The main protagonist of Man of Steel was General Zod, one of few remaining Kryptonians who survived their home world’s destruction. Admittedly, he’s one of Superman’s most prominent adversaries but was ultimately defeated by Kal-El in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. In one of the director’s interviews for Army of the Dead, Snyder revealed that Henry Cavill would have fought an iconic Superman villain in Man of Steel 2.
According to Heroic Hollywood, a website centered on superhero movies, Snyder revealed that Man of Steel 2 would have featured an iconic Superman villain – an extraterrestrial cybernetic organism known as Brainiac. He also disclosed that other Kryptonians from the Phantom Zone might still be alive somewhere and would have appeared in Henry Cavill’s sequel. However, those plans fell apart since Zack Snyder isn’t on good terms with Warner Bros, the franchise owner, and won’t be involved if Man of Steel 2 is ever made.
Snyder’s 2013 Man of Steel film, starring Henry Cavill, was an absolute success and a good starting place for the Warner Bros.’ DC cinematic universe that would match the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Despite WB’s heavy interference in Snyder’s creative vision, Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Zack Snyder’s Justice League performed exceptionally well, prompting the continuation of the story in sequel movies, like Man of Steel 2. Given Brainiac’s history with Superman, the cybernetic alien would’ve been a logical choice for the Henry Cavill movie, especially since he hadn’t yet been introduced adequately in live-action at the time.
With The Snyderverse on hold at the time, fandom had to wait for 2018’s Krypton TV series to get a good look at one of Superman’s greatest adversaries in live-action. He was the main antagonist of the series season one and a more benign appearance in season two. However, in Snyder’s recent outing with Warner Bros, this might be the only proper cinematic interpretation of Brainiac we’ll ever see, which is somewhat sad.
As we previously said, the Henry Cavill script had Brainiac as the villain for Man of Steel 2. Brainiac is an extraterrestrial cyborg conqueror seeking technological domination who shrinks and collects entire worlds for preservation and study. In some continuities, Brainiac shrunk and stole Kandor, the capital city of planet Krypton, which destabilized the planet’s core, leading to its destruction. Given that Superman’s often referred to as “The Last Son of Krypton,” it’s pretty easy to draw a story outline with Brainiac as the villain. And given Snyder’s talent for action and grim storytelling, we’ll assume that it would’ve been a great story.
Unfortunately, Warner Bros decided to shut down the Henry Cavill sequel, opting to continue the story differently – much to fandom’s discontent. It’s improbable that the company will have a change of mind or heart and reinstate Henry Cavill as the Man of Steel, let alone Zack Snyder as the sequel’s director. The company was firm regarding the fate of The Snyderverse, which could mean that we won’t get to see Superman fight Brainiac on the big screen. Luckily, the iconic Superman villain is the main antagonist of the Injustice 2 video game, leading to a Batman versus Superman conflict which potentially gives rise to Dictator Superman.