Filmmaker Jon Schnepp is making a documentary about Tim Burton’s unproduced 1998 film Superman Lives, the Huffington Post has reported.
“If ‘Superman Lives’ had come out, I think it would have been a giant hit,” filmmaker Jon Schnepp told HuffPost Entertainment. “This movie would have been a departure and completely different from what we’re used to from Superman and superhero lore.”
I’m skeptical that this approach would have produced a “big hit” after reading the projected plot and casting (illustrated by the use of Nicholas Cage in screen tests):
The plot of “Superman Lives” would have followed the “Death of Superman” storyline, where Brainiac, an alien supercomputer, is the main villain and Superman is killed and then later resurrected by the Eradicator. Actors ranging from Kevin Spacey to Tim Allen to Chris Rock Courteney Cox to Jim Carrey were approached for various roles. (Spacey eventually starred in “Superman Returns” for Bryan Singer.)
I rank “Death of Superman” among the worst comic-book gimmicks of all time, less enjoyable to read than the adventures of Krypto, and suspect the resulting movie would have been about as compelling as Superman IV, perhaps a good candidate for a double-feature with Roger Corman’s version of Fantastic Four. Still, it will be interesting to see Schnepp’s documentary to see what Burton had in mind. If nothing else, if the film gets made it will make for good RiffTrax fodder.