J.J. Abrams. Shot exclusively by Art Streiber for Empire at Bad Robot Productions, Los Angeles, March 2013.
Earlier this year, J.J. Abrams’ treatment for Superman Flyby leaked online, providing a peak beneath the blue tights at what the Star Trek director had planned for the last son of Krypton. The movie would have been an origin story involving a civil war on Krypton, the exile of Kal-El and a new villain, Ty-Zor, but sadly it never saw the light of day. According to Abrams, though, it wouldn't have been a million miles from what Zack Snyder’s Man Of Steel is shaping up to be.
“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,” Abrams told Empire. “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.
“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.”
Read more of our exclusive in-depth interview with J.J. Abrams in the May issue of Empire, on-sale Thursday March 28.