The Death of "Superman Lives": What Happened?

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The Death of "Superman Lives": What Happened? is a 2015 documentary film starring Tim Burton, Kevin Smith and Colleen Atwood. The film was written and hosted by Jon Schnepp. The film was released theatrically on May 1, 2015 and was released on DVD and Blu-Ray on July 9, 2015.


The film is a documentary on the production of an unmade Superman film titled Superman Lives which began production around 1996 or 1997 and was about to be a reboot of the original Superman series following the failure of Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. The documentary also explains that Superman Lives went through multiple rewrites and was cancelled before it could go into post-production following a string of commercial failures in the late 1990s including Batman & Robin.

Why It Rocks

  1. The film takes an interesting and in-depth look inside a film that was about to make it to the big screen, but was canceled for many reasons.
  2. Interesting interviews with the filmmakers who were involved in making the film.
  3. The film shows interesting storyboard artwork that was going to be used in the film.
  4. The film shows different screenplay ideas that were pitched to Tim Burton, who was hired to direct the film after he directed Batman and Batman Returns.
  5. Interesting conclusion that the film's budget would end up into making the 1999 film Wild Wild West.


The Death of "Superman Lives": What Happened was met with extremely positive reviews from critics and audiences. It currently holds an 85% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes with an average of 7.2 out of 10. Stephen Farber of The Hollywood Reporter stated "Despite [some] lapses and a padded running time, this film does burst with fascinating inside lore." YouTube critic Chris Stuckmann described the film as "well-researched documentary." Critic Scott Weinberg of Nerdist stated that the film "Provides a whole lot of interesting tidbits about the project's long and convoluted development process, and it does so in a thorough, upbeat, and amiable fashion." Brian Orndorf of described the film as "A sensational, riveting documentary, especially for film fans who've been clamoring for some type of investigation into this production for years."


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