Robot 6

Filmmaker turns to Kickstarter to fund Superman Lives documentary

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.



So many things were going to go wrong with this. Chris Rock as Jimmy Olsen, Nic Cage as Clark/Supes, Tool Time Guy as Brainiac, that weird, plastic, glowing costume, a disinterested Tim Burton. And how about the supposed deal breakers, a gay robot and a giant spider? This could be awesome!

What happened??? Jesus… take a look at a Cage. Do you really need an explanation? This would’ve actually been enough to make Christopher Reeve walk again.

One fix, though, Kevin Smith wrote the script for the project before Tim Burton came on board, and Tim didn’t want nuttin’ to do with the Jersey Boy. Kevin’ll be happy to talk, but don’t hang Nick “Manson Hair” Cage on him!

I don’t know why bloggers ignorantly give Ang Lee a hard time for the Gamma Dogs. The Gamma Dogs were taken DIRECTLY from the Hulk comic book of the time. It was a great sequence, and a lot better than anything I saw in Lettier’s later Incredible Hulk.

As for Tim Burton’s Superman… I’m on the fence. You can’t judge a final product by production photos and pictures. Every film, particularly superhero and sci-fi films look like utter crap when you see the initial production pics ( Captain America, Avengers, Thor, Amazing Spider-Man, even Heath Ledger’s Joker) but fanboys have been proven over and over again that their negativity is usually incorrect. The proof would have been the final product – which we have never seen. I’d be curious to see if this documentary would be able to access the main stakeholders and give an objective POV/ exploration of the film, but it’s unlikely as he’s already stated his biased opinion. I’m not really interested in a documentary that sets out to rubbish or ridicule something.

I’m surprised that someone with a number of legitimate credits in animation would propose such a insane project. The video seems like some fanboy fever dream. Does he have Warner Brothers permission? Unlikely. Using artwork pilfered from the internet? Very dubious and will undoubtable result in legal action. Interviews with Nic Cage and Tim Burton? Maybe when hell freezes over. Filming scenes from Kevin Smith’s scrapped script? Not his intellectual property and highly problematic for the budget he’s talking (even with the stretch thing).

Dozens of big budget films get scrapped every year. Do we need to go into the gory details of why? No.

This Superman Lives stuff makes for a funny Kevin Smith bit. But it’s not worth investing any time and money into anything else.

Oh. And looking at his Kickstarter pledge list, you’ll see he has a ton of Superman related items intended. Too bad he doesn’t own the copyright. Superman’s not public domain, dude.

Jeez dude, did Schnepp kill your dog or something? Don’t contribute if you find this project so offensive. I bet you were the guy in elementary school to ruin Santa Claus for the younger kids.

God damn, Nic looks like a corpse an undertaker stuffed into a chinsy Halloween costume….

Also, this would have been the Batman and Robin of the Superman franchise

“Jeez dude, did Schnepp kill your dog or something? Don’t contribute if you find this project so offensive. I bet you were the guy in elementary school to ruin Santa Claus for the younger kids.”

It’s not offensive. It’s just not realistic. I took his claims at face value and dare questioned the feasibility.

Another telling sign is that none of the Kickstarter funds are going into the distribution of the finished product. What’s the point of making a film if you have no plans for getting people to see it?

release it free on-line,
it said right at the end, to be created/published under a fair-use copyright
though will that protect him from the lawyers of DC/WB I doubt it…. \
It is a documentary I would love to see made though

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