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SUPERMAN LIVES_wtf

September 22, 2009

Today, after nearly a decade in limbo, an image has finally surfaced of Nic Cage in costume from Tim Burton’s 1999 Superman Lives.  For those of you that don’t know (this was well before Superman Returns), in the mid ’90s Warner Brothers was desperate to get Superman back on the big screen.  So desperate were they, and in such need of a sure-thing blockbuster, that no other than Tim Burton himself (still soaring after the first two Batman films) was signed on as director and Nicolas Cage (fresh off of Leaving Las Vegas and The Rock) was cast as the Man of Steel (both with highly lucrative play-or-pay contracts to boot.)

This image (and the easily googled concept art) is a glimpse of the pure insanity this project was:

Nic Cage, Superman Lives

Nic Cage, Superman Lives

Admittedly, this picture isn’t as clear as I hoped it would be.  There is a chance it’s bunk but, aside from the strange airbrushing along his neckline, it seems legit.  As the story goes, the film was being rushed into production but, for whatever reason, the execs at Warner Brothers wanted to see Cage in costume.  Go figure.  Unfortunately, I can’t give the ridiculousness of this photo credit for derailing the film.  Instead, according to Wikipedia, the film’s escalating budget gave the studio cold feet.  They put the film on hold, just weeks before they were schedule to start shooting, and Burton and Cage moved on to other projects (after being paid in full, of course.)

Before Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns there were a handful of aborted Superman projects.  This crap fascinates me.  I was a huge Superman fan as a kid (well, I guess I still am) and I was on top of all of them thanks to my early interneting skills (does Aint It Cool News still exist?!)  To this day, I periodically find myself scouring the fan-sites for new details or concept art.  Besides Burton’s project, which was written (a few drafts worth at least) by Kevin Smith, you also had Jonathan Lemkins’ Superman Reborn, McG’s Superman Lives, Brett Ratner and J.J. Abrams’ Superman: Flyby, and Wolfgang Petersen’s Batman vs. Superman.  Each filmmaker took a radically different (and equally insane) approach to the character.  I’m not going into details (I would be here ranting all day) so, if this interests you in the least, check out the Wikipedia site.  It will seriously blow your mind.

Read it over. All of it.  And by the end, I guarantee, you will have a new appreciate for Superman Returns.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superman_Lives#Superman_Lives

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Hack Riven permalink
    September 23, 2009 1:09 am

    personally, i’ve never been much of a kevin smith fan (aka mindless follower as everyone else in this world seems to be). so, to you mall-rat drones: if “Jersey Girl” didn’t discredit him enough for you, looking back at his personal casting choices for the no-existent “Superman Lives” definitely should. make me puke.

  2. cklockwork permalink*
    September 24, 2009 7:49 pm

    yeah, i never got Kevin Smith. never liked his movies. never thought they were funny. and now we’re stuck with ben affleck forever. but then you go posting those clips… and now he seems like an okay guy. now i feel guilty about giving him shit all these years. damn it.

    jon peters. I knew he was, and probably still is, the biggest problem with the Superman franchise. I left him out of my post because… well, where would I begin and where would I end? The man needs to be stopped.

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