I can understand why Nolan an Goyer avoided Joker in the Batman Begins; Joker had been done to death in the past, and they instead focused on something new with Scarecrow and Ra's al Ghul.
If this Zod crap pans out, then Nolan and Goyer are only serving to make "Richard Donner Continues Part II". There is absolutely no reason to save Brainiac for later, and it's ridiculous that he hasn't been used in *any* film up until now.
I hope the Zod report is wrong. I don't want to see Zod. At all.
Nolan and Goyer are obviously thinking long-term. I'm sure when they sat down to outline the story for this particular film, like they did for Batman Begins
, they outlined not just one film but three. I'm not sure how the Joker had been done to death in the past; his last on-screen appearance before The Dark Knight
was 1989's Batman
(that is if you're discounting Mask of the Phantasm
, but I was referring to live-action and not animation). Nolan probably went for Ra's al Ghul and Scarecrow to try and separate Begins
from the previous films as much as possible since Batman & Robin
put a rather nasty taste in people's mouths.
I think if you use Brainiac in the first film, then any other villain you use for future installments just isn't going to hold up. I don't mean to belittle the Superman mythology, but he doesn't have the best rogue's gallery. Brainiac in many ways is Superman's equivalent to the Joker for Batman. Using him in the first film doesn't make much sense unless you can foreshadow a bigger appearance later. After Brainiac, other threats such as Luthor and Metallo just don't measure up in my opinion. It makes sense to build toward a Brainiac appearance.
Also, Nolan likes to think narrative structure for his films and puts a prominence on story. He has said in the past that he usually comes up with the story first, and then decides which characters best inform that story. That's why the past two Batman
films have been so strong because he doesn't cherry pick certain characters and then formulate a story around them; he lets the story inform the characters. If this first chapter of a new Superman
on-screen mythology is going to tie into Superman's origins or history at all, it makes sense for the first film to feature General Zod, who has connections to Krypton and Superman's past. I can see why Nolan and Goyer would choose Zod coming out of the gate. It makes sense.
Of course, Zod will probably not be the only villain in the story. I'm sure we'll see Luthor as well with some foreshadowing or cameo appearances from other villains that will later play larger roles in future installments. Nolan likes to create a believable world full of rich characters and judging from his Batman
films he doesn't just settle on one villain, but many.