The Death Of Superman Lives Trailer Examines Tim Burton’s Abandoned Superman Film


The greatest movies never made is up for debate. Depending on your cinematic oeuvre, you might be more inclined to champion Vincent Ward’s ‘wooden planet’ concept for Alien 3. Or Joss Whedon’s Wonder Woman. For some fans, there’s only one unmade movie to contest. A movie that over the years has accrued such mystery and intrigue that the story of its unmaking has now been turned into a documentary: The Death Of Superman Lives: What Happened?

In case the spoiler-ridden title didn’t clue you in, the Jon Schnepp-directed piece revolves around Tim Burton’s Superman Lives reboot that never saw the light of day. Burton cast Nicolas Cage as the former resident of Krypton and completely rewrote the lore of the iconic character. The somewhat iconoclastic approach to Superman was considered a major departure from Burton’s earlier work on WB’s Batman movies, and garnered a considerable amount of attention.

Sadly, the completed movie was not to be, but the story behind the film looks to be a worthy exploration for those interested in the machinations of the studio system. The talking heads include Burton, producer Jon Peters, costume designer Colleen Atwood and three of the scribes who worked on the project Kevin Smith, Wesley Strick and Dan Gilroy.

The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened? opens in select theaters in the US on May 1 and before it soars onto additional international screens on July 9.


The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened? delves into one of Hollywood’s most enthralling ‘what could have been’ stories. In 1996, Warner Brothers engaged Kevin Smith to write the screenplay (‘Superman Lives’). Director Tim Burton assembled an elite group of artists to work on Superman Lives, including Nicolas Cage as Superman. Warner Brothers scrapped the project shortly before principal photography began.

This documentary, directed by Jon Schnepp, features interviews with director Tim Burton; producers Jon Peters and Lorenzo diBonaventura; screenwriters Kevin Smith, Wesley Strick, and Dan Gilroy; production designer Rick Heinrichs; special effects artist Steve Johnson; storyboard artist Tim Burgard; costume designer Colleen Atwood, and many more. This film delivers an inside look into what would have been the most original, unexpected and cosmic Superman movie ever made.