THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN LIVES: WHAT HAPPENED?

PrintE-mail Written by Whitney Scott Bain

THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN LIVES: WHAT HAPPENED?

The story of the ill-fated 1998 feature film that was to star Nicolas Cage as Superman and be directed by Tim Burton makes for a fascinating documentary of what could have been one of the most surreal, mind blowing films in the Superman saga. Told through interviews with Burton, Kevin Smith, Dan Gilroy, Jon Peters, Lorenzo di Bonaventura and many other talented people that were involved with the project we discover everyone's creative passion for the film and its ultimate demise at Warner Brothers.

Never-before-seen test footage of Cage as a nerdy, geek-like Clark Kent and the heroic Superman, designs and storyboards of Brainiac, whose head was enclosed in a bubble atop spindly, spider-like legs (with Christopher Walken in the role), as well as Kevin Spacey returning to play the evil Lex Luthor are just some of the visual treats you will experience in this documentary.

Producer Jon Peters shows his passion for the project, but his enthusiasm and energy sometimes backfire especially in a few of his strange ideas such as Superman's guards (since when did Superman need guards?) which are two polar bears protecting his Fortress of Solitude and there should be no costume, no flying and Superman has to battle a giant spider and fight ninjas.

Director Tim Burton's ideas and visual style would have made this film a classic in its own right. Clearly, he understood what the film needed giving it a jolt of energy to its franchise. Kevin Smith is always entertaining to listen to and is straightforward about his writing involvement, but it’s the technical creators that are the most interesting; seeing what they accomplished jumping through hoops and obstacles, creating a world that would have been visual eye candy. Special mention goes to costume designer Colleen Atwood who whose ingenious designs set the tone for the film and could have easily won an Academy Award for her work.

Though the film will never be made, this is like watching the best parts of the movie all rolled into ninety minutes of what could have been one of the greatest Superman movies in history. This is truly a wonderful documentary for any Superman fan or filmmaker, and will be playing at MCM London and Sci-Fi London, with Schnepp and Payne in attendance, towards the end of May.

Don't miss it!

INFO: CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: JON SCHNEPP / SCREENPLAY: JON SCHNEPP / STARRING: NICOLAS CAGE, TIM BURTON, KEVIN SMITH, DAN GILROY / RELEASE DATE: TBC
 


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