– by Joseph Jammer Medina

It’s hard to believe now, but superhero films had a very difficult road to success. Up until 2008, most comic book movies tended to be pretty horrible experiences (with the Spider-Man, X-Men, and Batman films serving as exceptions).

The fact is that the current generation of films had the bodies of other failed movies they could step on to reach greater heights. Batman Begins had Batman and Robin, X-Men: First Class had X-Men: The Last Stand, and so on.

However, there are some films that didn’t even manage to make it to the box office. For one reason or another, like many films in Hollywood, some fall flat on their face before actually even making it to theaters. One film that famously eluded release was Superman Lives. This film was also noteworthy because it utilized the talents of writer Kevin Smith, director Tim Burton, and the acting chops of one Nicolas Cage.

In recent years, the documentary The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened? from filmmaker and movie pundit Jon Schnepp has reignited interest in the project. But what did Cage himself think of the movie? Speaking with EW, Cage said:

“I would offer that the movie that Tim and I would have made, in your imagination, is more powerful than any of the Superman movies. I didn’t even have to make the movie and we all know what that movie would have been in your imagination. That is the Superman. That is the movie. Even though you never saw it — it is the Superman.”

While we can’t really confirm or deny Cage’s statements — as the film never came out — we can say that, based on the aforementioned documentary, we are very interested at what could have been. It sounds like it could have been terrible, but it also sounds like it would have been a film unlike any other Superman film to date.

We can look back on it and always wonder what could have been, but looking at what they had planned, it also sounds like it would have been a Superman film that would have been more for non-Superman fans than Superman fans. Plus, with Superman Lives, we would not have had Superman Returns, and nor would we have Man of Steel, for better or worse.

What do you think of Cage’s statements? Would you have wanted to see his version of Superman? Let us know down below!

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  • noahwayne0

    I doubt it. Burton’s Batman was just a Burton movie that happened to have a Batman cameo. I don’t think Superman would’ve been different.

    • Kindofabigdeal

      As long as it’s Pre-Mars Attacks Burton and not post.

  • underdogchamp

    I read the screenplay for this never to be made flick a few years ago. I think Kevin Smith wrote it maybe? It was pretty wacky. I would’ve loved to have seen it. Woulda been more interesting than MoS was that’s for damn sure.

    • Games


    • Sinsdevice

      Kevin smith said they passed on his script. So it would have been something else.

  • Victor Roa

    nic cage after con air….. YES!!!!
    but this was after Snake Eyes and Wind Talker, face palm

    • Kindofabigdeal

      I like both of those movies. Not Cage’s finest work but still entertaining. But what do I know, I liked Bringing Out The Dead.

      • Victor Roa

        bring out the dead was amazing, that like 6 years of Nic Cage doing everything.

  • Black_Ace

    DC Animation should take Kevin Smith’s script, and all the production designs and make an animated version. I would so want to see that!

    • Kindofabigdeal

      And have Cage voice it.

  • Kindofabigdeal

    Bojack Horseman has a good theory. They say that Burton died during Mars Attacks and that some other guy has been posing as Burton this whole time.


    “I would offer that the movie that Tim and I would have made, in your
    imagination, is more powerful than any of the Superman movies.”

    In YOUR imagination,not mine.

  • *trips -“ahhhh”

    Is he saying that what we imagine it to be will all we the best most powerful version of superman becuase our imagination imagines it as everything we (the individual) want a superman movie to be? Or is he literally saying it would have been the greatest most powerful superman movie ever to bad we didn’t make it.
    ….. either statement seems equally… Cageish. (Pun!)

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.