“You really have to look outside of the Earth”: The Villain Zack Snyder Wanted for Man of Steel 2 May be Finally Coming in James Gunn’s Superman Movie

The first image of David Corenswet's Superman in his suit seems to have more clues that fans realized.

David Corenswet as Superman


  • Zack Snyder launched the DCEU with the Henry Cavill starrer Man of Steel in 2013, beginning the shared DC universe.
  • However, Snyder's plans for the franchise never materialized, including a Man of Steel 2 which saw Brainiac as the villain.
  • The new image from James Gunn's Superman reboot reveals hints towards the appearance of this villain in the film.
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Zack Snyder launched the DCEU back in 2013 with the Henry Cavill starrer Man of Steel. While the film was a reboot of the Superman franchise, it also acted as the first film in a planned shared universe which would ultimately lead to the Justice League, much like DC’s competitors Marvel. Snyder even had a planned five-part story for the film franchise.


However, Snyder got to truly realize his vision due to the studio’s mismanagement issues and his own personal problems. The filmmaker was reportedly also planning a Man of Steel 2, which would have seen Superman fight Brainiac. While the film never materialized, the first image from James Gunn’s Superman might indicate the presence of the popular villain.

James Gunn’s Superman Image Indicates The Presence Of Braniaic

The first image of David Corenswet as Superman in James Gunn's Superman
David Corenswet in James Gunn’s Superman

After James Gunn and Peter Safran were tasked with revamping the DCEU that was launched by Zack Snyder, Gunn announced that he would be rebooting the franchise with a new Superman film, which was then titled Superman: Legacy. The filmmaker would be directing it himself and it would focus on a younger Superman, thus ending the tenure of Henry Cavill as the superhero.


Gunn’s film Superman was launched earlier this year and stars David Corenswet as the titular hero. The film had an ensemble cast of Rachel Brosnahan, Isabela Merced, Nathan Fillion, Anthony Carrigan, and Nicholas Hoult, with the latter playing Superman’s formidable foe Lex Luthor (via Vanity Fair).

Brainiac in a battle with Superman in Superman: The Animated Series
Brainiac in Superman: The Animated Series

While the film has many superheroes joining the party such as Green Lantern, Mister Terrific, Hawkgirl, and Supergirl, the recent image shared by Gunn of Corenswet in his suit for the first time has hinted at another iconic character of the DC franchise. Behind Corenswet is a large ball of energy in the sky shooting a pink beam of light into the city. There are hints of green as well.

The colors are reminiscent of the popular DC villain Brainiac. The villain has been a staple in Sueprman’s stories and has traded blows with him multiple times. Brainiac is known for collecting knowledge from different parts of the universe by shrinking a city and destroying the population’s homeworld. If he makes an appearance in Superman, it would be the character’s first live-action depiction.


Zack Snyder Had Already Planned To Include Brainiac In Man of Steel 2

Henry Cavill as Superman in the battle at Kansas in Zack Snyder's Man of Steel
Henry Cavill in Man of Steel

While speculations about James Gunn’s Superman having Braniaic as a secondary villain have been making the rounds, the villain was reportedly confirmed to appear in Zack Snyder’s unmade Man of Steel sequel. The filmmaker, who launched the DCEU with Man of Steel had various plans for the sequel, which included the Colu resident.

In an interview with Bro Bible, Zack Snyder mentioned that he wanted to introduce the villain in the next film while also building on the Kryptonians in the Phantom Zone, who were there with General Zod in the first film. Snyder said,

“We talked about a Brainiac movie. But I do think that the Kryptonians that are in the Phantom Zone are probably still around. And there was always a possibility for their return. Faora and whoever’s left. That was a thing that was always out there that we talked about as a possible sequel.”

Zack Snyder also mentioned that he wanted to give Superman more alien challenges as he was too powerful to be threatened by earthly antagonists and hence someone like Brainiac would have been the perfect villain for him in Man of Steel 2. He said,


“I just think it’s best to give Superman these extraterrestrial challenges because I think you’ve got to be careful with — other than Lex Luthor, because, of course, you have to continue with Lex, because Lex is his real nemesis — but I think you really have to look outside of the Earth for challenges for him because of how powerful he is.”

However, the film never materialized due to WB’s management issues, and even after announcing Henry Cavill’s return to the franchise, the actor had to double down and depart as James Gunn came on board with a reboot.


Written by Nishanth A

Articles Published: 985

Nishanth A is a Media, English and Psychology graduate from Bangalore. He is an avid DC fanboy and loves the films of Christopher Nolan. He has published over 400 articles on FandomWire. When he's not fixating on the entire filmography of a director, he tries to write and direct films.