Perhaps the most legendary of all Hollywood movies never to be made, Superman Lives was to be directed by Tim Burton and star Nicolas Cage as the title superhero. The now infamous production was a series of poor decisions that eventually led it to its ultimate fate: the nearest waste management facility.
Yet fascinating tales of its surreal existence continue to this very day, and an upcoming documentary titled The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened? will aim to share many of these tales with you. The documentary acquired funding via Kickstarter a couple of years back now, and a trailer was released last year. Be sure to check those out for much more history on Superman Lives, and also the images of Cage as Superman if you haven’t seen them before.
Now the first 10 minutes of the documentary, which features discussions with many of the people involved in the failed movie such Burton, Kevin Smith, Jon Peters, Wesley Strick, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Dan Gilroy, and Colleen Atwood, has been shared by director Jon Schnepp and can be enjoyed below along with another trailer.
In January of last year Jon Schnepp, a Los Angeles-based director of the Adult Swim series Metalocalypse and The Venture Brothers as well as a contributor to the horror anthology feature The ABCs of Death, created a Kickstarter page to raise funds for a documentary he hoped to make about an aborted attempt to reboot the Superman franchise in the late 1990s. After raising the budget necessary to proceed Schnepp managed to secure interviews with several of the principal players and now The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened? is very much a reality.
Schnepp has released the first trailer for the film, which you watch here below.
People tend to forget, or have the memory surgically removed from their brains, that fifteen years ago we saw Superman battle Brainiac, Lex Luthor, and Doomsday on the big screen without the benefit of his trademark costume or even the ability to fly. The possibility that a universally adored icon of comic book heroics could have gone such a revisionist undertaking once is enough to send the most ardent Superman fans into therapy.
Had all the pieces fallen into place in the summer of 1998 Warner Bros. would have brought to the world the Last Son of Krypton’s biggest – and potentially strangest – movie adventure to date: Superman Lives, directed by Tim Burton from a screenplay credited to several different writers including independent filmmaker/geek icon/current critical pariah Kevin Smith and Wesley Strick (Martin Scorsese’s remake of Cape Fear), with no less than Nicolas Cage in the title role of the greatest hero of the DC Universe. Yes friends, this movie almost happened, except it didn’t happen.