Younger nerds may not know this, but there was once this thing called “Superman Lives.” It was based, however roughly, on the “Death of Superman” story arc from 1992/93 and was primed to be the smash hit of the summer of 1998, in theaters, in time, for Superman’s 60th birthday. It was also supposed to be the Man of Steel’s epic return to cinemas, 12 years after the epic failure of Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. Of course, Superman Lives was an epic failure in its own right, torn asunder by a rabid fan culture and a suddenly spending shy studio. And that’s where Jon Schnepp comes in. A veritable collector of Superman Lives lore, he decided to crowd fund a documentary to examine its making and eventual unmaking, and he needs a little bit more money to get the film in front of the eyes of fans…

In The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened?, Schnepp shows much of the artwork and props developed for the cancelled film and talks to several people who were involved in the pre-production on Superman Lives including costume designer Colleen Atwood and art director Rick Heinrichs. His two biggest interviews though seem to be Lives director Tim Burton (“Why are you bringing up such painful memories? I’ve just, in the last year, finally recovered from the shaking.”) and its original screenwriter Kevin Smith (“Even though the Internet didn’t exist, the Internet was still mad”). Progress is being made, but the film is still several thousands of dollars away from being ready to deliver to computers and Blu-ray players everywhere. More on that in a minute, here’s the new trailer for the project:

As you heard, Schnepp needs about $85,000 to finish the film. “[T]he last eight months have been full of incredible highs and unforeseen lows,” he wrote on the film’s FanBacked page. The extra expenses include “surprise medical bills, equipment repair fees, and various other unplanned costs that weren’t factored into my original campaign.”

If you’re interested at all in helping out, the campaign has about 21 days left to go, and needs about $20,000 more to achieve its goal. Go to to learn more.

This is a fascinating project and its especially awesome that Schnepp was able to get Burton to talk on the record about it. I remember buying a copy of Smith’s Superman Lives script years ago (before such things were readily available online) and found it relatively decent and a good starting place for a film to begin development. It’s been a matter of some curiosity, even after nearly 20 years, to figure out where it all went wrong. I hope to soon find out.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Category: Comics, Film, Nerd Culture

Tags: , , , , ,