What the Villain and Final Battle Would've Looked Like in J.J. Abrams' 'Superman' Movie

What the Villain and Final Battle Would've Looked Like in J.J. Abrams' 'Superman' Movie

Apr 10, 2013

We’re not sure why everyone’s so crazy about J.J. Abrams’ aborted Superman project Superman: Flyby lately, but we’ve heard an awful lot about the film over the past few weeks – and today we’ve got some new concept art that shows what the film’s big villain would have looked like and how the final showdown was set to play out.

Comic Book Movie hooked up with concept artist Phil Saunders, who revealed his impressive artwork for the film (which was written by Abrams, and had directors Brett Ratner and McG attached at various points in the development cycle). You can find lots of cool pieces focusing on the pod Kal-El arrives in at the Comic Book Movie site, but let’s turn our attention to the new Rouser and final showdown concept art.

According to Saunders, "The highlight of the project was Superman's cousin Kata-Zor's giant battle mech. The film climaxed with an epic battle between Superman and this Kryptonian battle pod."  

Saunders says the image below was rejected for being “too chicken-like” – which is a pretty good call in our opinion.

Superman flyby mech 1

The final design, though, is much cooler – the mech starts out as a flying craft before the legs come down, allowing it to walk on the ground.

Superman Rouser mech 2

The original plan was to have the interior of the mech as a giant room where the pilot was in a gyroscope that controlled the mech’s movements through the driver’s actions. That wasn’t practical from a price standpoint, so Saunders came up with a more traditional chair.

Superman flyby mech interior

Then, Saunders shares a piece from the climactic showdown between the Man of Steel and the giant robot. “The battle ends when Superman circumnavigates the globe before the Rouser can turn around, building up enough momentum to fly through the battle pod." 

superman flyby climax

We’re not really sold on the idea of Superman battling a giant mech (feels way too Japanese anime to us…), but even we have to admit that the idea of Superman flying around the globe to build up speed before rocketing himself through the vehicle is pretty cool.

What do you guys think? Are you bummed that we never got to see Superman: Flyby? Does this concept art make you more interested in the project, or are you okay with the fact that it never got off the ground?


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