Henry Cavill’s ‘Superman: Flyby’ Screen Test Revealed

See the ‘Man of Steel’ star in the suit from this ill-fated DC Comics movie. Robert Downey Jr. was attached as Lex Luthor, but they never made it to the screen.

Years before Man of Steel became an international hit, Henry Cavill was attached to star as Clark Kent/Superman in the ill-fated Superman: Flyby, which was written by J.J. Abrams with McG set to direct and Robert Downey Jr. starring as Lex Luthor. The project ultimately fell apart, reportedly because of McG's fear of flying, since Warner Bros. wanted to shoot in Australia and the director opted for an American production. Ultimately, Bryan Singer took the reins and reworked it into the 2006 adventure Superman Returns. Today, we have the first photo of Henry Cavill from his 2004 screen test, plus a photo of the red and blue suit he was wearing.

Superman: Flyby Photo 1

Superman: Flyby Photo 2

Of course, it turned out just fine for Henry Cavill, but it does lead one to wonder what might have been, especially with a J.J. Abrams script and Robert Downey Jr. as Luthor.

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Comments (23)

  1. undeadslayer4

    @themoviefanatic ok i was just checking

    1 year agoby @undeadslayer4Flag

  2. Sean

    @undeadslayer4 Of course they did!

    1 year agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

  3. undeadslayer4

    @themoviefanatic wow i thought they used cgi for the flying

    1 year agoby @undeadslayer4Flag

  4. Sean

    @undeadslayer4 Apparently, it went well because Henry Cavill starred in Man of Steel !

    1 year agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

  5. undeadslayer4

    @themoviefanatic i wonder how that went

    1 year agoby @undeadslayer4Flag

  6. undeadslayer4

    @gandoff agreed a prequel with jor el wouldve been really badass

    1 year agoby @undeadslayer4Flag

  7. Truly79

    I would have loved to see RDJ as Lex. But thank god McSh*t didn't direct it.

    1 year agoby @truly79Flag

  8. Gandoff

    You know what kind of movie I would just LOVE to see? Krypton. A movie based on Jor El and the build up to what was the end. Not just the set up for them to send Superman to earth. Or even some time before. But I doubt DC would let anything be done.

    1 year agoby @gandoffFlag

  9. Gandoff

    Lets all be honest. What kind of name is McG? Its like he is the child of Ronald McD...

    1 year agoby @gandoffFlag

  10. Sean

    @mieko-siede I agree. Good point.

    1 year agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

  11. Mieko_Siede

    @themoviefanatic J.J. Abrams, yes, but it was only written by him. McG was set to direct. It would have been interesting to see Robert Downey Jr. as Lex Luthor...though I believe that would have gotten in the way of him ever being Tony Stark which would have been tragic. So in the end I guess things worked out for the best. Everything happens for a reason.

    1 year agoby @mieko-siedeFlag

  12. Sean

    @mieko-siede Oh, I see. that would have been interesting to get to see a Superman movie directed by J.J. Abrams and starring Henry Cavill though !

    1 year agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

  13. Mieko_Siede

    @themoviefanatic No, it was a different incarnation of a different title. Although Abrams did not there were certain key similarities between his script and what ultimately became Man of Steel.

    1 year agoby @mieko-siedeFlag

  14. Mieko_Siede

    It also kind of looks like the New 52 suit like the comic could have been modeled from this. Just interesting to see what it was leaving it to the imagination of what it could have been. Although I firmly believe that even if it was good, it wasn't the time for that movie yet.

    1 year agoby @mieko-siedeFlag

  15. Sean

    Oh my god! The screen test for Man of Steel took place back in 2004, 9 years before Man of Steel was released to theaters?

    1 year agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

  16. Brizzy

    @ObiWanShinobi Laughed my ass off.

    1 year agoby @BrizzyFlag

  17. Dfella504

    I think it would've worked

    1 year agoby @dfellaFlag

  18. ed_wood


    1 year agoby @ed-woodFlag

  19. Mieko_Siede

    Looks like it was similarly designed to the suit Nicholas Cage would have worn in Tim Burton's Superman Lives. In fact, some of the design overall made it into the Man of Steel costume.

    1 year agoby @mieko-siedeFlag

  20. ObiWanShinobi

    ...Afraid to fly?


    1 year agoby @ObiWanShinobiFlag

  21. TheDude1

    The suit looks awful and McG to direct? That would have been even worse. But damn in my opinion Cavill was born to play Superman.

    1 year agoby @thedude1Flag

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