.
I look forward to seeing Superman in MOS, and seeing the Superman we have all wanted to see.
GreenRageMonster - 3/22/2013, 7:45 AM
His abilities come from the change in energy that comes from our sun as apposed to Kryptons so with that being said him all of a sudden unlocking powers at puberty makes less sense than if he was powerful as an infant. The minute he entered our solar system he would begin to get stronger; and because Earth is one of the closer planets to the sun, it explains why he is so powerful. Just putting this out there, World War Hulk would kill any superman.
JohnnyKrypton - 3/22/2013, 8:43 AM
^The official (post-Crisis) explanation was that it took years of living under the yellow sun for his cells to absorb energy and 'super-charge,' and he developed his abilities gradually as he grew up. That makes MORE sense than suddenly being 'super.' If your scenario was accurate, he never would've been depowered after he died or after IC.

Of course, Johns decided to ignore all that with his ridiculous New Krypton nonsense.
JohnnyKrypton - 3/22/2013, 8:45 AM
P.S. - WWH? Please. Fly him into orbit, problem solved.
SUPERSHADOWBAT - 3/22/2013, 9:32 AM
Superman would beat WWH any day.
xXkryptoniteXx - 3/22/2013, 10:34 AM
sounds good on his concept and it explains why clark is what he is but in true and acceptance form is superman.
tobeyoungagain - 3/22/2013, 11:28 AM
@Kevberg

I don't know if anyone's brought this up, because I blew past the comments once I read the remark you made, and I'll admit, I haven't read a comic in decades, but I do remember an infant lifting a car, as it was about to crush an old man fixing a tire, now maybe I'm wrong, and that was just added in for the movie, but wasn't that superman as an infant? And if I'm right, so was JJ in assuming this same child would stronger than any adult on the planet.
Phlegmbot - 3/22/2013, 11:35 AM
A creative, armchair psychological take on Superman which ultimately makes no sense.

Yeah, let's hope that's NOT what Snyder, Nolan, and Goyer have done.
tobeyoungagain - 3/22/2013, 11:35 AM
After reading the comments, I can see I was wrong, it was added in for the movie. I'm man enough to admit I was wrong and concede to the point.
SUPERSHADOWBAT - 3/22/2013, 11:57 AM
@tobeyoungagain, yes that was in the Donner film, but a scene depicting baby Kal-el's strength and invulnerability has also been seen in the comics. At the hospital they were trying to give him an injection and the needle broke and also where he lifted a crib as an infant. There have been others, but these two instances stand out in my mind.
Nubase - 3/22/2013, 11:57 AM
l really don't care about abrams superman version or tim burtons version, the fact is they did not get made cos it was deemed not good enough by WB, that is were it should end.

Yes both burton and abrams are talented people with abrams being pretty much the man right now but lets all just get exicted by the movie that ACTUALLY going to come out in a few months which is the Man of Steel.

Forget about flyby and superman lives.
MrEko - 3/22/2013, 12:40 PM
@Nomis, indeed.



THEDARKKNIGHT1939 - 3/22/2013, 12:43 PM
Do Green Lantern pleaseeeee!
MJPETTY7 - 3/22/2013, 4:49 PM
@THEDARKNIGHT1939 I can actually see Abrams doing Green Lantern and making it work... I actually would love that.
Tevii - 3/22/2013, 7:33 PM
I actually like this idea. Anything is better than a Nolan cbm.... Except maybe a Martin Campbell cbm
EarOne - 3/22/2013, 10:19 PM
judging just from the writings, abrams' superman flick might sound like what ang lee's superman would be like. but, knowing abrams and his track record, it'll pretty much be something awesome. but, with goyer's involvement, i'm pretty sure nolan-snyder's take on the man of steel would be as good, if not better.
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