the death of superman lives poster Kevin Smith

As many fans (especially those familiar with the director’s ‘An Evening with Kevin Smith’ videos) are aware, Kevin Smith was attached to write a Superman movie in the mid-90s. That project, ‘Superman Lives‘, ultimately became one of the many aborted Superman projects in the years between Christopher Reeve’s swan song in ‘Superman IV: The Quest for Peace’ and the character’s return to the big screen in the aptly title ‘Superman Returns’.

Had ‘Superman Lives’ come to pass, the film would have been directed by Tim Burton and featured Nicolas Cage in the title role. Broadly speaking, the movie was intended to be a loose adaptation of the ‘Death and Return of Superman’ storyline that had played out in the comics a few years prior. In terms of characters, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, Lex Luthor, Doomsday Braniac, and the Eradicator all appeared in at least one draft of the screenplay.

In a live Q&A session on Facebook, the director was asked about the possibility of adapting ‘Superman Lives’ into an animated project, presumably as part of the same line of animated DC Comics films that gave us this summer’s adaptation of ‘The Killing Joke‘. In response, Smith had this to say:

Photo credit: Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com
Photo credit: Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

“Oh, like based on my script? Based on the ‘Superman Lives’ script? That would be tight, dude, I’m not going to lie. That’d fun to see. That’s something I worked on twenty years ago at this point, so that would be really amazing to see. Like they’d turn it into a cartoon and get the people to do the voices? Because Nic Cage is still around and stuff. And I wanted Michael Rooker for my Lex Luthor, so that’d be amazing. But you know, I’m game. That ain’t up to me, kids. That’s up to the good folks at Warner Bros and stuff. But if they were ever to call and say “Hey, we want to do a cartoon version of that Superman script you wrote,” believe me, I’d be like [mimes a stunned reaction]… That’d be dope, man. You know, you close all loops in life, one way or another. And that would be a nice way to close that loop, like “Oh, we got to see what it would look like.””

For more on ‘Superman Lives’, including interviews with Kevin Smith, Tim Burton, and others involved with the not-quite-making of the film, you can check out Jon Schnepp’s documentary ‘The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened?‘.

Would you like to see an animated version of ‘Superman Lives’? Let us know in the comments!