Skip to main content

Documentary: The Death of 'Superman Lives' What Happened?

If you're a fan of Superhero films or you're a filmmaker interested in the Sci-fi/Superhero genre then this documentary about Tim Burton's doomed movie, staring Nicolas Cage as Superman, from the 1990's, Superman Lives is a fascinating insight into the pre-production of a big budget film.

The Death of 'Superman Lives' What Happened?, a documentary by Jon Schnepp, follows the development of the movie from writer/director, Kevin Smith's early, and well documented involvement, right through to the final days of when Warner Brother's pulled the plug and transferred their funding to another movie, Wild, Wild West, that, arguably, should've been canned too.



The Nic Cage Super Suit that
we all said "Hell NO!" to.
If you're like me, and first heard about Tim Burton's failed Superman movie staring Nicolas Cage when the image on the left was doing the rounds online, you're probably thankful it never happened. After all, not only is it hard to imagine Nic Cage as Superman, but this image just looks like everyone dodged a bad cos-play bullet.

Then, since I discovered that Kevin Smith's story about how he was brought in to write a script for Superman that had to include a giant spider was linked to Tim's film, I've always had a mild fascination for what Superman Lives might have been. Note: If you haven't heard Kevin's story about his dealings with producer, John Peters, on this project, do yourself a favor and watch the video at the link above. It's hard to believe it's true because it's just so comical and hilarious.

After watching this documentary, which includes interviews with all the key players; Kevin Smith, John Peters, Tim Burton and the various artists and costume designers that worked on the film, your whole opinion on a Nicolas Cage/Tim Burton Superman movie is likely to be flipped. Especially when you consider the Superman reboot that we got with Superman Returns. That I've written about previously in my post, The Trouble with Superman.

Even though a Superman movie with a giant spider sounds bat bonkers crazy it's still way more interesting than anything we saw in Superman Returns.

This more classic Super suit is a later
design, seen here in a test photo.
Not only that but the sheer number of monster designs, a spacecraft shaped like a skull, Brainiac and Doomsday plus a myriad of Superman suit designs, will easily convince you that this thing would've probably been more visually exciting than Man of Steel.

Then you see Nicolas Cage actually wearing one of the more classic design of suits that may have made it into the final movie and, sure, he still looks a little unorthodox, but it's not so far off that you can't picture it having the potential to be amazing. It is Nic Cage after all.

I found this documentary to be incredibly fascinating. There's plenty of production artwork to give you a sense of what might have been, along with costume fitting footage and discussion with Nic and Tim Burton.

Getting to hear Kevin Smith and John Peters talk about their experiences with each other is a rare but special moment too. Not least because John confirms almost every part of Kevin's story, and what he denies you can see that maybe there's still some truth to it.

For example Kevin says that John said he didn't want Superman to wear the suit. John denies this but I suspect, given the direction of all the suit design on Superman Lives, John probably meant he didn't want the Christopher Reeve, spandex version of the suit. He wanted a much tougher looking design.

It's a real shame this movie didn't get made because I don't think you could make it now, even if everyone who worked on it came back on board. Superhero movies have become something much different to what this may have been, and could even look dated now, since Tim Burton's style is very much linked to all the 90's Batman films, even though he didn't work on the last two.

However, as a documentary I'm really glad this story got told. It acknowledges all the hard work that went into the project and elevates it from people thinking Nicolas Cage in a Superman movie was some kind of a joke to something that may just have been pretty darn awesome.


Comments

Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET.

Popular posts from this blog

How to Transfer Any Line Art to Your Griptape - Easy Skateboard Griptape Art Tutorial

Dog Star Griptape Art by TET Griptape art is once again gaining popularity amongst modern skateboarders. For those of us who have tried to create our own griptape art, using paint pens, you'll know reproducing your design onto the grip, without making any mistakes is incredibly challenging. Mostly because you just have to go for it and draw the design freehand, with paint pens, directly onto the griptape. You can make the odd mistake here or there but if you get the proportions of the design completely wrong, it can be very difficult to fix. Often you just have to live with the mistake. To address the problem I've come up with an easy way anyone can transfer a line art design to their griptape, removing almost all the anxiety of getting the proportions wrong. In fact, you could do this with any line art design, even if you have no drawing skill at all. Watch the video below to see my technique in action and/or skip past the video where I highlight the basic steps to get your de

Batman Cosplay Breaks the World Record for Most Functional Gadgets

Julian Checkley in his record breaking Bat Suit. If anyone should hold the world record for most functional gadgets in a cosplay suit it's Batman. Not the actual Batman, whose suit is actually his work clothes and not cosplay, the honour goes to Batman Cosplayer, Julian Checkley.

ANZAC Day and the South Australian Governor General's New Fence

ANZAC Centenary Memorial Walk, Adelaide SA. Australian's love to honour their war heroes and so they should. South Australia is no exception, with memorials to fallen soldiers in almost every town and city. Adelaide even has road bridges named after famous battles from the Vietnam war. ANZAC Day (April 25th) is the one day where we put all those war memorials to use in memory of all who served from World War I onward with parades and dawn services attended by thousands. Arguably, ANZAC day is more popular than it ever has been in Australia, with pilgrimages back to Gallipoli in Turkey now a thing that many Australians hope to do at least once. To see and attend services where it all began.

Skateboard Trick Tips: Two Ways to Ollie North (Ollie One foot)

You have to be quick to see my Ollie Norths! Ollie One Foots, otherwise known as the Ollie North, is one of those skateboard tricks you learn and then tend not to do very much as more interesting trick challenges grab your attention. However it does look really cool if you learn how to kick your front foot well past the nose of your skateboard. Still shot from Braille Skateboarding's Ollie North tutorial. I was inspired to make my video below, showing two different techniques to achieve a successful Ollie One Foot, when I not only saw that Braille Skateboarding's Tutorial used a different method to the one I had learned but also, when I looked at various other video tutorials, I discovered yet another technique, with no one using the method I had originally learned. Braille's method is to simply Ollie and drag your front foot past the front of your board. The second method I came across in several video tutorials is to Ollie, drag your front foot and tap your

A.I. Can Now Create Art Based Upon Text Prompts - DALL-E 2 and CrAIyon (Formerly DALL-E Mini)

"a painting of a fox sitting in a field at sunrise in the style of Claude Monet” Image by DALL-E 2, OpenAI.com One thing people have often said is that machines will never replace creative artists because they lack the imagination and emotion required to create anything meaningful. A.I. technology is now good enough to work as writing assistants, including sites like Jasper and Rytr , where you simply tell the A.I. what you want to write about and it'll produce a complete article on that subject. The article may not be perfect but it can sure save you a lot of time. DALL-E 2: Realistic images and art from a description in natural language. With the release of DALL-E 2 there is now an A.I. that can produce realistic (or artistically styled) images based entirely on text prompts in seconds. We're not just talking about collaging a few images together here either. DALL-E 2 can create images where everything looks fairly seamless and purposefully included. Rather than me try

Artificial Intelligence, Chat Bots, and Sentient Machines - Where is my Robot Companion?

As fascinating and exciting as the world of robotics is companies like Boston Dynamics , Disney Imagineering , and Engineered Arts (which I wrote about their very human-like robot, Ameca , in my previous post ), have demonstrated it's very possible to create human like robots. That is, something along the lines of C3-PO from Star Wars , or Sonny from iRobot . Arguably, what isn't possible at this time, is creating a sentient robot i.e. something that can think for itself, develop its own ideas, and even have emotions.  I say 'arguably' because being 'sentient' is a somewhat relative term. If we're talking the equivalent of human sentience then current robots and artificial intelligences (A.I.) are a long way off. However, we can create robots that are capable of learning on their own.  You could, conceivably create a robot that starts out following its programming then, over time, learns behaviors and problem solving in ways never conceived by its creator

How to Start From Nothing - a Video by Sorelle Amore Finance About Starting Any Kind of Business

Sorelle Amore. It's the million dollar question for many people wanting to start a business who feel they don't have the knowledge, money, skills, time, or all four, "How do I start from nothing?" If that's something you want to know too then the video below by  Sorelle Amore , an Australian photographer and social media entrepreneur success story, who is most known for literally writing the book on how to take an #AdvancedSelfie, has an answer well worth considering. Just in case you feel advice from a professional selfie photographer couldn't possibly be meaningful Sorelle's journey to financial freedom in just two years is well worth looking into. One takeaway for me is that at age 28 she was broke, but turned things around and was a millionaire by age 30. While that's an exceptional result of quite a lot of hard work, writing books, building courses, and more, what it says to me is, it's possible to be financially secure in less than two years