When Superman Lives Went Down

We at TGD are fascinated by movies that never got made, because it’s always a trip to think of what could have, should have, would have been. One unmade film that’s fascinated many is Superman Lives, which was going to star Nicolas Cage and Jim Carrey, working from a script by Kevin Smith, and Tim Burton directing.

As many know, one of the big problems with this incarnation of Superman was its famously belligerent and ignorant producer, Jon Peters, whose moronic ideas and punk bullying are legend in Hollywood. And like many Peters projects, an enormous amount of money was spent in development costs with nothing to show for it.

Dan Gilroy did work on the script as well, and he told The Hollywood Reporter, “Our Superman was in therapy at the beginning of the film.” It turns out in this Superman, Jor-El doesn’t tell his son who he is before he’s sent to earth, and once he gets here, he has an identity crisis. “It becomes very apparent, early in the script, when Lex Luthor uncovers the remnants of the spacecraft, he suddenly realizes – ‘Oh my god, I’m an alien.’ It was all about the psychological trauma of it. I loved it.”

Although he’s one of the biggest superheroes there is, trying to revive Superman has seemed a lost cause, and if Batman Vs Superman tanks, it will be years before anyone tries again. Maybe we’ll always see Christopher Reeve as the man of steel, and it’s hard to imagine anyone else in the role.