5) Gog. A newer villain, Gog was introduced in the Kingdom Come prestige miniseries. Many fans want to see an adaptation of that story, but it’ll never happen, so let’s take the relevant bits and make them work on screen. What’s great about Gog is that he’s been already retconned at least three times, so there’s no truly definitive version of him; you can take pieces of all the Gogs and make a newish character.
Powers: You name it. Super strength, speed, flight, energy manipulation. Time travel! He also is able to grant superhuman powers to others, a nifty way to introduce other villainous characters into the story.
The pitch: Gog travels back from the future, where the Earth is a devastated wasteland. He blames Superman and has come to kill him before he can make the mistakes that led to ultimate destruction. This creates an interesting situation for Superman, especially a young Superman as will be appearing in Zack Snyder’s Suddenly Superman - as he’s on the cusp of taking on the mantle of hero he becomes acutely aware of how badly someone with his powers can screw everything up.
4) Metallo. There have been a number of versions of Metallo over the decades. In the years since Crisis on Infinite Earths Metallo has been changed, upgraded, rebuilt, and granted new powers, giving him a nicely malleable history to exploit on film.
Powers: A super strong cyborg who happens to be powered by a huge chunk of Kryptonite.
The Pitch: Take John Byrne’s origin for Metallo: A scientist who discovers Kal-El’s birthing pod thinks that Superman is actually the first in a wave of Kryptonian invaders. He gets his hands on a two pound chunk of Kryptonite (which would be established as all the Kryptonite in the world) and creates Metallo as a way of defending Earth against the invasion.
Metallo is a smaller level threat, but he’s a more personal threat - and if you’re doing young Superman he’s an interesting threat in that he can be presented to the public as a hero out to get this alien. The reveal of Superman’s alien heritage is one of the most interesting things you can do with the established character - how does the public react when their new hero is actually from another planet?
Also, Metallo is a cool character from a visual standpoint. He’s essentially the Terminator of the Superman universe - at the beginning of the movie he’s a cyborg covered in skin, but by the end he’s revealed to be mostly machine.
3) The Kryptonite Man. Another character who has had so many iterations that Hollywood can freely pick and choose or mix and match the different versions.
Powers: He’s made of Kryptonite. He’s super strong as well.
The Pitch: I would take the latest version of The Kryptonite Man - a scientist trying to use Kryptonite to create a super energy source. When there’s a lab accident he is somehow completely transformed into a being of pure Kryptonite. And makes him a little nuts. With the help of his friends Superman has to stop the rampaging Kryptonite Man, but this is all first act stuff. See, it gets interesting once the Kryptonite Man is in custody and Superman learns that the US government, fearful of what would happen if Superman went bad, is going to dissect him in order to get their own huge supply of Kryptonite. What does our hero do with that information? How can he act to not only save the Kryptonite Man from dissection but to keep the government from having a weapon aimed at his head while not being a traitor?
2) Bizarro. A monstrous, backwards duplicate of Superman. He’s deeply confused and mixed up, but not usually presented as actually evil. In his original appearance in a Superboy comic, Bizarro is a mirror image of Superboy created by a duplicating ray. Later Bizarro used the duplication ray to create a whole planet for himself. Post-Crisis, Bizarro was a clone that went wrong.
Powers: All of Superman’s powers reversed - freeze vision, heat breath, etc.
The Pitch: I would go with the post-Crisis origin here - someone attempts to clone Superman, but not knowing that he’s an alien they screw it up, making the assumption they’re working with human DNA. I’d make the cloning group be The Cadmus Project, a super secret government organization that does genetic engineering experiments. Bizarro escapes Cadmus and Superman must stop him, and maybe even clean up the mess when a couple of other genetically altered beings get out of their government cages. This again brings us to the interesting topics of Superman at odds with the government and Superman’s alien heritage being revealed.
I also like the idea of Bizarro because he’s a tragic character. Just as Superman is perfect through an accident of birth, Bizarro is imperfect through an accident of creation. Neither character wanted to be the way they are, it’s just their lot in life.
1) Darkseid. The ultimate DC Comics supervillain. An almost supremely powerful being living on the planet Apokolips, ultimate evil of the New Gods, and seeker of the Anti-Life Equation, which gives the user control over the free will of all beings in the universe.
Powers: You name em, he’s got em. Plus he’s the dictator of a planet of warmongering godlings, and equipped with super science.
The Pitch: Can you say massive alien invasion? This is the Superman movie all the nerds have been waiting for - Darkseid brings the forces of Apokolips to Earth to ravage and destroy, and only the Last Son of Krypton can save our planet. You want to see huge scale action? You want to see an epic story? You want to see Superman as the real underdog? You want to see a massive evil that shakes the very world and threatens the extinction of humanity? You want to see The Man of Steel punching, smashing, exploding, and melting multiple enemies, in an all-out war for the Earth? Then make a movie with Darkseid already.