Sometimes in Hollywood a project might not make it to the silver screen. Many projects have come and failed before hitting the illusive green light – from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s epic Crusade that failed to the Darren Aronofsky’s Batman Movie starring Clint Eastwood. Sometimes a movie dies in development hell and unfortunately that was the case with Superman Lives – the weirdest Superman movie that never was.
Superman Lives (previously titled Superman Reborn) is the title for a canceled Superman movie intended for production during the 1990s. The film was to be directed by Tim Burton and produced by Jon Peters.
The movie would have featured Nicholas Cage as Superman. Let that sink in for a bit. Nicholas Cage as Superman…
Sure, he was hot in the 1990s with films like Con Air and The Rock, but Superman is the last thing that comes to mind when I think of Nicholas Cage. He is a huge Superman fan (his son is named Kal-El, after Superman’s given name). It’s reasonable to assume that this was a labor of love for him. Jon Peters, who was Barbra Streisand’s hairdresser before becoming a Hollywood producer, produced the picture!
Kevin Smith, director and host of the postcast, had a lot to say about working with Jon Peters. This includes everything from having Smith include a big spider in the Superman film (since spiders are one of the most hazardous animals in the wild realm) to requesting for Polar Bears to protect Superman’s Fortress of Solitude! ‘Polar Bears are the most dangerous animals in the animal realm,’ he said when asked why.
The movie had some bizarre costumes for Superman. At one point of the movie where Superman dies, he comes back wearing a metallic rainbow with lights flowing through the suit of the iconic Superman suit.
Unfortunately we will never truly have this very weird part of cinematic history on our shelves as the movie never got made. There is a silver lining in that Jon Schnepp is busy making a documentary on the Death of Superman Lives: What happened? It will feature interviews with Tim Burton and Nicholas Cage on the failed Superman Lives project.