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Ty-Zor was intended to be the central antagonist of Superman: Flyby, a cancelled reboot of the Superman film franchise developed in the early 2000s following the disaster of the 1987 critically panned Superman IV: The Quest of Peace. He would have been a Kryptonian prince and Superman's cousin whose mission was to kill Superman under his father Kata-Zor's orders after his uncle Jor-El send Kal-El to Earth to fulfill a prophecy. Unfortunately, the project didn't materialize and a Superman movie remained in development hell for years until the release of Superman Returns in 2006.

He was intended to be portrayed by Joel Edgerton.

Biography

In July 2002, J.J. Abrams turned to Warner Bros. his own script for a Superman reboot entitled Superman: Flyby, an origin story which Abrams intended to be the first installment of a trilogy. In contrast to other filmed or unfilmed film adaptations of the Superman mythos, Abrams' script prominently differed in one thing: Krypton wasn't destroyed like in most adaptations. The story focused on Superman being send to Earth to fulfill a thousand year old prophecy which claims that two Kryptonian princes will fight yet only one prince will return to save Krypton from its destruction.

The story of Superman: Flyby started with Ty-Zor and his army arriving to Earth, ravaging cities until he faces Superman in a battle which lays waste on Metropolis. Fighting with his Kryptonian sword, Ty-Zor outmatches Superman and leaves him knocked out. In a flashback, it would have been revealed that Krypton wasn't destroyed and its cities were full of spider-tanks, robot soldiers and civil wars. When the Kryptonian senator Jor-El and his wife Lara Lor-Van send their son Kal-El to Earth so he can fulfill a prophecy which claims that he will eventually save his homeworld from destruction, Ty-Zor aids his father Kata-Zor to overthrow Jor-El (Kata-Zor's brother and Ty-Zor's uncle) with six-story mega-mechwarrior known as the Rouser and take over the government over the years, imprisoning Jor-El and tracking down Lara until they finally capture her so she can tell them where Kal-El is. When they are unable to extract the information, Ty-Zor and Kata-Zor torture Lara in front of Jor-El until an angry Ty-Zor grabs his father's blade and kills Lara. Kata-Zor then sends Ty-Zor to Earth to eliminate Superman.

During Superman's time on Earth, UFO-obsessed CIA agent Dr. Lex Luthor tries to have him executed, but when the government refuses to get rid of the Man of Steel, Luthor makes an alliance with Ty-Zor and his Kryptonian soldiers to get Superman killed after notifying Ty-Zor that the Kryptonian spy who was waiting for him on Earth had been killed (other versions had Luthor being the undercover Kryptonian spy himself). Once he finds Superman, Ty-Zor starts an immense aerial combat of Kryptonian martial arts with him and humiliates the Man of Steel after knocking him unconscious, asking the citizens of Metropolis if they still love Superman. However, as this happens, Lois Lane starts to drown inside a water tank on the Kelvin Observatory.

After the flashback sequence ended, Superman regains his consciousness but Ty-Zor leads Kal-El intro a trap, where he must choose whether to die from Kryptonite poisoning at the hands of Luthor or save Lois Lane from drowning. Evidently, Superman sacrifices himself to save Lois, leading Ty-Zor to announce Superman's death to the inhabitants of Earth and that the Earth will be destroyed as punishment for sheltering his cousin with the Rouser, destroying the military's aircraft when they try to intervene. However, Jor-El feels Kal-El's death and kills himself to meet him at Kryptonian heaven and convince him to return to Earth to fulfill the prophecy which will end the Kryptonian civil war. Said and done, Superman is brought back to life and Kata-Zor warns Ty-Zor that Kal-El hasn't been killed. Aware of Superman's revival, Ty-Zor pilots the Rouser to kill his cousin, fighting him across the city. Following a long battle, Superman destroys the Rouser, forcing Ty-Zor to fight on his own only to receive the beating of his life by Superman until Superman tries to get rid of the spike bomb that will destroy the Earth.

Taking advantage of Superman's vulnerability, Ty-Zor tries to kill a couple, a man and Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen to distract Superman, but Superman ultimately pulls Ty-Zor high enough above Metropolis to avoid any structural damages and the spike bomb safely detonates on the sky. Now defeated in the roof of the Metropolis Museum, Ty-Zor is offered mercy by a reluctant Superman, but he rejects his offer and tries to kill him with a Kryptonian blade. However, Superman avoids Ty-Zor's attack and flips him into the building's skylight, shattering it and falling into a Kryptonite stalagmite stored there, fatally injuring Ty-Zor. As he lays in agony, a dying Ty-Zor gets reprimanded by Lex Luthor, on whom Ty-Zor performs some kind of unknown transfer before he dies, allowing Superman to finally avenge his mother and all those Ty-Zor mercilessly killed.

In September 2002, Brett Ratner was hired to direct Superman: Flyby despite Abrams' interest on directing his own script. While casting for the film was underway, Joel Edgerton was cast in the part of Ty-Zor, who got made a clay sculpture designed by Eddie Yang of the Stan Winston Studio. Unfortunately, Ratner left the project supposedly due casting delays in March 2003 and McG, who had been considered to direct the cancelled Batman vs. Superman, was offered to direct the film, but then Warner Bros. had problems deciding the filming locations. In the end, Superman: Flyby was cancelled in favor of Bryan Singer's Superman Returns, which was released in 2006.

Trivia

  • Ty-Zor shared some similarities with General Zod, a prominent member from Superman's classic rogues gallery.
  • Before coming to the Warner Bros. studios and testing for the role of Ty-Zor, Joel Edgerton was approached by Warner to screen test for the role of Superman, but he declined to do so because the refusal of Josh Hartnett among other actors to audition for the lead.
  • In 2013, Geoff Johns mentioned that Warner Bros. is considering to turn unproduced screenplays for unfilmed live-action films into original animated films, even expressing interest in making an animated adaptation of the Superman: Flyby screenplay. If that happens, Ty-Zor might debut one day.
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