Bryan Singer didn’t get a second chance at making another Superman movie after Superman Returns failed to re-launch the franchise for Warner Bros. and DC, but he did have plenty of ideas that went unused. One of these ideas may have been for the villain Doomsday, arguably the most dangerous of Superman’s foes, to appear in Superman Returns or its never-meant-to-be sequel.
Fortunately for us moviegoers and fans, some of those ideas at least made their way to paper as conceptual art and special effects artist Steve Johnson was kind enough to share some of his own art that he dubbed as “Bryan Singer Superman Concepts.”
The artwork depicts several different designs for Kal-El’s earthly superhero costume and the most interesting of all, a few sketches of what Johnson confirmed is what may have become a live-action version of Doomsday. Two of the images are labelled as “Flyby,” referring to the film Superman: Flyby which never made it out of early development. It was based on a J.J. Abrams script where Krypton still exists and Lex Luthor is a UFO-crazed government agent. Brett Ratner was supposed to direct for a 2004 release.
Take a look at Johnson’s artwork below to see what might have been:
I don’t mind certain aspects of some of the costume designs here but I can’t say I dig the built-in belt, if you could even call it that. I understand the objective of streamlining and smoothening out the aesthetic and feel of the Superman costume and it certainly needs some sort of utility belt to break up the solid blue tights, but the gold/yellow orb-looking things don’t look right. My top pick goes to the one that comes with a cityscape background drawn in.
Had they gone with any of these designs for Brandon Routh’s outfit, fans would have been even more upset about the costume changes than they already were with the smaller logo on his (I had no problems with his costume).
As for Doomsday, I think it looks cool, but it’s just a sketch. The CGI effects would be the make-or-break on how they pulled off a live-action Doomsday and made the action sequences with him look believable. Either way, these didn’t come to be and now Zack Snyder is charged with giving the Superman movie franchise new life. I look forward to his visual style and ideas for bringing back Clark Kent to the silver screen.