The Cancelled Superman Lives

Superman Lives is a cancelled superhero film directed by Tim Burton based on the 1992 comic book The Death of Superman, which was planned for a release in the Summer of 1998. The film was an attempt to reboot the Superman franchise.


Braniac sends the Kryptonian monster Doomsday to kill Superman, as well as blocking out the sun to make Superman powerless, as Superman is fueled by sunlight. Braniac and Lex Luthor team up, but Superman is resurrected by a Kryptonian robot called "The Eradicator".


  • Nicolas Cage as Superman/Kal-El.
  • Sandra Bullock as Lois Lane (refused to star)
  • Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor
  • Christopher Walken as Brainiac


Production for Superman Lives began around 1996 or 1997 with the titles for a script titled Superman V: Reborn and Warner Brothers hired Tim Burton (who previously directed Batman and Batman Returns) to direct the film.

Why It Was CancelledEdit

  1. Warner Bros. couldn't afford the monetary risk of producing it, especially following the financial losses and unfavorable reviews of Batman & Robin, One Eight Seven, The Postman and Steel.
  2. Most people had mixed reactions on casting Nicolas Cage as Clark Kent/Superman.
  3. The film underwent massive rewrites before it could be greenlit, but was then eventually cancelled.


  • Warner Bros. cancelled the project and rebooted the Superman series in 2006 with the release of Superman Returns starring Brandon Routh as Clark Kent/Superman. Kevin Spacey was the only cast member from the cancelled Superman film to star in the film as Lex Luthor. Bryan Singer, who would later do X-Men films directed the film.
  • In 2015, a documentary film titled The Death of "Superman Lives": What Happend? was released on DVD and Blu-Ray. The film was hosted by Jon Schnepp and featured interviews with various writers and producers who all explained different scripts, ideas for costumes and fan reaction to hearing that Nicolas Cage was hired to play Clark Kent/Superman. The documentary even featured rare behind the scenes footage including footage of Nicolas Cage rehearsing as the Man of Steel and storyboards.
  • The ninth episode of the second season of Supergirl was titled Supergirl Lives as an homage to Superman Lives.
  • In November 2016, Kevin Smith stated that the original film may become an animated film with Nicolas Cage as the voice of Clark Kent/Superman and Michael Rooker as the voice of Lex Luthor. The rest of the cast for the planned adaptation are unknown as of right now and further information on the planned film is unknown.
  • The money that was going to be used in making Superman Lives went into making the 1999 film Wild Wild West.

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