“Superman Lives” documentary to get European debut at MCM London Comic Con


It’s a bird… It’s a plane… It’s the European debut of The Death of ‘Superman Lives’; What Happened? a documentary about a planned Man of Steel film starring Nicholas Cage, directed by Tim Burton that was on the cards for a 1998 release – but abandoned.

Tidbits of this aborted production have become public through leaked photos and evenings with Kevin Smith over the past 15 years, but The Death of ‘Superman Lives’; What Happened? , which will screen at MCM London Comic Con (22nd – 24th May 2015), is the first detailed investigation into one of Hollywood’s most enthralling ‘what might have been’ stories.

In 1996, Warner Brothers engaged Kevin Smith to write the screenplay of Superman Lives. Director Tim Burton assembled an elite group of artists to work on the movie, including Nicolas Cage as Superman. But Warner Brothers scrapped the project shortly before principal photography began.


A costume test for Nicholas Cage during pre-production for the abandoned film, "Superman Lives".

A costume test for Nicholas Cage during pre-production for the abandoned film, “Superman Lives”.


Tim Burton has rarely talked about the project, but it’s known he was keen on playing up the alien, sci-fi elements of Superman and had no interest in what is considered comic book canon, instead planning to offer a radical re-interpretation of the character. One version of the script, written by Wesley Strick, indicates the film would have taken an approach more akin to Batman: Dark Knight to the character.

Written and directed by Jon Schnepp (Metalocalypse), the crowdfunded The Death of ‘Superman Lives’; What Happened? offers an enthralling inside look into what would have been the most original, unexpected and cosmic Superman movie ever made. The film features interviews with director Tim Burton; legendary producers Jon Peters and Lorenzo di Bonaventura; 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.

Director Jon Schnepp is to attend May’s MCM London Comic Con to screen his much-anticipated Superman movie documentary for the first time in Europe, meet fans and sign autographs.

• The Death of ‘Superman Lives’; What Happened? will screen after MCM London Comic Con at 6:15pm-8:15pm on Friday 22nd May and Saturday 23rd May. Tickets to the screenings are on sale now at: www.mcmexpostore.com

• Website: www.mcmcomiccon.com/london | Twitter: @MCMComicCon |  Facebook: www.facebook.com/mcmexpo | YouTube at www.youtube.com/mcmexpo

Follow The Death of Superman Live: What Happened on Facebook

• The Superman SuperSite has an overview of the project and accompanying articles by Ed Gross

i09 has a feature on the Wesley Strick Superman Lives script

• The original crowdfunding appeal site for the documentary is at www.supportsupermanlives.com

The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.

Categories: Crowd Funding Projects, downthetubes Comics News, Events, Film, Other Worlds, US Comics

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