|The Death of "Superman Lives": What Happened?|
Official release poster
|Directed by||Jon Schnepp|
|Produced by||Holly Payne|
|Written by||Jon Schnepp|
|Music by||Frederick William Scott|
|Cinematography||Carl Millard King|
|Edited by||Marie Jamora|
The Death of "Superman Lives": What Happened? is a 2015 American documentary film written and directed by Jon Schnepp and produced by Holly Payne. It chronicles the behind-the-scenes events surrounding the cancelled Tim Burton film Superman Lives. Funding for the documentary was partially raised through a successful Kickstarter campaign and premiered on May 1, 2015 and was released through VOD on July 9, 2015.
The documentary is a behind-the-scenes look at the 1996-97 pre-production of Superman Lives, an intended reboot of the Superman film series based on the 1992 DC comic The Death of Superman, that was cancelled only three weeks before filming was set to begin in April 1998. In the film, Schnepp interviews several people involved with the development of the project and features numerous conceptual artwork and designs intended for the visual look of Superman Lives.
Tim Burton was planned to direct the film and Jon Peters would produce it. Nicolas Cage was to star as Superman while Christopher Walken was rumoured to play Braniac. Casting choices considered for Lois Lane were Courtney Cox and Sandra Bullock although Jon Peters stated he wanted Sandra to play the character. Characters such as Lex Luthor and Doomsday were also planned to be included in the film.
Jon Peters' Vision
According to writer Kevin Smith, Jon Peters didn't want Superman to fly or wear his red and blue costume, and he wanted Superman to fight a giant spider for the finale. When Peters was questioned in an interview about the no flying or no costume, Peters denied the claims saying they were false, but the giant spider finale he stated was true and said it would have been an amazing sequence in the movie.
Director Jon Schnepp interviews the following subjects in the film:
Critical reception for The Death of "Superman Lives": What Happened? has been predominantly positive. The film currently holds an 85% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 13 reviews, with an average of 7.2/10.Forbes and The Hollywood Reporter both wrote positive reviews, and The Hollywood Reporter commented that "Fanboys will relish this overstuffed doc about the Superman movie that never hit the screen".IGN awarded it a score of 8 out of 10 saying, "But even if you come out of the documentary thankful the plug was pulled, the personalities involved and the story's [sic] they tell are worthwhile and offer some great insight into just what a struggle it can be when so many people try to work together to pull off a film of this scope."