You’ve all heard the story, in the late 90’s, Tim Burton was scheduled to direct a Superman film entitled Superman Lives, which was to be written by Kevin Smith and star Nicolas Cage as the Man of Steel.
It was to be a radically different take on Superman that makes Man of Steel look traditional by comparison. It also never came to be for a number of different reasons. With The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened?, a new documentary by AMC Movie Talk’s Jon Schnepp, this fascinating chapter in this history of DC’s biggest icon is explored in depth.
Check out the trailer below for the film, which opens in select theaters on May 1st and expands on July 9th.
The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened? delves into one of Hollywood’s most enthralling ‘what could have been’ stories. In 1996, Warner Brothers engaged Kevin Smith to write the screenplay (‘Superman Lives’). Director Tim Burton assembled an elite group of artists to work on Superman Lives, including Nicolas Cage as Superman. Warner Brothers scrapped the project shortly before principal photography began.
This documentary, directed by Jon Schnepp, features interviews with director Tim Burton; producers Jon Peters and Lorenzo diBonaventura; screenwriters Kevin Smith, Wesley Strick, and Dan Gilroy; production designer Rick Heinrichs; special effects artist Steve Johnson; storyboard artist Tim Burgard; costume designer Colleen Atwood, and many more. This film delivers an inside look into what would have been the most original, unexpected and cosmic Superman movie ever made.
Sounds like something I need to see. On a related note, Superman vs. Hollywood is a great book that digs into this subject and all of the projects that came before and after (stopping short of Man of Steel).
Entertainment Editor for The Beat covering film, television and the occasional comic book. His work can also be found at GeekRex.com and can be heard on the GeekRex podcast. Also, your go-to Grant Morrison/Love & Rockets/Hellboy/Legion of Super-Heroes expert.