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The Death of "Superman Lives": What Happened? (2015)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 9 July 2015 (USA)
A documentary about the proposed 1998 Superman Lives feature film that would have starred Nicolas Cage.


Jon Schnepp


Jon Schnepp
1 nomination. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Nicolas Cage ... Himself (archive footage)
Kevin Smith ... Himself
Tim Burton ... Himself
Dan Gilroy ... Himself
Jon Peters ... Himself
Colleen Atwood ... Herself
Grant Morrison ... Himself
Robert Meyer Burnett Robert Meyer Burnett ... Himself
Lorenzo di Bonaventura ... Himself
Jon Schnepp ... Himself
Rick Heinrichs ... Himself
Wesley Strick ... Himself
Steve Johnson Steve Johnson ... Himself
Bill Boes ... Himself
Derek Frey ... Himself


A documentary about the proposed 1998 Superman Lives feature film that would have starred Nicolas Cage.

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Not Rated

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Release Date:

9 July 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Смерть 'Супермен жив': Что случилось? See more »

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Production Co:

Super Skull Ship See more »
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Did You Know?


Kevin Smith directed some episodes of the second season of Supergirl (2015), the first titled "Supergirl Lives" as a reference to the film. Smith joked he expected Supergirl to fight a giant spider as in the infamous battle scene proposed for this film. See more »


Sylvain Despretz: Highly creative people have a hard time getting their movies made. Full stop. That's all it is. Because they bring stuff that blows everyone away, and as much as the claim is they want something original, they're terrified of it. That's what happens. So, you don't see those movies because they scare everybody up the chain of command.
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References Dragon Ball (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

Not bad, but not good either
12 August 2015 | by sideriteSee all my reviews

It is always fascinating to see the innards of the making of a movie. People that are working so much before you even know that the idea exists. Superman Lives, though, was not that special an idea.

It would have been fun to see a long hared Nicolas Cage play Superman (and I honestly mean it, especially since he was still young and caring enough about his roles) and Tim Burton would have probably reinvented the superhero genre all by his lonesome. However it would have been neither completely revolutionary nor conservatory enough to appeal to movie studios. Its cancellation was not possible, but the most probable outcome.

The documentary goes ahead and describes how the work for the movie started and how they prepared concepts and costumes and they were weeks from starting filming when the project was canceled. Fun to see Kevin Smith contradict Jon Peters on how things actually happened and who had which idea, but in the end the viewer doesn't care one way or the other.

I feel that the documentary, unlike others in the genre, like Jodorowsky's Dune, failed completely in making the viewer care. You didn't see Cage heartbroken for not making the film (in fact he didn't appear at all, except in archive footage), you didn't see Smith or Peters cry tears of frustration for not getting the thing done, and the footage about their preparations and the minute details about the Superman costume left me cold.

Bottom line: Good to watch it in order to learn how movies get conceived and made. Bad if you want to enjoy yourself or feel anything about this movie that was not made.

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