Tuesday, June 11, 2013

SUPERMAN LIVES: The Superman Film That Never Was

Slated for release in the summer of 1998, in time for the 60th anniversary of Superman's first appearance, was the return of  the last son of krypton in Superman Lives.  In 1996, after seeing Mallrats, Warner Bros brought in Kevin Smith based on the presumption that he had a large knowledge of all things Superman because of a choice line of dialogue in the movie.  Smith was commissioned to flesh out a script with producer Jon Peters.  Things went kind of crazy with that whole process (and you can get more details below).  Smith fleshed out a script using elements of the Doomsday storyline featuring the death of Superman.  The script also featured villains Brainiac and The Eradicator.  Smith's ideal casting were his usual crop of characters.  However, things moved on and so did Smith.

Next, Tim Burton was brought in to bring this story to life.  Most of Smith's script was ditched at this point.  Nicholas Cage was then signed on to play Superman.  Laugh now, but this news brought a lot of excitement in the mid-90s.  Cage wasn't what we think of him now.  He was an Academy Award winner and a budding action star.  Please note, all these people were paid for this as well. A lot of preproduction went on for the film as well.  Costumes and effects were being worked on, storyboards being storyboarded (haha).  The movie was set to go, but then the script was deemed too expensive.  Later, it was finished but things kept getting pushed back.
The project still kept going through many iterations.  People leaving, new ones filing in. Wild ideas like Will Smith being Superman were abound.  There's a lot of crazy ideas and interesting people brought on board here and there.  The biggest loss may be what would have been the dynamite choice for Lois Lane, Courtney Cox, never getting to shine.  In my mind, she could have been the definitive Lois Lane.  But, at least we'll always have Gail Weathers who is very similar.  Dig up some stuff, you'll have a good read with it.

If you've never seen Kevin Smith discussing the story about his involvement, now's your chance.  This story is kinda been his schtick, telling it everywhere for like 10 years, but its still quite amusing.

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