J.J. Abrams discusses his original Superman treatment, Flyby, and how it compares to Man of Steel

Superman has undergone quite a few iterations from various creators that never got behind the camera.  From Tim Burton to Wolfgang Peterson to George Miller, the iconic hero has passed hands without ever being brought to life almost as often as he actaully makes it to the big screen, which will happen again this summer with Zack Snyder's MAN OF STEEL.

Another filmmaker who took a crack at Supes was J.J. Abrams, who wrote a treatment entitled Superman: Flyby, which saw many changes to the classic origin of the character, but also took a much more introspective approach, diving deep into the realities of what being Clark Kent/Superman would entail.

The thing that I tried to emphasise 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.

Abrams addressed the comparisons of his treatment to Zack Snyder's MAN OF STEEL, saying:

The idea in the movie was that he became Superman because he realised 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.

Interesting.  I haven't read Abrams' treatment, but given the director's sensibilities I tend to think it would've been a welcome entry.  It's hard to say for certain, though, as Superman has been a tough one to crack of late.  With the recent reviews and marketing of MAN OF STEEL, however, I think everyone's hopes are way up to see a new and proper vision of the character grace the screen.

Abrams' STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS hits theaters on May 17, 2013 and Snyder's MAN OF STEEL takes flight on June 14, 2013.

Extra Tidbit: Which version of Superman that never made it to the screen would you most like to have seen? I'm all about Burton's Superman Lives.
Source: Empire



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