Take A Look At A Lost Classic: Nicolas Cage in ‘Superman Lives’

The casting of superheroes is almost as important to some people as the election of a president. They take it very seriously, as we saw with last year’s backlash to Ben Affleck playing Batman. However, what would you say if I told you Nicolas Cage was going to play Superman?

Go on…

It has been long documented on the interwebs that everyone’s favorite crazy actor was once tapped as a potential Superman in the ill-fated Superman Lives.

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In 1996 Kevin Smith was hired to write and pitch producer Jon Peters a Superman film with a giant spider fight scene. It also contained a Superman who didn’t fly.

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Eventually, Smith dropped out and Tim Burton was set to direct, with Nicolas Cage playing The Man of Steele. It would have been beautiful to see Nic Cage as Superman with a mullet. The world weeps that this never came to pass. Apparently that mullet was Kryptonite for the completion of this film.

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Now, Kevin Smith and director Jon Schnepp  are asking fans of Superman and weird Hollywood stories to help them finish The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened? by donating money to their fundraising campaign. They need to reach their $85 thousand dollar goal. You can see their pitch and more on the Superman Lives disaster below, where they promise to give us all the juicy details. Then again, perhaps this documentary will turn into a “never made” movie, and someone will make a documentary about it.

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There is a whole genre of documentaries that explore “films that never were.” These aren’t the dusty screenplay called Nympho Aliens From Hell that your cousin wrote in college and has been talking about shooting on a Betamax camera for the last twenty years.  That was never going to happen. These lost films are legit works of cinema with big Hollywood players attached that made it to a certain stage of financing, pre-production, and planning, but for whatever reason, never materialized.

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I’m waiting for “The Death Of The Death of Super Man Lives: What Happened?”

This includes fascinating looks at such alternate universe legendary films as Jodorowsky’s Dune– the celebrated art house director’s ambitious mid-70’s take on Frank Herbert’s science fiction novel masterpiece. He assembled a crew that would go on to make some of the best sci-fi of the 80’s and 90’s. H.R. Giger was going to do the character design and Pink Floyd was going to do the soundtrack. Might have been a good flick.

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Lost in La Mancha was started as some regular behind the scenes footage for the making of Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. However the behind the footage turned into the main story when the filming of this elaborate adaptation hit several disasters, including a flood and the failing health of the film’s star. The film was never completed.

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Complete Phil Haney on Twitter @PhilHaney