The news of Jon Schnepp directing a documentary about Superman Lives is more newsworthy than any rumor about JJ Abrams directing the new Star Wars movies.
At one point, Tim Burton was set to direct, Nicolas Cage was set to star as Superman and Kevin Smith was set to write the script that would reboot the Superman franchise. Brainiac, rainbow suits, giant spiders and polar bear fights were all going to make their way to the silver screen but this was all too good to be true.
After Burton signed his contract, he wanted to make his vision of the film, not Smith’s. And…well you know who can explain this better than me? Kevin Smith.
Eventually Cage and Burton left the project because the shooting schedule kept getting delayed, but before they did, they both got paid. Burton and Cage both had pay-or-play contracts which meant that no matter what happened with the movie, they will still got paid. Cage received 5 million; Burton received 20 million. Add another 5 million for pre-production costs and this movie already cost Warner Bros. 30 million dollars with nothing to show for it except for some pictures of Nicolas Cage looking high in a Superman costume.
Other directors were interviewed for the job but eventually WB decided to put this movie on the shelf.
This is just the Cliffs Notes version of the story which is why the documentary needs to get made. Return all your beer cans, pan handle for change or even sell your cat and head over to Jon Schneep’s Kickstarter. Don’t you want to say that you helped make something amazing happen?