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The Death of 'Superman Lives': What Happened? feature film documents the process of development of the ill fated "Superman Lives" movie, that was to be directed by Tim Burton and star Nicolas Cage as the man of steel himself, Superman. The project went through years of development before the plug was pulled, and this documentary interviews the major players: Kevin Smith, Tim Burton, Jon Peters, Dan Gilroy, Colleen Atwood, Lorenzo di Bonaventura and many many more.
The Death of "Superman Lives": What Happened? movie full length review - Geeks will find this very interesting and may change your opinions
I mean no offence by the geeks crack. I'm a geek!! I love comics, I adore Superman (I'm a collector and have loved him since I was a boy) and I had really only heard rumblings and rumours about the Kevin Smith written and Nicholas Cage starring Superman movie that never made it off the ground.
I think for a long time I assumed it was an urban legend of some kind and then pictures started circulating of Cage in the suit and I still didn't think much of it. If this documentary doesn't surprise you about anything else, it shocked me with how deep into production this movie was. I mean we are talking script completion, special effects, costumes, casting...everyone was on board and in the production stages and that is the best thing this film shows. It also shows how genuinely passionate everyone was about making this work. The idea was they wanted to make a whole new concept Superman that was completely out of the box. Honestly, I am certain that it would have bombed and mainstream audiences would have hated it and die-hard fans would have ripped it apart including me and yet this documentary made me WANT to see this movie. It is based on my personal favourite and I think one of the best comic series' and concepts ever and that was the death of Superman. The project was perhaps too ambitious for one film and too much outside of the box for anyone.
Jon Schnepp isn't exactly a household name and yet he's been around for awhile and worked on some high profile projects. I believe this film was made due to some sort of public forum donation (Kickstarter or something like that) and great for them because its the only documentary on this subject and it is extremely thorough. If I were Schnepp I may have hired someone to be the "host" of the documentary because Schnepp is clearly passionate about this subject and he's obviously a geek himself but he is incredibly awkward in front of the camera and has a ton of nervous tics (that nod...could be turned into a horrifying drinking game. The man nods 1000 times per interview I am sure.) He seems to get more comfortable as the film progresses but not much. He does ask the right questions and covers the right areas but he himself is not a great presence in front of the camera.
The thing for me that I came out of this doc surprised about besides how deep into it they were is that I actually want to see this movie now and that includes Nicholas Cage. My first thought was the same as everyone else...Nicholas Cage would be laughed off the screen. But in seeing the film, watching him in costume and listening to him talk...I began to actually envision him in the role. Now again this would be WAY outside of the box. This would be a total departure from any Superman we have seen before but I could see Cage doing it. Man of Steel (in my opinion) was a butchering of the original Superman concept so why not this? The work put into it would have been (and was extensive.) Alas all we have is this documentary which was fascinating and decently made for the audience intended. Anyone outside of geeks and comic fans will likely be bored with the subject matter and find creator Jon Schnepp even more awkward. Its worth a look for all of us geeks. 7/10