Never-Before-Seen SUPERMAN: FLYBY Concept Art Featuring The Rouser & Kal-El's Pod

Never-Before-Seen SUPERMAN: FLYBY Concept Art Featuring The Rouser & Kal-El's Pod

Scoop! I asked conceptual artist, Phil Saunders, if he could dig up artwork from Brett Ratner and J.J. Abrams' Superman: Flyby. Now, come check out his amazing concept art, with descriptions, for Kal-El's Pod, and a Kryptonian battle pod, known as a Rouser.

Phil Saunders is a conceptual, industrial and automotive designer, production illustrator, director and storyboard artist that has most recently been Marvel's go-to-artist for Iron Man, The Avengers, and of course the upcoming blockbuster, Iron Man 3. You can view his terrific artistic contributions for Joss Whedon's The Avengers by clicking here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, or here.

If you can remember, just last month I posted Superman: Flyby artwork that was created by Harald Belker, which you can view by clicking here. Over the course of a major project, like a Superman film, it isn't uncommon to have several production designer come in, and put together their own art department. So when Arthur Max's art department went down (with Harald Belker), Owen Patterson was brought in, and he added Phil Saunders to his art department. As you'll see, Phil worked on some of the same concepts that Harald did, but had different takes.

Superman: Flyby - Kal El Pod

"The first job was to design the pod that baby Kal-El crash lands at the Kent Farm with (and flies back to Krypton in at the end... you'd have to read the script.)" - Phil Saunders

"This one was my favorite version. I like the engine concept. Going to have to use that on something else. " - P.S.

"This was the design that Owen Patterson finally approved. He was looking for something as simple as possible, with no visible external signs of technology. Like a chrome teardrop. Of course, "Flight of the Navigator" was never mentioned. Ever." - Phil Saunders

"The challenge with this one of course was to come up with an interior concept that would accommodate both a baby and fully grown Kryptonian. So I came up with a baby seat. Krypton style." - Phil Saunders

Click Here To See More Images Of Kal El's Pod

Superman: Flyby - Kata-Zor Pod

Kata-Zor Pod - "In J.J. Abrams' script, Superman's Uncle Ty-Zor sent his soldiers to Earth from Krypton to hunt him down. This would have been one of the pods his soldiers arrived in." - P.S.

Early Concepts

Final Design


Superman: Flyby - The Rouser

"The highlight of the project was Superman's cousin Kata-Zor's giant battle mech. The film climaxed with an epic battle between Superman and this Kryptonian battle pod." - Phil Saunders

"These were some early concepts that were rightfully rejected as too "chicken-like," but I enjoyed envisioning some alternative weapon configurations." Phil Saunders

"This was the final design. The Rouser needed to start out as a flying battle pod before the legs folded down for walking mode." - Phil

"Two versions of the interior. Production designer Owen Patterson wanted to represent Kryptonian technology as a backlit glowing green energy. The Mech would be controlled by a motion control scanner that would translate the pilots motions into movement." - P.S.

"When it was considered that the vfx and wirework required for the zero-G gyroscope would be too expensive for every shot, I had to come up with an alternative design that could be achieved practically." - P.S.

And last, but not least, in the past Phil posted one image from the climactic battle between Superman and The Rouser. Phil's description of the epic confrontation, "The battle ends when Superman flies circumnavigates the globe before the Rouser can turn around, building up enough momentum to fly through the battle pod."

Click Here To See MORE Art Of The Rouser

STORY: Young PRINCE KAL-EL is rocketed to Earth in an effort for Jor-El to allow Kal-El to fufill the prophecy of being the chosen Kryptonian to end a century old Civil War.

On Earth Kal-El is found by the KENTS a kindly couple who's hopes were to be parents. After surviving the years Kal-El now Clark Kent's life is shown through a series of scenes showcasing his life before Superman which leads right up to the moment he meets Lois Lane at a Metropolis College. All the while the young TY-ZOR Cousin to Clark Kent goes from Planet to Planet in search of his Cousin in hopes of killing him and crushing the war. When he arrives to Earth he discovers his Cousin has become SUPERMAN Earth's greatest protector and the two engage in a battle for the Earth it self. - CBM's Robert Garlen

Ain't It Cool News Breakdown Of JJ Abrams' Script

Posted By:
Member Since 7/12/2010
Filed Under "Superman" 4/9/2013 Source: Phil Saunders
DISCLAIMER: is protected under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) and... [MORE]
THEDARKKNIGHT1939 - 4/9/2013, 4:11 PM
Looked pretty sweet
Jollem - 4/9/2013, 4:13 PM
i like how the pod got fit for baby and big kal
Nemeres - 4/9/2013, 4:16 PM

Too cool.
WruceBayne - 4/9/2013, 4:18 PM
You really can't go wrong with J.J. Abrams, can you?
CavEl - 4/9/2013, 4:20 PM
CavEl - 4/9/2013, 4:21 PM
Actually, the story was major kaka.
JorL5150 - 4/9/2013, 4:21 PM

maybe. a glorified michael bay.


CaptainProg - 4/9/2013, 4:24 PM
Cool. But it was probably gonna be shit.
exe - 4/9/2013, 4:42 PM
This movie over Superman Returns any day.
HavocPrime - 4/9/2013, 4:48 PM
Think I remember this one, Lex Luthor was a Kryptonian and Krypton did not blow up.
Tony93 - 4/9/2013, 4:59 PM
imagine if ratner wasnt involved..
imagine if Lex wasnt a Kryptonian..
imagine if Krypton did explode..

it could have been good
Emjeed - 4/9/2013, 5:05 PM
Actaully in the script Lex was NOT a kryptonian, he was just at the right place at the right time and got uploaded with Kryptonian info. He was a human, school teacher who was fired because he was a little too intense with perpetrating his crazy ideas to little kids
Emjeed - 4/9/2013, 5:05 PM
Tony93 - 4/9/2013, 5:07 PM
ReynMan - 4/9/2013, 5:17 PM
Emjeed man you do know that story still sucks balls, don't you? luthor as a school teacher??

i can't fricking some of you guys here. you were up in arms because superman returns "went against source material *gasp gasp*" and showed supes spawning a kid but will take to this pile of fricking turd because it has action and also because JJ Abrams directed a good star trek movie?? Kal-el's cousin from Krypton should basically have ALL of the powers that supes has, even stronger because he actually is a battle-hardened soldier, but he needs a giant fricking robot to fight supes. you know how stupid that sounds??
JatevinM - 4/9/2013, 5:27 PM
There is something about that spaceship that I just love. maybe its the fact that its one of his last real connections to his parents or maybe because the way it looks here it looks like its his quiet place where he thinks.
MisterBabadook - 4/9/2013, 6:00 PM
"Metal Gear?!"
NoAssemblyReqd - 4/9/2013, 6:39 PM
Saw the pod and thought: "You are... THE NAVIGATOR!"
MrSundayMovies - 4/9/2013, 6:48 PM
That's some pretty standout work.
ThePowerCosmic - 4/9/2013, 7:16 PM
When I think of all the failed Superman films I cant help but see what a struggle it is to make a good Superman film. MOS is the last chance before I write this character off of movies for good.
macfint - 4/9/2013, 7:37 PM
Ratner is the best!!!
nowtheresaBATman - 4/9/2013, 7:54 PM
haha^ UPS dropped it off
TerminalVoyd - 4/9/2013, 8:00 PM
@Emjeed - 4/9/2013, 5:05 PM

"Actaully in the script Lex was NOT a kryptonian, he was just at the right place at the right time and got uploaded with Kryptonian info. He was a human, school teacher who was fired because he was a little too intense with perpetrating his crazy ideas to little kids"

He was in the first draft (complete with an epic flying kung-fu battle with Superman). Abrams scaled it back a bit later on and apparently received more favorable reviews for subsequent drafts.

One of those I would be curious to read.

TheTank - 4/9/2013, 10:36 PM
I had read both drafts JJ turned in before the project was canned. In the first one Lex was a CIA agents hell bent on finding aliens, because it turned out he was intact kryptonian in search for Superman along with Ty-Zor and his minions. In the second draft lex discovered a dying kryptonian who imparted him with knowledge and powers i believe.

JJ said he was like 5 drafts away from his final draft which he said that he would have stuck closer to the source material. He said he was toying with the mythology and that eventually the Lex we would have seen would have been the billionaire lex who Ty-Zor utilizes his resources to find and destroy kal-el.

Not going to lie but a lot of what was in the second draft seems like is making its way into Man of Steel. The thing i hated the most about JJ's drafts was that he created villains, Zod could have easily been Ty-Zor, not only that but Ty-Zor's father was Kata-Zor who was Jor-El's brother, which in itself is a mistake because he didn't bear the EL name.

The costume for this movie was pretty beautiful too, the colors were outstanding, it bore the actual S crest (or the closest to it we have seen on the screen) it lacked red boots and anything else red except for the cape and shield, the suit itself looks a lot more like the new 52 suit than the MoS design which people keep saying resembles it so much, which i really dont see aside from the lack of trunks. The suit in this movie was much more a suit of armor, very rigid.

But i need to state again as I've said in numerous posts, this was in production in 2002, this is prior to spiderman being released, and especially the Dark Knight and Iron man which have completely changed the game when it comes to these types of movies. It was much better than any of the Burton drafts, packed with action, and some really cool moments, but those moments were also balanced out by moments of total crap.

I always felt that in order for superman to be done right on screen his movie would have to come out later on in the pecking order, because we have had so many CBM's which have shown us what works and what doesn't, and i think MoS is def going to work.
TheTank - 4/9/2013, 10:37 PM
However i will state that most if not all the concept art for this movie was beautiful
CharacterAssassin - 4/9/2013, 10:41 PM
They should've stuck with that collar area in the center pix up above. It gives him the appearance that he actually has huge trapezoid muscle underneath the cape. The one they have now that Cavill's wears on his suit is whack because it gives him no shape in the neck area and that black bar that runs across the collar bone ruins the suit. The rest of his suit seems okay.
jimoakley666 - 4/9/2013, 11:59 PM
They look great. Some really nice designs and artwork there. The image of the Kents finding the pod in front of their house is a beautiful illustration.
Odin - 4/10/2013, 6:14 AM
That looks good, I like the costume a LOT.
AC1 - 4/10/2013, 7:06 AM
@JorL5150 JJ Abrams is "a glorified Michael Bay"?! The fact that JJ Abrams' films contain characters with any level of emotional depth, have actual plots, that he uses his effects to tell the story rather than the other way around, and he doesn't have to resort to tasteless 'humour' like casual racism immediately makes JJ Abrams so much more than "a glorified Michael Bay".

Are Abrams' films the most thought provoking, psychologically complex films being made? Far from it. Do they work well as deep social commentaries? Not really. But not all films need to do that. Abrams tells high-concept stories - it's as simple as that. Pure escapist entertainment that goes a little deeper than face value.

Michael Bay on the other hand? He thinks up some special effects, grabs some eye-candy actors with zero talent (or grabs decent actors and draws out their worst work possible), throws in a few racist or sexist jokes or caricatures that only 12 year old boys would find funny (and then be embarrassed about it in later life), and then 'writes' the most pathetic excuse for a 'story' around those elements. Michael Bay's a hack who throws up jumbled messes of explosions and films them - his movies entertain humans in the same way that a ball of yarn entertains a cat; mindless stupidity.
JULEZ13 - 4/10/2013, 10:20 AM
Nice artwork but its nothing that I'd die for to have in a Superman movie...

And just listening to parts of the movie, Superman having a cousin who ISN'T Kara... His pod crash-landing IN FRONT of the Kent home and there's no crater.... Kal-El being a PRINCE!? Krypton NOT destroyed. Lex a SCHOOL TEACHER!?!

WTF!! Were WB execs high? Actually wasting time and money on the development of this film??? And lots of people actually said this film was going to be good! IN WHAT WAY??

This was basically supposed to be Zod fighting Superman in a gundam-like robot. EPIC FAIL.
ComradeGrey - 4/10/2013, 12:18 PM
That suit looks decent, I wonder if there's a full shot of it somewhere.
revloveR - 4/10/2013, 2:55 PM
well, at least its not a spider.

does anyone know who was gonna be clark? i heard it was going to be josh hartnett.
AUSSYACE - 5/22/2013, 6:31 PM
It's funny how all of this material is coming out of the wood work now with MOS just around the corner...

Thank GOD this shit never got made...

Nicolas Cage...Are you Serious...

Please log in to post comments.

Don't have an account?
Please Register.