Saturday, November 4, 2017

KRYPTON Casts Blake Ritson as Brainiac

Brace yourselves, the misspelling of "Brainiac" as "Braniac" is coming.

Deadline has word that the upcoming Syfy series Krypton, based on lore from the DC Comics character Superman, has cast Blake Ritson as the DC Comics supervillain Brainiac.  The role will be a series regular.

According to the article, Brainiac is described as "a parasitic, hyper-advanced alien android of immense intelligence.  Brainiac is one of Superman’s oldest and most dangerous foes."

Krypton is set two generations before the destruction of the legendary Man of Steel's home planet and will follow Superman's grandfather — whose House of El was ostracized and shamed — as he fights to redeem his family's honor and save his beloved world from chaos.

Ritson, 39, is an English actor probably best known as Girolamo Riario on the Starz series Da Vinci's Demons.  His other television appearances include episodes of The League of Gentlemen, Indian Summers, World Without End, Upstairs Downstairs, Emma, Casualty, Urban Gothic, and Red Cap.

Created in 1958 by Otto Binder and Al Plastino, Brainiac first appeared in Action Comics (vol.1) #242 as a bald, green-skinned humanoid who arrived on Earth and shrank various cities, including Metropolis, storing them in bottles with the intent of using them to restore the then-unnamed planet he ruled. including the Kryptonian bottle city of Kandor.  In 1964's Superman (vol.1) #167, Brainiac's origin was retconned into making him a machine created by the Computer Tyrants of Colu as a spy for them to invade other worlds, for which he was given a non-computer appearance.  Brainiac's distinctive gridwork of red diodes across his head are also explained.  He was created with visible "electric terminals of his sensory nerves" that he could not function without.  Lex Luthor discovered that the Computers could have given Brainiac 12th-Level intellect, but gave him a 10th-Level, the same as them, so he would not try to dominate them.

In the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths DC Comics continuity, Brainiac's history was completely rewritten.  The post-Crisis version of Brainiac was now a radical Coluan scientist called Vril Dox who, having attempted to overthrow the Computer Tyrants of Colu, was sentenced to death.  In his last moments before disintegration, his consciousness was attracted light years away to Milton Fine, a human sideshow mentalist who worked under the alias "Brainiac".  Needing cranial fluid to maintain his possession of Fine, Dox went on a murder spree.  He discovered that Fine had genuine psychic powers and thus a metahuman, which he frequently wielded against Superman.  During a later skirmish with Superman in Metropolis, Milton Fine's body was irreparably damaged, leaving Brainiac with only a short time to live.  In order to preserve his life, he concocted an elaborate scheme by having an agent of his, a Coluan named Prin Vnok, use a time machine to travel to the End of Time itself and retrieve the creature known as Doomsday.  Doomsday had been left there by Superman and Waverider to ensure that he would never be a threat again, Brainiac planned to use Doomsday as a new host body.  Superman thwarted Brainiac's plot by driving him out of Doomsday's body with the use of a telepathy-blocking "psi-blocker", forcing Brainiac out of Doomsday and leaving him with no other option but to adopt a recently designed robotic body, dubbed Brainiac 2.5, which he could not abandon.

In 2013, Brainiac received another new origin as part of the New 52 DC Comics continuity.  In this version, Brainiac was first seen as the mysterious informant that supplied Lex Luthor with information of Superman and his alien nature.  Clark Kent had a dream of Krypton's final moments in which an artificial intelligence that controlled the planet woke up robots in an attempt to preserve the Kryptonian culture.  Later, while Clark conducted an interview in a robotic factory, the same harvester robots appeared.  Although they managed to defeat Brainiac, the alien sentience had already miniaturized and bottled the city of Metropolis and took it to his ship in space.  Superman traveled to the ship and found many alien bottled cities, Kandor included.  The alien identified himself as a being from the planet Colu, where he was known as C.O.M.P.U.T.O and on Krypton he was called Brainiac 1.0.  He claimed that without Superman and the ship that brought him to Earth, his Kryptonian collection is incomplete. The alien intelligence stated he would disable life support in both the Kandor and Metropolis bottles, and Superman was forced to choose which city to save using indestructible Kryptonian armor found on the ship.  Superman decided on neither, but still wore the armor.  Brainiac sent Metallo to attack Superman, but due to Superman's feelings for Lois Lane, Metallo broke free of Brainiac's control and joined Superman in his attack. Superman then used his rocket from Krypton that had also been miniaturized with Metropolis to attack Brainiac's mind. In doing so, Metropolis was returned to Earth and Superman took possession of Brainiac's ship and made it his new super citadel.

Ritson will be the second actor to portray Brainiac in live-action, after James Marsters on the WB/CW series Smallville.  He's also appeared in various animated projects, including The New Adventures of Superman (voiced by Cliff Owens), Challenge of the Super Friends (voiced by Ted Cassidy), Super Friends, Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show, and The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians (voiced by Stanley Ralph Ross), Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League, Static Shock, Justice League Unlimited, and Legion of Super-Heroes (voiced by Corey Burton), Batman: The Brave and the Bold (voiced by Richard McGonagle), Justice League Action (voiced by John de Lancie), Superman: Brainiac Attacks (voiced by Lance Henriksen), and Superman: Unbound (voiced by John Noble).

Krypton is expected to debut on Syfy sometime in 2018.

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