A few years before Bryan Singer dropped Superman Returns, young up-and-comer J.J. Abrams wrote a script for his own Superman movie — and here’s what it would’ve looked like.
As we can partially see in these new concept pics by artist Jim Martin, Abrams’ Superman Flyby would’ve focused on a Kryptonian civil war, along with the Kents' challenge to teach young Clark how to control his powers. Abrams has previously said his take would’ve had Superman dealing with a “fear of oneself” as he tries to figure out who he wants to be. If you're looking for more info, there's also a leaked draft of the script floating around out there.
When this thing was in development back around 2002, Abrams was still a relatively unproven commodity — so Brett Ratner and McG were originally on tap to direct, though both would eventually fall off the project and ultimately be replaced with Singer, who scrapped this script and went a different direction with his Richard Donner homage Superman Returns.
Late in the process, Abrams actually lobbied the studio to let him direct his own script, though they shot him down. But, seeing the string of blockbusters that Abrams has cranked out now, it’s fascinating to wonder how this could’ve turned out if he’d gotten a chance to take a crack at it back then.
Though most of the buzz at the time indicated that Abrams was eyeing a very different spin on the classic costume (and some previously leaked art showed some wild alien tech designs), the concept drawings here shows some major reverence to Supes’ original look. We also get a look at Metropolis, Krypton and the top of the Daily Planet.
(Via Bleeding Cool)