TRAILER: ‘Superman Unbound’

Curiously buried within the bonus features of the Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2 video release is a short feature on Warner’s next DC Universe Animated Original Movie, Superman Unbound. Once Conor alerted me to it, I loaded it up and watched in escalating glee.


A loose adaptation of Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s “Brainiac” storyline, it’s what I’d consider the most promising project in Bruce Timm’s line of direct to video animated features, maybe to date. While I was pretty anxious for Batman: Year One (a mostly successful if uneven production), Unbound has a bit more going for it, including an inspired cast sheet from top to bottom, DKR scripter Bob Goodman, and the directive for a less rigid adaptation. Plus, the source material from which it borrows was a wonderful little story arc. Everything just seems right about this one.

Let’s have a look at a newly released trailer from The Nerdist.

White Collar‘s Matt Bomer sounds like a perfect Superman, brimming with midwestern charm. Castle’s Stana Katic and Molly Quinn seem equally well-suited as a tough-as-nails Lois and tragic, youthful Kara, respectively. Then there’s John Noble (John Noble!) as the menacing Brainiac. They’ve outdone themselves casting this one.

And no, it doesn’t look remotely similar to Gary Frank was doing (except maybe in Kara’s character design). But that style would prove pretty ungainly in motion. Instead, we’ve got this 60’s inspired vibe, replete with a delightfully retro Kandor backdrop. Not a poor substitute in the least.

This one’s coming soon, just not soon enough.




  1. This looks good!

    But if you weren’t happy with the Dark Knight Returns adaptation, I’m not sure how anything will please you.

    • Who wasn’t happy with it?

    • Avatar photo Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      If you mean me, I was happy with it. Just didn’t consider it flawless. I think I’m pretty reasonable.

    • I want to chime in here and say Paul Montgomery is an Armchair Fanboy. SHAZAM! He’s a wanna-be geeky-nerd. KA-POW! Shouldn’t there be a hazing period for Paul. RAZE THE BEARD! C’mon, who’s with me?

      Superman Unbound looks good, btw.

    • Avatar photo Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      June 2008. Four and a half years on staff. How ya doin.

    • Sorry didn’t mean anyone here specifically. Just trying to say that fanboy expectation is sometimes impossibly high for these things

    • I’m happy with all the direct to video DC animated features, they’re PG-13 cartoons aimed at adults and have solid animation, they don’t need to be flawless, just good forms of escapism that we can get lost in for an hr & a 1/2. I would love to see more stuff like they did with The Spectre short though. Marvel Knights recently announced an Inhumans animated movie, I look forward to that left field choice for sure, love the cosmic.

  2. Definitely looking forward to seeing this! I thought All-Star Superman and Superman Vs The Elite were two of the best films to come out these great animated movies. Plus I don’t think you can lose with Brainiac in your story

  3. This looks awesome. I love the animation style. Sometimes I’m a little put off by the animation styles in these movies, but this one looks fitting. I can’t wait to see this.

  4. This looks cool. I’m not a Superman fan per se but I might have to track down the Geoff Johns run on Action Comics. Is the whole run worth getting into or should I start with the Brainiac arc?

    • John’s run is one of my favorite Superman runs of all time. It really starts with “Last Son” and ends with “Brainiac”.

    • I only read Superman in trade and Brainiac and Last Son were two my 1st ones that got me into him, 1st was Red Son by Mark Millar, love that Elseworlds stuff…but none of them are pricey or too long but arcs are good, they should do a Geoff Johns Action Comics Absolute or omnibus.

    • Check out Johns’ entire Action run. It’s worth it.

  5. I can’t wait for this. Also, Matt Boomer is a big Superman fan and I’m glad he got the role.

  6. Personally, I feel like anyone other than Tim Daly voicing Superman is like anyone other than Kevin Conroy voicing Batman. As in it should not happen. That being said, this guy doesn’t seem too bad.

  7. Love them red trunks on Superman

  8. I’ll probably buy this, but what I really want is an Absolute Johns/Frank Superman. All 3 of their stories, Secret Origin, Legion, and Brainiac together in one nice tomb (18 issues!). Please, give it to me DC.

  9. Looks good, as with all DC animated features. Could do without the Will Smith “welcome to earth” line though.


      Very much looking forward to this one. Between Man of Steel, Superman Unbound and Scott Synder’s new series, things are finally looking up for our Mr. Kent.

    • HAHA! That’s what I was thinking as well.

      I like the design elements. Color pallet looks different than the other DCU animated films. All the Krypton designs look particularly nice. I like that they are staring to play around with the character design a little more. It would be really interesting if they pushed the style way out and got someone with a really unique style like Genndy Tartakovsky to do a film.

      I understand this would require a larger budget being that the whole process would be different, but a guy can dream can’t he?

  10. This looks fantastic.

    A Superman and the Legion of Super Heroes movie would be the best, hope they do it!

  11. Wow I wad worried DC might be shutting down these animated films but from Superman vs the Elite, the two DKRs, and this they seem to be putting out more films than ever.

  12. Of their three animated features to be released this year, this is easily my most anticipated. Sounds like a great cast though, admittedly, I’m not keen on the art direction for this one and that’s from someone who really enjoyed the look of Superman vs The Elite.

  13. I love when the story allows for Supes to cut loose and be a total badass. As the farm boy Midwest charm burns away to reveal a kryptonian ass kicker, I love that. I think I shall indeed love this.

  14. My thing about this is that Superman: Brainiac was almost like a horror story. This just feels like another Superman slugfest.

  15. I never even heard of Superman Unbound, but this looks pretty cool!

  16. Anybody know for sure if they are doing a Showcase short feature for this one? Those were kewl!

  17. maybe a New Krypton follow up to this?!

  18. This does look good, although John Noble’s voice doesn’t sound as mechanical as I’d like (robot voice, like Supes:TAS). I’d love to see Noble as Hugo Strange in a future batman movie.