Here’s What J.J. Abrams’ Canned Superman: Flyby Would’ve Looked Like


Now that it appears as though Henry Cavill has vacated the role, everyone’s speculating on which actor may next inherit the mantle of Superman. Personally, I’m not sure of whom I’d choose myself, but it’s guaranteed this icon will be recast every so often.

So, while we wait to see whatever the future may bring, let’s take a moment to look back on the Man of Steel’s cinematic history and some of the interesting trivia that comes along with it. Much like the void of false starts that occupied the space between Batman & Robin and Batman Begins, so, too, did Big Blue have trouble finding his way back to the silver screen after The Quest for Peace.

Aside from Tim Burton’s Superman Lives, one could say the most notable script that never made it to screen was J.J. Abrams’ Superman: Flyby. And now, thanks to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse director Peter Ramsey, we’ve been gifted with some storyboards from the adventure that never was. Posted to his Twitter page and found below, the industry veteran said he “had fun” drawing these back in the day when he was attached to that particular production.

As you can see, the Boy Scout is delivering what the title of that film had promised by – what else? – flying by stuff. Whether it be orbiting the Earth or zooming down the streets of Metropolis, that fella can move.

Like I said, Superman: Flyby never came to be and Superman Returns sprung up in its place not long after. And though Bryan Singer’s effort wasn’t perfect, it was probably for the better. I’m just not sure if Abrams’ deviation from the source material would’ve gone over with diehard fans and the moviegoing public at large.

In short, I’m saying that because not only was Krypton never destroyed in said screenplay, but other major changes were made as well. For one, Lex Luthor was a government agent obsessed with UFOs, and it’s just plain weird hearing Jor-El’s brother’s name changed from Zor-El to Kata-Zor. Suffice it to say, there’s much more regarding this script online if you’re willing to do the research.

Even though Superman: Flyby fell through, you needn’t weep for J.J. Abrams. Now having Lost, Fringe, Star Trek and Star Wars under his belt, I’d say he’s done pretty well for himself. And now that he’s been hired to co-write a new Spider-Man comic book for Marvel, he’ll definitely leave his mark on the superhero genre.