10 Superhero Films You Won't Believe Could Have Happened

9. J.J. Abrams's Superman: Flyby

DC Comics

Long before J.J. Abrams turned his hand to Star Trek and Star Wars, he was attached to write - and possibly direct, if he had his way - a film based on another nerd icon: the Man of Steel, himself.

Back in 2002, Warner Bros. wanted to put out another Superman film, and they hired Abrams to write the script. Two other directors were in the running for the gig: Brett Ratner and McG. Abrams lobbied for the director gig, himself.

But what did the job entail? What was the script like? Well, the film - titled Superman: Flyby - would've seen Superman fighting his evil cousin, Ty-Zor (an original villain). He also would've had to contend with Lex Luthor, a UFO-obsessed CIA agent. Why? Because Luthor was actually a Kryptonian sleeper agent, complete with Superman's powers. Whaaa?!

Superman would've been killed and revived (sound familiar), returning to Earth from Kryptonian heaven to defeat Ty-Zor once and for all. Also, Krypton wasn't destroyed.

Potential Supermen included Ashton Kutcher, Matt Bomer, Brendan Fraser, Paul Walker, James Marsden, Jared Padalecki, and Henry Cavill (weirdly enough).

The project eventually fell through, and we got Superman Returns, instead.


Dustin is your friendly neighborhood historian, nerd culture enthusiast, and professional wise-ass. Some of his favorite pastimes include writing, philosophizing, and antagonizing stupid people.