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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.

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Robert Meyer Burnett ...
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Steve Johnson ...
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A documentary about the proposed 1998 Superman Lives feature film that would have starred Nicolas Cage.

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Documentary

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Not Rated

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9 July 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Смерть 'Супермен жив': Что случилось?  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

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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Connections

References Chasing Amy (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hollywood folly
13 June 2016 | by See all my reviews

Low-budget but comprehensive documentary examination of the ill- fated 1990s attempt to reboot Superman. This is clearly a passion project of writer/director Jon Schnepp and it shows, for good and for ill. Schnepp's enthusiasm for the subject is infectious enough to carry us through what feels like an overlong film without too much drag. Somehow he managed to secure interviews with almost everyone important involved in the abandoned production, including would-be director Tim Burton, all three screenwriters who wrote and rewrote, Warner Bros. honcho Lorenzo di Bonaventura, costume designer Colleen Atwood, a large number of the technical artists who worked on the film's concepts, and most incredibly Jon Peters. Considering that screenwriter number one Kevin Smith has made a career trashing Peters over his involvement in what was supposed to be "Superman Lives," Peters is either brave or foolhardy for agreeing to participate.

The most notable absence from the documentary is Nicholas Cage, who was cast as the Man of Steel and who we see only in archival footage of costume tests, but Schnepp has more than enough to work with. That is part of the problem -- this film presents more than anyone but the most obsessive fan boy would want to know about how the production progressed before it fell apart. It gets repetitive after the first hour and Schnepp isn't himself a dynamic enough filmmaker to keep it lively. The other problem is that, ultimately, despite some of the out-sized egos involved, there is no grand tale to tell here. "Superman Lives" died for perfectly sensible reasons, so this documentary ends on more of a whimper than a bang. While "The Death of Superman Lives" is catchier, this is really "The Short Life of Superman Lives" in that it gives us a good sense of what the film might ultimately have become, but doesn't really join the pantheon of fascinating tales of aborted projects.


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