Death of Superman Lives

Over the weekend we ran a clip from the documentary The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened? from Jon Schnepp, which chronicles Tim Burton‘s failed attempt to make a Superman movie starring Nicolas Cage. The film was in development and pre-production in the ’90s, based originally on a script from Kevin Smith, with a final revision from Dan Gilroy, who would eventually write and direct Nightcrawler.

The first ten minutes of The Death of Superman Lives are now online, and the long clip proves to be a good introduction to the story. It features Bryan Singer using still-infamous photos of Nic Cage in a Superman suit as a counter to exec interference on Superman Returns, and the disembodied head of comics writer Grant Morrison setting the stage for what could have been a very different Superman story. Read More »

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Nicolas Cage Superman costume test

Superman Lives, the ’90s effort that saw Tim Burton working on a Superman movie starring Nicolas Cage and originally scripted by Kevin Smith, is one of those “could have been” projects that continues to haunt fans. It haunted Jon Schnepp to such a degree that he made a documentary about it. The film, The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened?, is now complete and available for pre-order online. The movie is also doing some roadshow engagements, with a planned appearance at Comic Con.

Now you can check out a clip from the film, and it’s a big deal for those who’ve seen costume pics from the film over the years. This clip features a Nicolas Cage Superman costume test, and also reveals the degree to which one of the other now-famous designs from the film would have been used in the final movie. (Hint: barely.) Check out the great clip below. Read More »

Death of Superman Lives trailer

Superman Lives is one of the biggest mysteries in modern film history. After making the blockbuster superhero film Batman, filmmaker Tim Burton decided he would try to do something similar for Superman. Kevin Smith wrote a script, Burton cast Nicolas Cage in the lead role and got deep in to pre-production. However, at some point, it got canned. To this day, photos and videos from the pre-production set the Internet on fire.

But what happened? Well filmmaker Jon Schnepp decided to find out. He’a almost done with production on the documentary The Death of Superman Lives; What Happened? and to keep interest piqued, he’s released a second full trailer in as many months. Check out The Death of Superman Lives trailer below. Read More »

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Whether it’s a tragedy or a blessing that Tim Burton never got to make his Superman Lives remains up for debate, but thanks to all the toy prototypes, concept sketches, and whatnot that have emerged over the years, we’ve been able to cobble together an idea of what might have been. The latest glimpse at the movie that never was comes in the form of a photograph, showing would-be star Nicolas Cage in a test suit.

Interestingly, while other costume tests have shown some pretty out-there variations on Supes’ outfit (no surprise, considering it was a Burton project), this one hews much closer to his traditional getup from the comics. Assuming it’s in the standard primary colors, anyway. The photo’s in black and white, so it’s impossible to tell. Hit the jump to check it out.

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Movie projects fall apart all the time, and most of the time they simply fade from memory soon afterward. Years later, the people who actually worked on the movie might be the only ones who remember it even existed to begin with. But sometimes a failed effort is so bizarre or so high-profile — or both — that the public is still wondering about it, long after it’s become clear that it’ll never come to fruition.

One film that definitely falls into the latter category is Superman Lives, a proposed take from the ’90s that would’ve featured Nicolas Cage in the lead role with direction by Tim Burton and a script by Kevin Smith (among others). Even now, over a decade later, we’re intrigued when old bits of concept art or toy prototypes surface. While we’ll never get to see Burton’s vision for ourselves, an upcoming documentary by Jon Schnepp (Metalocalypse, Venture Bros.) aims to explore what could have been. More after the jump.

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