The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened?

The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened? is a Feature Length Documentary about the unmade movie “Superman Lives”. This film, out of all the various attempts to make a Superman movie between 1987 and 2006, would have stood the test of time and become a bonafide Cult Classic nowadays. I am not alone with my intense interest in knowing everything I can about this project, and so now I’m embarking on making a Documentary that will cover everything ever made for this film, from interviewing as many people as I can who were involved, to including actually recreating scenes from the script!!!

I’ve been interested in this film since it was first announced back in the late 90’s. Nicolas Cage was announced as Superman, Kevin Smith was announced as the Writer, Tim Burton was announced as the Director, and fans have had very heavy opinions, both positive and negative, on all of this. As news slowly bubbled out, news buzzed around about Rainbow Robot Outfits, Brainiac Skull ships, Superman not “flying”, Fighting a Giant Spider, Polar Bears guarding the Fortress of Solitude. It all sounded so crazy, so weird, so different, that I honestly was hoping that they would actually make it, just so we would have something different from what had come before. It never happened. Cut to almost 15 years later, and I really wish I could slap that “Superman Lives” disc into my player, and watch this guaranteed weird, strange, and original new take on the mythology of the Superman character. By this time, whether it was a success or failure at the box office, It would have for sure been a cult classic, due mainly to its inspired casting, and its tremendous bravery in it’s attempt to merge toy sales with the weirdness.

I have been working professionally in the world of media for over 15 years now, writing, producing and directing shows that many of you have heard about. Some have even achieved cult status themselves ( Upright Citizens Brigade, Metalocalypse, The Venture Bros ). This will be my first feature length documentary, but over the years I’ve had plenty of experience in doing interviews, talking on camera and specifically editing interviews. I was a featured guest in Morgan Spurlock’s “ComicConIV: A Fans Hope”, I’ve edited over a dozen episodes of “Space Ghost Coast to Coast”, and I’ve directed hundreds of Actors both in front of the camera and in “behind the scenes” docs, so I’m very prepared to make this documentary soar, both visually and with the talent involved!

I’m going to be interviewing as many Key Personnel that I can get in contact with, and I plan on getting everybody! In addition to delving into the making of “Superman Lives”, I’ll be focusing on the ideas, legends, and ever expanding mythos of Superman and the need for a superhuman character in our society and culture in general. By interviewing other Writers, Artists, Filmmakers, and Fans, I intend on asking more questions than could possibly be answered, but we are going to have lots of fun along the way!

Including myself, my Producer, my Cameramen and my Editor, we will be setting up interviews with all the key personnel, and will be travelling about to get the people when we can. I’ll have a music composer and sound designer, with additional ADR and Sound Booth Recording, and all finished HiDef with a 5.1 professional mix.

I hope that with the possible success of raising the money to make this feature documentary, that we also reach our additionally intended “Stretch Goal” of $50k, which will be used to actually produce and create several key scenes and moments from the “Superman Lives” scripts, using the incredible graphic ideas generated by the many designers and artists. I will also hire artists to make 3D models, build Practical Models, design Backgrounds, animate Lasers (very important!), make Brainiac’s eyes glow inside a giant floating SkullShip, and to composite very cool action flying shots. I’m going to direct these scenes in the spirit of the unmade Burton Version, and hope to be able to create some crazy “Superman Lives” Scenarios! For these reasons, that’s the budget needed to make this project, and that’s where you come in!

With your help, I will have a finished cut of “The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened?” finished and a World Premiere Screening by the time of the 2013 San Diego Comic Convention, and ready to screen it to the entire world after that! Once we get funded, I’ll be posting monthly updates on the progress I’m making, who we interviewed that month, and keeping you in the loop with Exclusive Kickstarter Video Updates!

Thank you for your support!

-Jon Schnepp