The movie series unofficially known as the DC Extended Universe is often criticised for the look and feel of its characters, but many of them were almost very different.
Rejected concept artwork is a reality of blockbuster filmmaking. Artists are hired to draw up a batch of images based on the description of the main heroes and villains, the backdrops and the key props, and stacks of them are discarded.
Obviously filmmakers and movie studios aim to chose the best of the bunch, but they don’t always get it right, and this is certainly true of the DECU franchise – just look at how some of the CGI characters in Justice League have been received.
There have been five instalments in the cinematic universe so far: Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman and the aforementioned Justice League, and scrapped concept art from all of these films has surfaced since they were released, cropping up in Blu-ray extras and online leaks.
Even if you happen to think every character in the DCEU is perfect, it’s interesting to examine the alternative visions for them and imagine what might have been…
1. Superman In His Comics-Accurate Costume – Man Of Steel
Man of Steel director Zack Snyder trawled through more than 1,500 concept designs for Superman’s suit before selecting its final form, and some of the outfits that were scrapped are at least as cool as the one Henry Cavill ended up donning.
This one is more comics-accurate, right down to the red underwear. As cheesy as this trope can be, concept artist Warren Manser still makes Supes look positively badass, and the flaming S on his chest is a nice touch.
Although many would agree that losing the briefs was a good move, Cavill’s Supes really needs some colour to break up all of that blue from his chest down, maybe a Batman-style utility belt or something.
Manser also drew up an image of Superman in his classic black costume, subtly different from the dark suit Cavill’s wears during Man of Steel’s dream sequence.