Brainiac Concept Art For... SUPERMAN RETURNS
Hey, Brainiac didn't appear in Bryan Singer's Superman Returns (2006). True, but these two pieces of concept art for Superman's super-intelligent computer android nemesis say otherwise.
Back in 2006, Bryan Singer chatted with Empire about a possible villain for the Superman Returns sequel. "Now that the character is established, I’d like to take the opportunity to bring in a more threatening element, a more terrible, foreboding element,” said Singer. Obviously, that sequel never happened, and the franchise was reinvented with Zack Snyder's Man of Steel. Empire asked singer if the villain in his next Superman film would be a Kryptonian villain, or possibly Brainiac, Singer replied, “Perhaps.”
Based on the artwork below, it appears that Singer had plans of including Brainiac in Superman Returns, but had a change of heart. Perhaps the character would've had a brief cameo at the end to lead into the sequel and tease audiences. The two images I found of Brainiac, were in the portfolio of professional storyboard and conceptual artist, Michael Anthony Jackson. While Jackson isn't listed in the art department credits for Superman Returns, that isn't a huge surprise since many artists went uncredited for that film. First image appears to be a character design for Brainiac, while the second image, with Brainiac gazing upon the Earth is most likely key frame art.
Brainiac is a super-intelligent alien being from the planet Colu who has fought Superman many times. Extremely advanced mental abilities that have allowed him to work through numerous robotic and even human proxies make him a dangerously formidable opponent. It is difficult to tell whether you're dealing with the original Brainiac, or one of his drones. His obsession with knowledge has led him to shrink down many cities to bottle size for transportation on his Skull Ship, including Kandor on Krypton. He is a frequent ally of Lex Luthor and has been a member of the Anti-Justice League. Brainiac was created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino, first appearing in Action Comics #242. (1958) - DC Wiki
He's back. A hero for our millennium. And not a moment too soon, because during the five years (much longer in movie-fan years!) Superman sought his home planet, things changed on his adopted planet. Nations moved on without him. Lois Lane now has a son, a fiance and a Pulitzer for "Why the World Doesn't Need Superman." And Lex Luthor has a plan that will destroy millions - no, billions - of lives. Filmmaker Bryan Singer (X-Men) gives the world the Superman it needs, honoring the legend everyone loves while taking it in a powerful new direction. Brandon Routh proves a perfect choice to wear the hero's cape, leading a top cast that includes Kate Bosworth as Lois and Kevin Spacey as Lex. And the thrills - from a sky-grapple with a tumbling jumbo jet to a continent-convulsing showdown - redefine Wow. "I'm always around," Superman tells Lois. You'll be glad he is.
Starring: Parker Posey, Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth, Brandon Routh
Director: Bryan Singer
Source: Michael Anthony Jackson
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