Warner Bros. may be looking to get Brainiac on the big screen again.
The villain, who has been the "planned villain" in some never-made feature films and is being featured prominently on SYFY's Krypton, is apparently now the odds-on favorite to stand against Supergirl in her upcoming movie, according to SuperBroMovies' Daniel RPK.
Brainiac was slated to appear in the Kevin Smith-written Superman Lives, which Tim Burton was to direct with Nicolas Cage in the lead role. That film almost happened, to the point where there are photos of Cage in costume, but stopped before it got off the ground.
He was also reportedly the planned antagonist for a potential sequel to Superman Returns from Bryan Singer, and could have played a role in a JJ Abrams-produced Superman movie that wasn't.
Indigo and Brainiac-13, both of whom have ties to Brainiac, have appeared in Supergirl. The villain himself has appeared in various animated forms over the years, including as the main villain in the animated feature film Superman Unbound, but made his live-action debut in Smallville. The full-on, skull-ship-riding, green-skinned alien version finally came to life on Krypton earlier this year.
A popular tweak to Brainiac's backstory, used in Krypton, might explain why he is a villain Warners would consider for Supergirl: While Superman was blasted off from the dying world as a newborn, his cousin was a teenager when Krypton died. She lived for years on Krypton and lost everyone and everything she knew when the planet was destroyed, which makes her feel like more of a refugee on Earth than Superman is.
This is significant as it pertains to Brainaic, because non-comics adaptations seem to like to make Brainiac responsible in some way for the planet's destruction, which would make him more obviously a Supergirl villain than a Superman one in some ways.
On Krypton, Brainiac's theft of the city of Kandor which ultimately led to the planet's destruction: the Collector of Worlds's attack destabilized the planet's core, and left Krypton so compromised that even the world's advanced technology could not save them. In Superman: The Animated Series, Brainiac was a Kryptonian computer, and responsible for the planet's destruction on purpose.
The Supergirl movie is still technically a rumor, although one that has a lot of heat and even some actors and filmmakers starting to get connected to it in the public imagination. Some reports indicate that Supergirl is being looked at as a potential stand-in for Superman movies if Henry Cavill does indeed leave the role.