The Kidd here...
Back before us geeks were pouring over every detail we could get our hands on for the next Superman vision to take the big screen, be it Bryan Singer's SUPERMAN RETURNS or Zack Snyder's MAN OF STEEL, there was the mothership of Superman curiosity - SUPERMAN LIVES. Set to be released in 1998, Superman was set to return to flight after an 11-year hiatus that started with the truly awful SUPERMAN IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE (Don't even get me started on the stupidity of Nuclear Man and his fingernails). A Tim Burton-directed Superman movie set to star Nicolas Cage as the Man of Steel which would somewhat follow the popular "Death of Superman" storyline from the comics as scripted by Superman fan Kevin Smith...? Hells yeah... Who didn't want to take a look at that? However, amidst growing budget concerns at Warner Bros. and a widening gap of creative differences between Burton and producer Jon Peters, the film was postponed, Burton went on to do SLEEPY HOLLOW, and that - as they say, my friends - was that. SUPERMAN LIVES was dead, and never to be resurrected in that form again, with everyone from Wolfgang Peterson to McG to J.J. Abrams taking their best shot at Superman before Singer's plan ultimately got the go-ahead.
Over the years since the project crumbled, we've seen bits and pieces of what would have made SUPERMAN LIVES leak out onto the scene. Kevin Smith's draft of the script is out there to see. Plenty of concept art and production art can be found to get an idea as to what Burton had planned. It's not hard to find the design for Superman's suit, which would have been unlike anything we've ever seen him wear before. However, the one thing we've never gotten is an extensive story, from those who were involved in trying to bring this movie together, as to what happened, what went wrong, what killed SUPERMAN LIVES.
But now we have that opportunity. Jon Schnepp, known mostly for his work on METALOCALYPSE and THE VENTURE BROS., has set off a Kickstarter campaign to fund his first feature-length documentary that would tell the story of what happened to SUPERMAN LIVES. He's seeking to talk to as much key personnel that was involved with the film, hopefully leading up to no-holds-barred conversations with the main principles - Smith, Peters, Cage and Burton - to get their takes on where the film was going and why it never got there.
SUPERMAN LIVES is one of the more fascinating debacles to never actually happen in movie history - I think Warner Bros. actually spent something close to $30 million in pre-production before the plug was pulled - and I'd love to hear from the mouths of Burton and Cage why we never got to watch a Superman film certainly unlike any other. Hell, I'm willing to fork over some cash just to hear Jon Peters talk about the giant spider concept alone. So, if the tragic tale of SUPERMAN LIVES is something that interests you, dig into your wallet, your pockets, your seat cushions, wherever... because every penny that goes towards making this doc happen is well spent.
"The Infamous Billy The Kidd"
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