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Hearts break for who could have fought Henry Cavill’s Superman in ‘Man of Steel 2’

The iconic villain has been a dream for a Superman movie since the 1970s.

The hits just keep coming for the legions of SnyderVerse fans, and the latest reports are enough to leave them drowning in a pool of their own tears.

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Shortly after revealing that both Henry Cavill and Gal Gadot’s cameos were cut from next year’s The Flash, The Hollywood Reporter says that Brainiac would have been Superman’s primary antagonist for Man of Steel 2.

Around the time that Cavill was posting videos proclaiming that he was back as Superman and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was teasing future crossovers, Warner Bros. Pictures executives Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy were briefly in charge of the DCU. According to THR, they were onboard with Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, who had written a treatment for Man of Steel 2 with Brainiac as the villain. 

With Cavill’s exit and James Gunn taking creative control of DC Studios, those plans are no more. It is indeed sad news for not only for SnyderVerse fans, but longtime comic book readers as well. Brainiac is a classic DC villain and one of Superman’s most iconic foes. He first appeared in 1958’s Action Comics #252, and he has remained a staple of the DC comics for over 60 years. 

While Brainiac has made numerous cartoon and video game appearances, he has yet to be featured in live-action despite writers and directors wanting to use him for decades. In an interview with The 13th Dimension via ScienceFiction.com, Superman: The Movie director Richard Donner said that he intended to use Brainiac in his initial ideas for Superman III. More recently, Zack Snyder reportedly had plans to include Brainiac in his Man of Steel sequel. In fact, the director who launched the original DCEU told The Post-Credit Podcast last year there was talk of the villain getting his own film. 

“We talked about a Brainiac movie, but I do think that the Kryptonians that are in the Phantom Zone are probably still around, and there was always a possibility for their return. Faora and whoever’s left. That was a thing that was always out there that we talked about as a possible sequel.”

While things may look grim at the moment, as the cliché goes, it’s always darkest before dawn. Gunn is clearing what has been an overall underwhelming DCEU slate. Before you call for his head, though, be patient and see what he has in store. As he prepares for the launch of his rebranded DCU, Brainiac could be in his 10-year plan to put DC’s cinematic universe on par with that of Marvel. 

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Matt Tuck
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and the Blogger Supreme. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog, or on Instagram at matt.tuck.writer.