Over the past decade or so, Superman Lives has achieved almost mythical status, a movie project so delightfully terrible that there’s no way it could possibly be true. Nicolas Cage as the Man of Steel, Chris Rock as Jimmy Olsen, Tim Allen as Brainiac — that’s the stuff of fever dreams.
However, Tim Burton’s nightmarish vision for the Last Son of Krypton almost became a reality, with roles cast, costumes created and Pittsburgh selected to double for Metropolis. And then in 1998, to the relief of many, Warner Bros. pulled the plug. But why, exactly?
That’s what writer/director Jon Schnepp (The Venture Bros., Metalocalypse) hopes to uncover in his proposed feature-length documentary The Death of ‘Superman Lives’: What Happened? The problem is, though, that he needs $98,000 to produce it. So he’s turned to Kickstarter.
“We could have had the weirdest Superman movie ever made,” he says in the introductory video. “Weird! Strange! Bizarre outfits! Rainbows! The weirdness level of this Superman movie beats any superhero film that’s ever been made. I mean, you had Ang Lee ‘Hulk dogs’? This is weirder. […] For whatever reasons, it all fell apart right before they started shooting.”
Nothing if not ambitious, Schnepp hopes to interview people involved in every step of the process, from the concept artists and original writer Kevin Smith to Cage and Burton.