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More Development Art From Tim Burton's Aborted SUPERMAN LIVES!!


Merrick here...



I'm a huge sucker for the "alternate history" of television and cinema -  i.e. projects which almost came to pass but never did, or ultimately came to pass in far different ways than initially conceived.  Stuff like STAR TREK: PLANET OF TITANS, an early effort to bring the original TREK cast to the big screen before STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE came along.  That Philip Kaufman directed film would've found Kirk and the Enterprise crew in a stand off with Klingons over a legendary world, and a time loop which saw our heroes introducing fire to early man.  

Another favorite "What if...?" of mine is Tim Burton's defunct SUPERMAN LIVES - which got deep into a design process and costume development (pics HERE) before going belly-up.  Nic Cage would've been Superman in this iteration. 

 While that film went kaputski over a decade ago, we're still enjoying leaks from its pre-production - tantalizing glimpses of what the movie might've looked like under Burton's guidance.  

For example, THIS piece over at TimBurton.JP has a new passel of toy concept designs from the project, along with contextualization for what we're looking at.  A few snippets have been provided below...



Superman wears this suit in the rejuvenation chamber in the Fortress of Solitude.
Suit is laden with Kryptonian technology, including triangular-shaped energy ports for “plugging” Superman into the Eradicator technology (for restoration of his powers).




Special suit made from Eradicator technology that restores Superman’s powers during the darkness on Earth.



Superman appears in this suit in the beginning of the movie, until his “death.”Reflects an updated” 90’s look” to Superman’s traditional suit. 


All of this, and much more (including Brainiac's Skull Ship and Superman's tomb!)...can be found HERE at TimBurton.JP  This art follows up a smaller design dump from the project, which happened before Christmas but can still be found HERE.  

Thanks to ComicBookMovie for calling this to our attention.  


--- follow Merrick on Twitter ! ---

Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 3, 2012, 4:37 p.m. CST

    In Snyder We Trust

    by Rupee88

    and yeah that Nolan guy is not bad either..

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 4:38 p.m. CST


    by Orionsangels

    This is a perfect example on how a director's arrogant vision can change and destroy a beloved and iconic character that we all know and love.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 4:40 p.m. CST


    by 3774

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 4:40 p.m. CST

    I'm glad this died.

    by Norm3

    Two reasons this would suck, Jon Peters!

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 4:40 p.m. CST

    And Helena Bonham Carter could've played Lois...

    by truedog67

    I love Burton but I think this shit looks a little too over the top for a classic hero like Superman. I'm already worried about Zack Snyder making it into a 300 million dollar video game, but we'll hope his producer (NOLAN) keeps him in check.

  • fuck him.i prefer to see Snyder's version than his.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 4:42 p.m. CST


    by Rupee88

    yes got to agree with you. It's bullshit they are changing Spider-Man's costume in the new movie and I won't pay to see it because of that (as well as other reasons). But yes if you are going to change the costume this much, just make a new character and don't fuck up Superman just so you can use his name to sell tickets.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 4:42 p.m. CST

    Looks fyucking gay

    by picardsucks

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 4:44 p.m. CST

    Didn't his version....

    by 3774

    ...end up with a black costume, and Superman / Clark Kent being schizoid, and having a mental breakdown. You know, all 'dark and edgy' like the new 52 is flirting with? Or something along the lines (of coke) that the 'Man of Steel' may be?

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 4:45 p.m. CST

    I hate to say this, I wish this would have happened.

    by Randy

    I just can't imagine how insane this movie was going to be, the ideas are just crazy and the costume is so terrible that it's brilliant. A two hour Superman film by 90's Tim Burton with crazy costumes, special effects and Superman's death? Are you guys fucking kidding?How is this not one of the greatest pieces of what the fuck that could have been? It's so obvious to talk shit and attack Burton here for the insanity, but instead a huge tribute to Donner, we could have got something entirely original with Superman. I'm really sad this never happened, it would have been one of the biggest WTF's in movie history.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 4:45 p.m. CST


    by Battybrain

    Wow. That's just... awful. Dodged a bullet (speeding or otherwise) on that one.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 4:47 p.m. CST

    I still think Rob Zombie should remake "The Car"

    by Darth Macchio

    Since we're on the topic of story vehicles fitting the film auteur.... I think there was even a contest: what film should Rob Zombie make next? It's fucking obvious: THE CAR Starting Brolin's pop and some actual American Indians. It's a perfect fit for him and probably the best "devil car" exploitation film from the 70s

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 4:52 p.m. CST

    Just like Robocop 2's original script

    by Axl Z

    This would makes an interesting comic book..

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 5:01 p.m. CST

    I can see why it got canned

    by D o o d

    that suit is such a gimmick!

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 5:03 p.m. CST

    That last pic

    by mascan42

    looks like something a Dragonball Z fanboy would create. But it at least has a vague resemblance to the original suit, unlike everything else associated with this movie.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 5:05 p.m. CST

    Keep in mind...

    by what0083

    ...we got Superman Returns instead of this... I feel like Bryan Singer and his "Super-homewrecker" Superman deserves an apology... AT LEAST it was more faithful.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 5:16 p.m. CST

    The most astonishing thing about this trainwreck

    by Snookeroo

    is that Warner Bros decision makers are so out of touch with their properties, that this monstrosity could get this far into production before it was shit-canned.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 5:22 p.m. CST

    nic cage's receded hairline

    by Philip Tolken

    is about as super as that green strobe light effect. and i say that with the utmost sarcasm but, apparently 20 million a year is not enough for nic cage to live off of so maybe they should have made this turd. glad this got shit canned along with his career. now if only burton would go away.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 5:26 p.m. CST

    I like the George Reeves suit best

    by Crimson Dynamo

    Looks like an ordinary set of longjohns, would probably get trashed pretty easy stopping a train

  • Bryan Singer's Superman Returns was a great way to end the Donnerverse Superman story. I think Zach Snyder will make a great new version, as long as it is done like Nolan's Batman movies. Obviously after the disaster of 97's shocking Batman and Robin, the studio took one look at the style and premise of Burton's Superman and rapidly pulled the plug, especially since they were hip-deep in the shit storm that was 'The Avengers', a film so awful the Warner Bros had to throw a $40 million dollar cheque at Mel Gibson,and beg him to do 'Lethal Weapon 4' which was rushed into production and shoved into theatres in record time to prevent WB from having an utterly disastrous year.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 5:31 p.m. CST

    Super Mannequin Man (The 2nd Video)

    by Nick Michalak

    That mannequin with the vacuum-formed suit looks about as lifeless as Nic Cage himself. Even has his same dumfounded, slow witted expression.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 5:43 p.m. CST

    Superman does and always will suck

    by yourSTEPDADDY

    the only Superman is enjoyable is if Batman is involved, but then in reality Superman still sucks but Batman is there to balance out his suckitude with his awesomitity... ps: Superman reaaaaaally sucks

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 5:44 p.m. CST


    by grendel69

    is that shit???

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 5:44 p.m. CST

    How did something this insanely wrong get so far?

    by Jobacca

    Seriously Hollywood....WTF????? MILLIONS were spent on this. That means that at some point a bunch of coked up execs sat around a table and actually thought something about this was good enough to greenlight. Do people in Hollywood have access to special drugs the rest of us dont know about? Are they sold at that rich-person zoo that Ron Howard takes his kids to? The one with the singing fantastapotamus? Because I'm pretty sure you could dive into a money bin full of high-grade bolivian coke and swim around in it like some sort of a bastard lovechild of Scrooge Mcduck and Scarface and this STILL wouldnt seem like a good idea. God. Fucking. DAMN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 5:48 p.m. CST

    yknow the PGA nominations came out today

    by tlyel37

    but, concept art for a shitty movie that was shelved over a decade is cool too

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 5:50 p.m. CST

    Honestly, this looks no worse than Snyder's.

    by yeah i'm a jerk!

    Somehow Superman looks really lame without the red shorts. And the hair on the new guy looks like Denny Terrio is playing Superman.

  • Maybe it's us who live in Htrae. Seriously, only in a Bizarro world a movie exec would have thought that Burton was a good fit for Superman... either that. or the studio suit was coked out of his mind. ( ._.)

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 5:52 p.m. CST

    I'm surprised it go that far too because the Animated Series

    by ToughGuyRizzo

    Of Batman & Superman were doing so well in the 90's. In fact, those cartoons were very important to the re-surge of Batman & Superman. But I don't think Burton would have been the right man at all. I like Snyder, but I don't like the photos we've seen so far of Supes. I wonder who would actually be good to help make a great Superman flick w/o going the Donner route?

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 5:59 p.m. CST

    Hollywoodland was better than Superman Returns

    by sunwukong86

    and that even has Ben Affleck in it

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 6 p.m. CST

    Looks more like FiberOpticMan

    by gary_buseys_upper_half

    But I do like the fact that the costume looks more "alien" and less like a circus outfit. I also think it's really hard to judge what this would have actually looked like on screen. A lot of props look really cheesy when they're not lit and photographed properly.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 6:02 p.m. CST

    'Like Tim Burton Movies, But...

    by jorson28 VERY glad his "Superman" went belly-up, because this is NOT what it should be. Anyone complaining about the behind-the-scenes photos from what Zack Snyder is shooting now should take a gander at these and sober up. Some of the things about the Brainiac and Erradicator designs are possibly cool, but overall, it would have just come across as "classic" Tim Burton on nanotech enhanced steroids, and in my opinion, it would NOT have been an attractive combination as either an adaptation or a "reinterpretation."

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 6:02 p.m. CST

    hank henshaw = Ha! Nice - I agree.

    by ClayMatthews

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 6:08 p.m. CST

    Fascinating looking, but I probably would have hated it.

    by Kabrix

    Especially the "updated" general Superman suit. It looks like a gaudy Nike.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 6:11 p.m. CST

    Whoever rejected that film...

    by Chris Moody

    ...saved Superman as we know it.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 6:11 p.m. CST


    by Sandy

    No, wait...beyond gay. Burton's rape of the DC Universe would've been complete had this not been cancelled. Sleepy Hollow must have been an accident. Either that or someone else was pulling the strings on that one.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 6:11 p.m. CST

    Love the Brainiac ship. The rest, not so much.

    by Royston Lodge

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 6:14 p.m. CST

    Just because you can doesn't mean you should

    by Fandude7

    TB is a good director but this would have been crappy. The suit is crap

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 6:29 p.m. CST

    it would have been awesome....

    by nolan bautista

    ..if Nic cage played Superman w/ an enormous spit curl (to hide his receding hairline)

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 6:30 p.m. CST

    I can't believe I'm saying this but.....

    by Deano316

    Thank God for Wild Wild West, which incidentally was made in its place. The movie that everyone hates saved Superman!!

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 6:32 p.m. CST

    Best Abortion EVER!!!!

    by Queefer Sutherland

    Burton would have fucked this up even more badly than he fucked Batman. I am SOOOOO glad this abomination was killed prematurely. With the Nolan brothers telling Zach Snyder what to do, I think Man of Steel will be awesome.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 6:33 p.m. CST

    Concepts, Designs, Pre Production Brought to you By Tim Burton


    With His Head in a Microwave

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 6:35 p.m. CST

    And the punchline is: this WOULD be produced nowadays.

    by Ricardo

    Back in 1996/1997 they would eventually look at it and say "Damn! Fuck this shit! Garbage." - Today, this would be released, and YOU, you AICN fucking hypocrites, would be saying how awesome it is!

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 6:36 p.m. CST

    re: "what film should Rob Zombie make next?"

    by buggerbugger

    Bobby Zombie should stick to making adverts for Woolite. They'd still be shite, but at least he wouldn't be able to foist any more of his mouth breathing characters and their inane dialogue on the world. Better yet, the grimy fucker should just stick to making sex tapes with that talentless peroxide stick insect he receives bony-arsed birthday lap dances from.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 6:39 p.m. CST

    re: "Hollywoodland was better than Superman Returns"

    by buggerbugger

    I especially loved the bit where Superman failed to move faster than a speeding bullet.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 6:39 p.m. CST

    Last photo = Tek Jansen

    by MST3KPIMP

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 6:42 p.m. CST

    This movie would have KILLED the careers of everyone involved

    by Jake Pantlin

    They should all be thanking their lucky stars that it never happened.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 6:43 p.m. CST

    ricarleite4 is Tim Burton

    by Queefer Sutherland

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 6:58 p.m. CST

    Yep. And people complain about texture...

    by Lobanhaki2

    ...or lack of a belt on Superman's suit. Really folks, it can get much worse. Much, much worse.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 7:12 p.m. CST

    Actually, Burton did a great job with Batman

    by Mugato5150

    Keaton was a lot cooler than Bale. He had the borderline psychotic that Bale never brought to the character. Burton's gothic German-expressionist Gotham City was a lot cooler than...Chicago. Granted, Heath Ledger's Joker ruled but back in 1989, Jack Nicholson was kind of a no-brainer. And the Batmobile from the Burton films was a lot cooler than the Humvee.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 7:15 p.m. CST

    Wow, Superman fans dodged an unbelievably

    by Brian Hopper

    large bullet on this one. Only to take a bullet courtesy of Bryan Singer, and I'm assuming another bullet courtesy of Hack Snyder. But... wow. Everything about Burton's idea for this was just in shockingly bad taste. What's on that suit, Christmas tree lights? Gads.

  • His stop motion is the only thing I look forward to anymore.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 7:18 p.m. CST

    Burton's Batman was so-so.

    by KnowItAllFromCali

    But at least it was supposed to be dark and he was in his element. Borderline psychotic - Keaton? As Batman? Not even slightly. Agree about Nicholson, though. I seriously doubt millions of dollars were spent on the Superman Lives pre-production. Burton and Cage were sooo wrong for it.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 7:21 p.m. CST

    Just wow on that last drawing, especially.

    by KnowItAllFromCali

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 7:25 p.m. CST

    Don't blame Burton - Blame DC

    by micbenxyy

    For the whole 'Death' and 'Return of' Superman storyline, which these designs are based on.

  • Actually, make that three wrongs. Lets not forget about what Snyder is doing.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 7:35 p.m. CST

    Tim Burton brought two horrible Batman films to fruition

    by Roger Moon

    and his Superman would've made the first Captain America movie look like Lawrence of Arabia. Burton is your typical artistic asshole whose egomania is so out of control that he thinks he can improve every preexisting property he comes in contact with, even though they are perfectly fine in their original incarnations. His "visions" are so bloated and delusional that he ends up producing dreck like Batman, Willy Wonka and Alice in Wonderland. Unlike Donner, Burton couldn't care less about Superman. Narcissistic wanker.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 7:41 p.m. CST

    Burton is your typical artistic asshole

    by Mugato5150

    Yeah, that artistic shit really gets in the way of making quality movies.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 7:47 p.m. CST

    This would've been interestingly terrible

    by David Cloverfield

    Still beats Superman Returns which was boring AND terrible. I think Snyder is a perfect fit to give Supes the kick in the butt it needs. but then again Im supposed to hate Sucker Punch, which I thought was awesome. (yes, its like a music video anthology. I think it has a place on the big screen)

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 7:49 p.m. CST

    Yes, it is pitiful these hack artists got to work on this..

    by alienindisguise

    and get crazy paid while artists with real talent get the door slammed in their faces.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 7:49 p.m. CST

    Tim Burton's Batman was the movie of the decade. Period.

    by 3774

    It was the perfect cap for the 80's, and the perfect note to end that decade on. Don't let any red-faced little mouthbreathing troll tell you any different.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 7:54 p.m. CST

    OMG its me or suddenly superman returns is not so bad?

    by nickbeta

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 8:06 p.m. CST


    by AzulTool

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 8:12 p.m. CST

    '89 Batman is a classic. Returns is horrible.

    by bat725

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 8:16 p.m. CST

    Superman Returns holds up better than 90% of comic films.

    by MST3KPIMP

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 8:17 p.m. CST

    Nic Cage as Superman....glad this did not happen.

    by XxSoulFlyxX

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 8:19 p.m. CST

    Burton's Batman films are idiosyncratic

    by P

    That's why I like them. They are pretty weird films for such big blockbusters. Burton embraced the lunacy of the premise. And Keaton has way more charisma than sour puss.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 8:28 p.m. CST

    Zack Snyder is the king of style over substance

    by cgih8r

    so I have trouble putting any trust in him making a Superman movie that has any weight. Nolan's name attached is the only beam of light. I've seen the pics and really like what I have been seeing but that's easy to say when looking at a Snyder movie, they always look fantastic but they haven't had the writing to back them up. Anyone seen Suckerpunch? It was like opening a book with an amazing looking cover but all the pages were blank.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 8:30 p.m. CST


    by gamerawangi

    This was going to be part of the Disney parks' Electrical Parade?

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 8:34 p.m. CST

    Superman Returns 5 years later

    by Pipple

    I hate it. Not the movie itself, but the fact that it accomplished nothing for superman's franchise and now it's going to be rebooted and shit. But it's a fine movie for kids to watch or whatever. I'll add hulk to a list of underrated comic book movies the masses overlooked. And burton's batman is a classic and to me will always outshine nolan's limited vision for batman. In fact I think it was the gothic burtonesque influence on ledger's joker that made him so interesting and completely dominated an otherwise shitty by the numbers law and order episode that was the dark knight.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 8:37 p.m. CST

    This would have been better than The Amazing Spider-man

    by Andrew Coleman

    Lizard SWAT team for the fail...

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 8:44 p.m. CST

    We dodged a serious bullet........

    by Darth_Kaos

    ...with this piece of shit movie. WB actually does have (or had) someone smart enough to pull this huge ass plug.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 8:45 p.m. CST

    THANK GOD...or whoever.

    by Ryan

    Seriously, the more they show of this stuff, the more I can't believe that nobody stopped it earlier. It's one thing to change something but to change it so oddly and unnecessarily... If I was a costume guy working on that suit I wouldn't be able to shut-up, I'd have to politely tell Tim Burton he's out of his goddamn mind. And by politely, I mean scream at him that he's a fucking moron.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 8:47 p.m. CST

    Aww, Hell no!

    by krabklaw

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 8:48 p.m. CST

    I was twelve years old when I saw Burton's Batman.

    by Nerfee

    It blew me away. And I loved Michael Keaton from all those comedies he made in the eighties like Nightshift, Gung Ho (I need hardly mention Beetlejuice) and of course Johnny dangerously which my friends and I quoted from ad-nauseam all through high school. If you haven't seen Johnny dangerously, I recommend you look it up. For maximum effect, watch with teenage boys. You Fargin Bastages!

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 8:51 p.m. CST

    No president could be named "Newt"

    by Foucault


  • Jan. 3, 2012, 9:33 p.m. CST

    Need web traffic on a slow news day?

    by Snookeroo

    Just dredge up a Superman Lives "article" - guaranteed more posts than a twenty-acre horse fence.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 9:44 p.m. CST

    Australian JLA Project

    by old school dc

    Why do we get to see this awful Supes project, but we've never seen any of the materials for the JLA project that wasn't? Actors had their fittings, surely photos were made, but we've never seen them. Waz up with that?

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 9:55 p.m. CST

    @vameon Yeah, this would have been a fuckfest of awesome

    by Rorschachian

    I would've LOVED to see this shit.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 10 p.m. CST

    I know there's a ton of Kevin Smith hate on here...

    by Joaquin_Ondamoon

    ...(or just a ton of Kevin Smith - derp!), but I just recently read some 5 year old article where Smith laid all the blame for this horror at the feet of Jon Peters, who was producing. Evidently Peters only gave a shit about how many toys they could sell (in light of the Burton Batman's shitstorm of merchandising). He wanted a Krypto, or flying super chimps and shit in it. Anything to sell shit after the fact. Remember, Peters was a fucking hairdresser, ffs! Who gives him the keys to one of WB's greatest properties? Check out the story: Talk about dodging a speeding locomotive!

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 10:02 p.m. CST

    Any more extreme than the new suit??

    by txtone04

    Look what Burton and crew did with the 2nd worst cast Batman ever...might have been watchable. At least shit wouldn't be flying all over in bad taste like most films these days

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 10:06 p.m. CST


    by txtone04

    the best part of Returns was copying the pilot of the animated series

  • ...if this had come to pass and been relatively successful and with 2 Batman movies already under his belt, Warner Bros would have given him the keys to the Kingdom. Just think: A Justice League movie starring Johnny Depp as the Green Lantern and as the leader of the Justice League (yes, ahead of both Bats and Supes), Helena Bonham Carter as a Goth Wonderwoman and maybe another Burton favorite like one of the Baldwin Brothers as the Flash. I'm not saying it would have been great, but it would have been interesting to see. An Interesting CLUSTERFUCK to be sure, but interesting nonetheless.. Oh and id I mention it would all be in Claymation?

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 10:11 p.m. CST

    Burton's Batman is a more solid, fun movie

    by wattos new hat

    Nolan's Batman 1 & 2 is more of a thinking man's soap opera

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 10:36 p.m. CST

    Burton's Batman most definitely the film of the 80s

    by Autodidact

    It completely blew my mind when I saw it at 13 years old. Matrix was the film of the 90s, no doubt. Culminated all the technology built up in the decade and sort of wrapped it all up into something new, sitting like a capstone upon all the films that had come before in the preceeding ten years.

  • John Peters is pretty much the problem, yeah.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 10:42 p.m. CST

    Wow, that looks awful.

    by Yelsaeb

    That is all.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 10:44 p.m. CST

    We literally did a Neo dodge on this thing.

    by Yelsaeb

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 10:53 p.m. CST

    Suit guy is a racist

    by Mace Tofu

    After that first video ends you can click on the next video "Burton, Superman Lives and His Concept Part 1" and the guy who made the Burton Superman light-suit goes on a rant about how the fans online hate this new suit and the reason it was so different is he hates Superman and thinks it is racist that Superman is white human. He claims that Superman is an ALIEN so why is he white and why wear TIGHTS. If he is an ALIEN his suit has to look ALIEN. He goes on and on about the suit and that we need to use our brains and love the suit. All I could think was why then cast Nic Cage because he don't look like no ALIEN and he is WHITE. After 10 minutes I still don't like the plastic suit with lights, Too VEGAS Baby

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 10:53 p.m. CST

    is the legit screenplay online

    by shogunshin

    does anyone have a link to the real shooting script? i guarentee you this would have been more enjoyable than the superman they made instead! it would have been brilliantly bad. those costumes look insane. i gotta read this screenplay!!! so please, if anyone has a link, post it here!

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 11:35 p.m. CST

    the suit

    by torpedoboy

    I've seen Christmas trees with fewer lights.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 11:58 p.m. CST

    Why does Burton think he can improve classic ideas?

    by billcom6

    Sure there is already Batman, but if I put my own twist on it.... Sure there is already Planet of the Apes, but if I put my own twist on it.... Sure there is already Alice in Wonderland, but if I put my own twist on it.... Sure there is already Superman, but if I put my own twist on it.... Seriously, fuck this guy.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 11:59 p.m. CST

    I really wish this hadn't died.

    by Chuck

    It would have been so gloriously terrible. Instead, we got the just plain regularly terrible Superman Returns.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, midnight CST

    Burton's Batman

    by Michael

    Never bought Keaton for a single second as Bruce Wayne. Intense does not equal "hyper". Plus he just had no physical presence at all. The scene where he threatened the Joker with a fire poker almost had me laughing. I know I'm in the minority, but Bale comes much closer to my idea of Batman than Keaton ever will. Even Val Kilmer, also much maligned, was an effective Batman. This thing up above? Burton at his worst excesses; he's OKish on his own projects but he always gets the heart of his adaptations wrong, filling them up with avant garde fruitiness, a kind of mocking distance and self indulgent quirks that distort the characters and their world so much they are no longer recognizable.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 12:21 a.m. CST

    ghost82 that scene with the poker is *supposed* to be funny

    by Nerfee

    and tense, which it is. The point being that Bruce Wayne is stymied because he can't risk exposing his secret identity there and then, in Vicky Vale's apartment, in front of the Joker no less! So he gets himself shot, which is a mite risky. This is not a mentally-well individual.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 12:28 a.m. CST

    Here's that scene:

    by Nerfee

    It's as brilliant today as it was then. YouTube: Never rub another man's rhubarb!

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 12:33 a.m. CST


    by KiwiMetal

    "Quick Cursor - construct my neon enhanced tron Lamborghini so I can take this 90degree corner at the speed of light!" Wooooosh.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 12:37 a.m. CST

    Listening to Superman III episide of How'd This Get Made right now

    by Autodidact

    It's pretty funny.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 12:56 a.m. CST

    Is there anything like this for Justice League:Mortal?

    by hallmitchell

    Would love to see it. Quint hinted he had something ages ago. I haven't seen anything since.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 1:48 a.m. CST

    For anyone following Superman on film...

    by KnightShift

    It's six years old, but no less scary as hell: That Jon Peters actually asked "‘Kal-El’? Who’s this ‘Kal-El’ guy you keep mentioning in the script?" alone makes this worth the long time to read it.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 1:50 a.m. CST

    eh... you guys are just overreacting

    by plasticfrank

    Seriously... the Death of Superman arc is THE best story to play with changes in costume. I don't care much for the super 90's S-shield but as long as they were going to go back to a standard suit by the end of the movie, I'm cool with playing with the various 90's style, recovery style and eradicator style costumes. A campy, Tim Burton version of Superman would obviously have it's problems. But I'd be psyched about a Superman story that is so blatantly sci-fi. The crystal tech from the Donner films is cool (and visually stunning). But I feel the Burton film would have had Supes using using alien tech in a much more meaningful way.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 2:28 a.m. CST

    knightshift, that's a great find!

    by Talkbacker with no name


  • Its not even the suit that bothers me (though it is obviously horrifying...what the HELL was that idiot thinking?)...but CAGE? The guy. Is. AWEFUL. And even if he were an amazing actor...not one hair on his greasy, wirey body is right for the role. Seriously? Does anyone else realize how fucking insanely idiotic he would look in the Superman suit? I don't care if he bulked up, he would have still looked like an Italian with a face like a weasel dressing up as Superman for Halloween. MAN I'm glad this was cut short. My only question in the name of holy living fuck did THAT even get into pre-production stages? Who was passing around the hallucinogens? Because they must be in-fucking-credible.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 2:44 a.m. CST


    by Salamander

    I think it was canned as there was no nipples on the suit ! Thank god it wasn't made.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 3:37 a.m. CST


    by Jarrete Barnett

    They were DEAD serious about using Nic Cage, weren't they...

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 4:23 a.m. CST

    Ah yes Tim Burton.

    by Volllllume3

    The director Nolan wishes he could be.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 4:34 a.m. CST

    Oh my god!

    by Gremlin517

    That looks absolutely horrible!

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 5:01 a.m. CST

    Thank Christ....

    by Baron Von Penguin

    this abortion did not come to pass. The last Superman was dreadful but Burtons looks like it would've been fucking horrible. Tim Burton has made nowt but shite since the 90s and if I see or hear of another project involving Johnny Depp or the massive foreheaded Helena Bonham Carter I'm going to shit my pants in disgust

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 5:27 a.m. CST

    knightshift, I take it back. It's not an unbiased account of the events.

    by Talkbacker with no name

    The writer spends more time dirverting from the subject to take popshots at people he doesn't like and twists facts to fit his agenda.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 5:41 a.m. CST

    Still pissed this got cancelled


    Was so looking forward to Nic Cage as Superman. Even back then it was a retarded idea.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 5:47 a.m. CST

    io9 had this stuff literally over a month ago

    by chronicallydepressedlemming

    And more of it as well..seriously...

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 5:58 a.m. CST

    That article knightshift posted is great, because...

    by Ricardo

    ... it shows how Kevin Smith and John Peters almost ruined SM, let alone WB itself. And it also shows how Harry's a ignorant fat fuck who has his fat greasy ass spinned by studios by ego-boosting phone calls, studio visits and gifts, and can be used to break the stupid "Yeah!" mentality of movie fans and AICN talkbackers. YES, those fucking hypocrites I was referring to, who praised TDK when it came out and now say it's poop.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 6:10 a.m. CST

    that sketch got Nic Cage's hairline right

    by Spandau Belly

    I think Snyder is gonna make a good movie (again).

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 6:52 a.m. CST

    スーパーマン・リヴズ !!!

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 7:32 a.m. CST

    That's the Eradicator Suit I think...

    by Dan Halen

    If you go to Burton's home page you can see a design for Superman's Tomb which makes me think the script was going to follow the Death of Superman story meaning you were going to get several born again versions of Superman.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 7:59 a.m. CST


    by NightArrows

    You sir are a fucking moron, and a tasteless twat to boot. Fuck Tim Burton and his nonsense. His Bat-films suck. Sure, Batman 89 was huge for it's time. As a know-nothing 12 year old I thought it was pretty incredible, but then we really didn't have anything better to compare it to. It hasn't aged well at all and is laughably bad for the most part. If you consider it superior to anything Nolan has touched, then you are a fucking moron, bent on hating Nolan for not giving us a "fun" Batman, or whatever the fuck you expect, and really just deserve a throat punch.

  • via a body double and early CG (they’d already used early CG faces for Titanic stunt doubles and a couple years late for Oliver Reed in Gladiator) using old footage/outtakes from Superman I-IV and maybe even the injured Reeve himself in 1997. but mostly be long shots/close ups of just the body in the classic suit (maybe tweaked abit but pretty much the same as S I-IV) etc, tastefully done so not looking deliberate. with just glimpses of Reeve's face (like Arnie in T4) Superman would battle Doomsday and be killed. then when he gets rejuvenated like Dr Who hed be Nicolas Cage and wearing the crazy Burton suit

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 8:38 a.m. CST

    After seeing this I am so glad Burton didn't get it.

    by Breotan

    I mean, holy crap, Batman.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 8:49 a.m. CST

    Tim Burton is fucking sick and needs help.

    by Dark Doom

    This is the man that took a beloved children's character, and made him child molester. The Wonka movie was about the creepiest movie I had seen in a lifetime. I walked out on it. Gene Wilder was amazing in the original, Dep was like a pedo Wonka who enjoyed inflicting pain. My daughter will never see it. And Burton took an amazing book/movie about racism and social issues and made it into a 4th rate action movie with horny apes.. The man is a disaster and box office poison, he would have killed the Superman franchise. With all of it's faults 'Superman Returns' is light years ahead of anything Burton would have done.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 9:11 a.m. CST

    Superman's right thumb in the last drawing

    by Autodidact

    WTF is going on there? I can't stand that art style. It seems like every art & illustration grad in the late 90s and early 2000s drew with that exact same Joe Maduirera style.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 9:19 a.m. CST

    the usual retarded haters...

    by Lemure_v2

    Judging a film on some concept work - most of which isn't Burton's? The script was actually pretty good. The problem was that Burton wanted to explore the character (ala Singer/Nolan), whereas the studio just wanted a tentpole movie. So before you bitch about something, at least get the facts right.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 9:22 a.m. CST

    @dark doom

    by Lemure_v2

    Depp's Willy Wonka is reclusive and therefore socially inept, not a paedophile. There's a BIG difference. And POTA was a studio film. Burton just directed it, so direct all that hatred (teen angst) in the right direction.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 9:23 a.m. CST

    Kevin Smith's script sucked

    by Bramton1

    And yes, Jon Peters' influence was a major part of that. But there was a few issues. First, Doomsday is just one of Brainiac's lackeys. And when he kills Superman, Brainiac just turns him off. Doomsday just falls slack onto the pavement. And as the world mourns the death of Superman, Batman feels the need to send out his own videotaped statement...FROM INSIDE THE GODDAMNED BATCAVE!!! "Hey kids, check out my crib. And Joker, maybe this will help you find my lair." Idiotic.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 9:29 a.m. CST

    At least it's not as bad as the new 52 designs.

    by Bedknobs and Boomsticks

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Add me to the chorus of those who wish it was made

    by Richard Cranium

    Superman Returns was just boring. This looks like it would've been a completely hilarious train wreck. And it's not like it would've destroyed the character, they just would've ignored it in canon and rebooted. If the franchise can survive 'Quest For Peace', it can survive anything.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 10:04 a.m. CST

    Superman...Live on the Vegas Strip!

    by vettebro

    Looks like a Belagio show...

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Include me in the camp that wishes this was made.

    by Orbots Commander

    Only because this looks like it would have been an interesting failure, as opposed to Brian Singer's Superman Returns, a dull as dirt, boring failure. There's something to be said for a mega million dollar trainwreck directed by Tim Burton. All Singer's version did was induce me to yawn and catch up on my sleep.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 10:35 a.m. CST

    is it Superman or Step up 4: The electric hood!!!

    by MamboMan

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 10:41 a.m. CST

    Looks dumb as fuck....

    by notcher

    Just like everything Burton has done since "Ed Wood." And Nolan's Batman's are WAY better you fucks!!!

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 10:41 a.m. CST

    Ok..this is just a rumor but...Bradley Cooper as Luthor?!?!!

    by Darth Macchio

    Over on DH, they're saying it's rumored that Bradley Cooper is being considered for the role of Luthor. The idea being he'd do a cameo in the first film as a setup for the main villain in a sequel. (apparently, Luthor was initially set to be the main baddie but they changed to Zod, etc, etc) While I think Cooper is great in certain things (A-Team which was surprisingly good and that decent romantic comedy movie with Scarlett Johanson, Jenifer Anniston, etc) he's a fucking HORRIBLE fit for Luthor on every level. If this is true - in my opinion, it absolutely goes to show that Snyder, et al, simply do not get Luthor from any perspective outside of the Donner film. A bumbling but charismatic fool...genius being more a claim than an act, etc... Again, it's just a speculative rumor but it does not bode well if it is even remotely true... Shannon is brilliant casting obviously - and for basically any role you might have in most any genre but having Cooper as Luthor is all kinds of stupid wrong casting on every level. To me, Cooper's simply not capable of being believably ominous. However, he's perfect at being a charismatic buffoon (exactly what he did in Hangover and A-Team) just like they characterized Luthor in Superman I & II. Take a lead from the one thing Smallville got so very right: Michael Rosenbaum's portrayal of Luthor was perfect and made the show so much more than just WB teen-angst nonsense with superpowers. Rosenbaum was one of the main reasons to watch the series and his Luthor is brilliant, surrounded by capable people who aren't imbeciles, initially kind and considerate while also hiding a terrible dark side. And also having perfectly valid motivations far beyond real estate or simply taking over the world. I never one time questioned his presentation and the threat he posed. All the more tragic for the show's pairing Kent and Luthor as friends initially (a bit but interesting change from the comic). While I'm not a Supes comic reader, I think Luthor should be a more tragic character and not a silly but smart buffoon. Someone like Supes without the powers if he fell from honor and grace - starting out noble and ambitious and falling to terrible selfishness and megalomania, etc... Supes is simply to powerful and boyscoutish to have anybody remotely clown-like as a nemesis. It will remove any real seriousness from the film and show it as a hollow wannabe of Donner's work. Supes should be bright and his enemies should be dark, not clowns.

  • It's more than you can say for Singer's boring movie, for which the only saving grace was that simulated Luthor on Supes ass rape shot. Singer and Spacey put their heads together came up with that one on set! Mr. Routh had no idea what he was getting into...or maybe he did.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 11:23 a.m. CST

    what would the cast of Superman Lives have been like?


    Superman - Cage Lois - Linda Fiorentino? Lex - K Spacey or Jack Nicolson? Perry - Martin Sheen? superman (opening few minutes battling Doomsday) - Christopher Reeve (vis CG/old footage)

  • The thing that blows me away with 90% of comments here is how ignorant most people are of the preproduction process. Most movies look like apeshit crazy, investor heart clenching, chaos during that phase of production. Sorry Superman fanboys but the Sup is fucking cheesy as hell! Burton would have added a layer of realism to the character and backstory that was missing before. He would have successfully contextualized this mythos just as he did with Batman. You're seeing an unfinished costume with an underlying foundation for some really interesting visuals. So sad this thing didn't happen.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Cartmanez, Re: Linda Fiorentino as Lois Lane...

    by Nerfee


  • Jan. 4, 2012, 11:56 a.m. CST

    Margot Kidder...

    by Darth Macchio

    Happened to see a bit of Ammityville Horror (original) this morning with Kidder and James Brolin and I had forgotten the one scene where you get a momentary boob shot and I actually had to double-take as I've never considered Kidder a hottie but she was quite eye pleasing back in her day. Beyond all that, she was great as Lois too - they should drop the Donner take on Luthor but definitely keep their take on Lois (I understand she was like that in the comic too - smart, very spirited/cocky without being dickish and also took no shit from anybody and not remotely a damsel in distress, etc, etc).

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 12:07 p.m. CST

    That All Looks...

    by DrEdwardMorbius

    ...well, the only word I can find for it would be: CRAPTACULAR. Insert your own definition.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 1:15 p.m. CST

    Awe hell naw!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by Tikidonkeypunch

    Despite these pictures making me think of nothing of Supes (other than those knockoffs that returned from the dead with him) but I think it would have been an overall better film to sit through than Hancock.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 1:25 p.m. CST

    Whew! Dodged that speeding locomotive!

    by BrannigansLaw

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 1:37 p.m. CST

    From what I understand....

    by Brian

    ....Brian Cox was suppose to play Jor-El..... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ........coxxed!!!!!

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 1:48 p.m. CST

    the problem with superman returns...

    by JaredP

    was the actor playing stperman, brandon routh, was NOT a real actor. he looked like a guy out of those ads for cigarette commercials. and bryan singer was the wrong choice for director

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 1:59 p.m. CST

    Richard Lester (dir of Superman 2 & 3) is a hero, here's why....

    by AllThosePowers

    The perry white scene leading up to the clark kent alley change sequence in Lester's version of SupermanII is a masterclass on how to present such an iconic hero on the silver screen, I very much doubt any filmmaker today tackling a superman feature will ever even begin to consider approaching it in this manner; such imagery and artistry is rare, the wide shot, the flow and swishhh-away is pure style and deep substance. A scene that every filmschool major should study and study it they must, particularly in grainy VHS quality, superb.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 1:59 p.m. CST

    I wish this movie had been made... so that i could laugh at it!

    by AsimovLives

    man, it would be a treat! comedy issues. Tim Burton is as suited to make a Superman movie as JJ Abrams is to make a Star Trek movie, which is, none at all.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 2:19 p.m. CST

    Thsi actually looks pretty good to me

    by Asimov_Lives

    And Depp woulda mad a great Supes!

  • That script was so stupid and bad, it momentarily killed JJ Abrams movie career, and he had to return to TV or be involved in small tier movies like ROADKILL. I found out that the JarJar's Superman script was actually reviewed by AICN, by a fellow called Moriarty, i believe a former AICN contributor and who now runs a different site called Hitfix or something like that. The funny thing is that nowdays Moriarty is an absolute slave-bitch to JarJar, now that he's important and shit. But back then when JarJar's Superman script was reviewed, when he was just the guy who wrote Regarding Henry, Moriarty layed on him quite a harsh criticism of JarJar's idiotic Superman scrip. If half of what Mori tells is true in his review, it would had been an absolute failure for the ages. What's so funny is that AICN ocasionaly pulls out stuff about the failure-to-be Tim Burton Superman movie, but they never talk about the failure to be that was the Superman script writen bu their beloved mediocre favorite hackboy JJ Abrams. Fancy that! I guess some subjects are strictly verbotten.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 3:12 p.m. CST

    You know who also wrote a Superman script?

    by Asimov_Lives

    Your's truly! Kevin Smith

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 3:57 p.m. CST


    by Tera Sanders

    Worst. Director. Ever.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Clerks I and II are alright.

    by AsimovLives

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 9:49 p.m. CST

    Superman: Electric Boogaloo!

    by Joaquin_Ondamoon

    C'mon - you all thought it.

  • Jan. 5, 2012, 5:24 a.m. CST

    the goatee on the last sketch

    by mrbong

    that's really worrying. it speaks of either Burton or the artist simply not understanding the character, or assuming an "instant beard" would be an even better disguise for Clark Kent than glasses. for all the merits of the pre-Nolan Batman interpretation he handed over, his re-imagining of "classics" has not worked - Planet Of The Apes, Willy Wonka and Alice in wonderland spring to mind; their failures and shortcomings underlined all the more by his superb original works in the same time frame (Big Fish in particular). as the evidence suggests this would have sank his career, great that it did not get made.

  • Jan. 5, 2012, 3:20 p.m. CST

    weak concept art

    by PlayerHater_of_the_year

    very amateur. Must have been a friend Tim Burton or Burton himself (although I think Burton is actually a fairly good illustrator).

  • Jan. 5, 2012, 4:47 p.m. CST


    by Mace Tofu

    after reading more about the "lightsuit" I guess it would of only been used while SUPERMAN plugged himself in to recharge his body so that makes more sense on the effect they were going for. I still don't understand why the designer would work on the project when he states he hates the Superman concept.

  • Jan. 6, 2012, 8:55 a.m. CST

    Burton is a guy who has gotten too far on so little...

    by ZodNotGod

    He CAN NOT tell a story. He creates good looking flicks, but has zero interest in human interactions/motivations. He's made made three worthy movies, the rest are obnoxious, gothy crap.... Pee Wee's Big Adventure Beetlejuice Planet of the Apes

  • Jan. 6, 2012, 8:58 a.m. CST

    And Smith's script is his worst....

    by ZodNotGod

    He likes to brag on it during his college tours, but it's campy and stupid for the most part. Everyone has snarky, smart-ass dialouge with no heart. His script for "The Six Million Dollar Man" is the same has too much "Clerks-like" humor. Toilet-centric. Ham-fisted and campy.

  • Jan. 6, 2012, 9 a.m. CST

    And JJ Abrams wrote a horrible Superman script too!

    by ZodNotGod

    Lex is from Krypton? Wha????? Yep... = LAME!

  • Jan. 6, 2012, 9:03 a.m. CST

    And Yes, Burton ruined Batman...

    by ZodNotGod

    Nicholson was a buffoon who was never intimidating.