It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… not a prequel in the traditional sense.
Krypton, Syfy’s forthcoming saga about Superman’s grandfather Seyg-El (played by Cameron Cuffe), is a show set in the past, with stakes set in the present day. Confused yet? Allow executive producers Cameron Welsh and Damian Kindler to clarify.
“There’s an attack that comes from our present day, which is the future for Krypton, that has sort of traveled back in time to try and ensure that Superman is never born,” Welsh told Michael Ausiello at TVLine’s Comic-Con interview suite. “It starts as a prequel and becomes something about rewriting history,” added Kindler. “It’s not really relevant to go look at the past unless it has an absolutely diamond-hard impact on the present, and that is the framework we’re working within.”
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The inspiration for the series, Kindler explained, was that “there is so much about the origin of Superman… that we don’t know and haven’t mined. There’s such a huge appetite for everything having to do with… where he came from [and] what world and culture fostered the greatest hero who ever lived.” What’s more, most of the existing canon involving Krypton “centers around Jor-El,” Welsh noted, “and to be able to take it another generation removed from that, it just opens it up for us and allows us to… deepen the existing mythology.”
As for how Seyg-El’s origin story differs from Kal-El’s? “He had a way harsher upbringing than Kal-El had,” Cuffe explained, having done his homework ahead of portraying the Man of Steel’s granddad. “Kal-El had the benefit of growing up on the Kent farm with this beautiful, open family that taught him that these gifts are here for a reason, that he has a responsibility to share them with the world. Seyg-El grows up in a very stringent, strict society that has a rigorous class system… He’s rasher and angrier and just a bit harsher than Kal-El.”
“There’s quite a journey for the character to take,” Welsh said, emphasizing that Seyg-El’s actions could significantly impact his grandson’s future. “No pressure,” Kindler added with a laugh.
Also on tap in the above Q&A is a discussion about the potential to see characters from Superman’s well-documented universe (Lois Lane?!), as well as some rather unexpected DC Comics personalities once Krypton premiere in 2018.