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The Unseen Projects of Superman (Films)

 
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Which is the best Superman idea?
Superman Lives
33%
 33%  [ 3 ]
Batman vs. Superman
44%
 44%  [ 4 ]
Superman: Flyby
22%
 22%  [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 9

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BatBoy13



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 682

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 2:15 am    Post subject: The Unseen Projects of Superman (Films) Reply with quote

Tim Burton's "Superman Lives"

Kevin Smith pitched Jon Peters his story outline in August 1996, in which Peters gave him permission to write a screenplay. However, Peters did present Smith with three rules. Peters wanted Superman to wear an all-black suit, feeling the more traditional suit was "too homosexual". He didn't want to see Superman fly whatsoever, citing that he would "look like an overgrown Boy Scout." In order to deal with this, Smith wrote Superman flying as "a red-and-blue blur in flight, creating a sonic boom every time he flew."
In addition, Peters felt Superman should fight a giant spider in the third act. Nevertheless, Smith accepted the terms, realizing that he was not being hired for his vision, but to execute a pre-ordained idea. Peters and Warner Bros. forced Smith to write a scene involving Brainiac fighting polar bears at the Fortress of Solitude, and Peters wanted Brainiac to give Lex Luthor a space dog, stating "Chewie's cuddly, man. You could make a toy out of him, so you've got to give me a dog."
Smith's draft (titled Superman Lives) had Brainiac sending Doomsday to kill Superman, as well as blocking out the sun to make Superman powerless (Superman's energy is fueled by sunlight). Brainiac teams with Lex Luthor, but Superman is resurrected by a Kryptonian robot, The Eradicator. Rather than Superman’s lifeless body, Brainiac wishes to possess The Eradicator and its technology. Powerless, the resurrected Superman is sheathed in armor (The Eradicator becomes his protective suit) until his powers return, courtesy of some sunbeams and defeats Brainiac. Smith's casting choices included Ben Affleck as Clark Kent / Superman, Linda Fiorentino as Lois Lane, Jack Nicholson as Lex Luthor, Famke Janssen as Mercy, John Mahoney as Perry White, David Hyde Pierce as The Eradicator, Jason Lee as Brainiac and Jason Mewes as Jimmy Olsen.

Robert Rodriguez was offered the chance to direct, but turned down the offer due to his commitment on The Faculty (1998), despite liking Smith's script. Smith originally suggested Tim Burton to direct his script, and Burton signed on with a pay or play contract of $5 million and the studio set the theatrical release date in the summer of 1998, the 60th anniversary of the character's debut in Action Comics. Nicolas Cage, a comic book fan, signed on as Superman with a $20 million pay or play contract, feeling he could "re-conceive the character." Peters felt Cage could "convince audiences he [Superman] came from outer space." Burton stated it would be "the first time you would believe that nobody could recognize Clark Kent as Superman, he [Cage] could physically change his persona."Kevin Spacey was approached for the role of Lex Luthor, while Tim Allen claimed he was in talks for Brainiac (a role heavily considered for Jim Carrey). Courteney Cox was reported as a casting possibility for Lois Lane, while Smith confirmed Chris Rock was set for Jimmy Olsen. Michael Keaton confirmed his involvement, but when asked if he would be reprising his role as Batman (as he had done in Burton's Batman and Batman Returns), he would only reply, "Not exactly." Industrial Light & Magic was set for work on special effects.

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Design for the Superman suit by James Carson and Sylvain Despretz.

It was announced in April 1997 that filming would begin early-1998.That June, Superman Lives entered pre-production, with an art department employed under production designer Rick Heinrichs. Burton decided to hire Wesley Strick to completely rewrite Smith's script. In return, Smith was overtly disappointed: "The studio was happy with what I was doing. Then Tim Burton got involved, and when he signed his pay-or-play deal, he turned around and said he wanted to do his version of Superman. So who is Warner Bros. going back to? The guy who made Clerks, or the guy who made them half a billion dollars on Batman?" When Strick read Smith's script, he was annoyed with the fact that "Superman was accompanied/shadowed by someone/something called The Eradicator." He also felt that "Brainiac's evil plot of launching a disk in space to block out the sun (and making Superman powerless) was reminiscent of an episode of The Simpsons, with Mr. Burns doing the Brainiac role." However, after reading The Death and Return of Superman, Strick claimed he understood some of the elements of Smith's script. Strick's rewrite featured Superman questioning his existence and abilities, thinking of himself to be an outsider on Earth. In his wake he's threatened by Brainiac and Lex Luthor, and the two amalgamate into "Lexiac," what Strick called "a schizo/scary mega-villain." Superman is later resurrected by the power of 'K', a natural force representing the spirit of Krypton, as Superman defeats Lexiac.

Art designer Sylvain Despretz claimed the art department was assigned to create something that had little or nothing to do with the Superman comic book. Despretz also claimed that Peters "would bring kids in, who would rate the drawings on the wall as if they were evaluating the toy possibilities. It was basically a toy show!" Peters saw a cover of National Geographic, containing a picture of a skull, going to art department workers, telling them he wanted the design for Brainiac's space ship to have the same image. Burton gave Despretz a concept drawing for Brainiac, which Despretz claims was "a cone with a round ball on top, and something that looked like a emaciated skull inside. Imagine you take Merlin's hat, and you stick a fish bowl on top, with a skull in it." Concept artist Rolf Mohr claimed he designed a suit for The Eradicator for a supposed scene when he turns into a flying vehicle. At one point, Peters wanted to have the Eradicator to carry a certain "Eradicator Stick," claiming he had visions for images of posters and toys coming out contain the Stick.

"We got the Kevin Smith script, but we were told not to read it, because they knew he wasn't going to stay on the movie. So we used Kevin Smith's script as a guide to the sets we might be doing, and we waited and waited for the new script to come in, but it never did."
—Art designer Sylvain Despretz on designing Superman Lives


Burton chose Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as his primary filming location for Metropolis, while sound stages were reserved but start dates for filming were pushed back. A minor piece of the Krypton set was constructed but then destroyed, and Cage had even attended a costume fitting. The studio was considering changing the title Superman Lives back to Superman Reborn. The film's escalating budget (which went from $100 million to $190 million) forced Warner Bros. to ultimately put the film on hold in April 1998, and Burton left to direct Sleepy Hollow. At this point in production, $30 million was spent, with nothing to show for it. To this day, Burton has depicted the experience of Superman Lives as one of the worst experiences in his life, citing various differences with Peters and the studio, stating, "I basically wasted a year. A year is a long time to be working with somebody that you don't really want to be working with."



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Teaser poster that premiered at American International Toy Fair in 1997, designed by Sylvain Despretz



"Batman vs. Superman"

Although it was widely reported that McG had become attached to Paul Attanasio's script, In February 2002, J. J. Abrams was hired to write a new screenplay. It would ignore The Death of Superman storyline, and instead, would reboot the film series with an origin story, going under the title of Superman: Flyby. The project had gone as far as being greenlighted, but McG stepped out in favor of Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. The studio approached Wolfgang Peterson to direct Abrams' script, however, in August 2001, Andrew Kevin Walker pitched Warner Bros. an idea titled Batman vs Superman, attaching Peterson as director. Abrams' script was put on hold, and for reasons unknown, Akiva Goldsman was hired to rewrite Walker's draft which was codenamed "Asylum".

Goldsman's draft (dated June 21, 2002), had the premise of Bruce Wayne trying to shake all of the demons in his life after his five year retirement of crime fighting. Meanwhile, Clark Kent is down on his luck and in despair. Dick Grayson, Alfred Pennyworth and Commissioner Gordon are all dead, as Clark just recently had a divorce with Lois Lane. Clark serves as Bruce's best man at his wedding to the beautiful and lovely Elizabeth Miller. After Elizabeth is killed by the Joker at the honeymoon, Bruce is forced to don the Batsuit once more, tangling a plot which involves Lex Luthor, while Clark sways a romance with Lana Lang in Smallville.

Peterson had mentioned Matt Damon when stating what type of an actor he was looking for either of the two roles. Inspired by Tobey Maguire's performance in Spider-Man (2002), Peterson was searching for actors who "can really act and give complexity and emotions, but would have the fun of being a great superhero and maybe pump up a little bit." Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, James Franco, Jude Law and Paul Walker were reported to be Warner Bros.' choices as Batman and Superman. Christian Bale was approached to portray Batman, both in Batman vs Superman and Batman: Year One (but preferred Aronofsky's script for Year One), while Josh Hartnett was offered the role of Superman.

Filming was to start in early 2003, with plans for a five to six month shoot. The release date was set for the summer of 2004. Batman vs Superman was to relaunch both the Batman and Superman franchises respectively, with both sequels being reboots. Within a month of the studio green lighting the project, Peterson left in favor of Troy (2004). Warner Bros. could have easily assigned a new director, but choose to cancel Batman vs Superman in favor of a recent script submitted by Abrams for Superman: Flyby. Peterson still has expressed interest in directing the project sometime in the future (with Bale as Batman), as has Bryan Singer.


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The Akiva Goldsman "Asylum" screenplay coverpage for Batman vs. Superman.


"Superman: Flyby"

Turning in his script in July 2002, J.J. Abrams' Superman: Flyby was an origin story that included Krypton besieged by civil war between Jor-El and his corrupt brother, Kata-Zor. Jor-El launches infant Kal-el to Earth, thinking he would fulfill a certain prophecy and Jor-El is sentenced to prison. Kal-El is adopted by Jonathan and Martha Kent, and later swings a romance with Lois Lane in college, and at the Daily Planet. However, Lois is more concerned with exposing Lex Luthor, written as a government agent obsessed with UFO phenomena. Clark reveals himself to the world as Superman, bringing Kata-Zor’s son, Ty-Zor, and three other Kryptonians to Earth. Superman is defeated and killed, and visits Jor-El (who committed suicide on Krypton while in prison) in Kryptonian heaven. He's resurrected and defeats the four Kryptonians, while the script ends with Superman off to Krypton, leaving a cliffhanger for a sequel.

Brett Ratner signed to direct in September 2002, originally expressing an interest in casting an unknown for the lead role, while filming was to start sometime in late 2003. Ratner approached Josh Hartnett and Jude Law as Superman, but conceded that finding a famous actor for the title role had proven difficult because of contractual obligations to appear in sequels. "No star wants to sign that, but as much as I've told Jude and Josh my vision for the movie, I've warned them of the consequences of being Superman. They'll live this character for 10 years because I'm telling one story over three movies and plan to direct all three if the first is as successful as everyone suspects."

Although Superman: Flyby was being met with a budget excessing $200 million (not including money spent on Superman Reborn, Superman Lives and Batman vs. Superman), the studio was still adamant for a summer 2004 release date. Christopher Walken was in negotiations for Perry White, while Ratner expressed an interest in casting Anthony Hopkins as Lex Luthor, and Ralph Fiennes as Jor-El (two of his co-stars in Red Dragon).

Christopher Reeve was to be a project consultant, citing Tom Welling, who portrayed the teenage Clark Kent in Smallville as an ideal candidate. Reeve added "the character is more important than the actor who plays him, because it is an enduring mythology. It definitely should be an unknown." In addition Paul Walker was offered the role, while Ashton Kutcher screen tested and Brendan Fraser and Matthew Bomer auditioned. Kutcher decided not to accept the role, citing scheduling conflicts with That '70s Show and the well noted Superman Curse as well as typecasting. Jerry O'Connell expressed interest for the role, while David Boreanaz auditioned, but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts with Angel. Victor Webster did an entire screentest that included wardrobe as both Clark Kent and Superman. Joel Edgerton (who turned down the chance to audition as Superman) auditioned for Kata-Zor, before Ratner dropped out of the project in March 2003, blaming casting difficulties, and violent disagreements with Jon Peters.

McG returned as director, while Fraser expressed interest, but had fears of typecasting. Selma Blair was in talks for Lois Lane, while ESC Entertainment was hired for visual effects work, with Kim Libreri as visual effects supervisor and Stan Winston designing a certain "prototype suit". McG approached Shia LaBeouf for Jimmy Olsen, with an interest to cast an unknown for Superman, Scarlett Johansson as Lois Lane and Johnny Depp for Lex Luthor. McG dropped out of directing, blaming budgetary concerns and filming locations. McG opted to shoot in New York City, but Warner Bros. changed it to Sydney, Australia. McG felt "it was inappropriate to try to capture the heart of America on another continent." McG later admitted it was his fear of flying. However, in July 2004, Bryan Singer replaced McG as director, resulting into Superman Returns.


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The coverpage to J.J.Abram's Superman: Flyby screenplay.
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BiohazardXBW



Joined: 09 Feb 2006
Posts: 3661

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

man where u been with this? have u seen
Evening with Kevin smith?
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BiohazardXBW



Joined: 09 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



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BatBoy13



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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Link: (click here)
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The Techno Bat



Joined: 19 Aug 2005
Posts: 953
Location: Lynnfield, Massachusetts

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Out of the three I kind of liked the Superman Lives script, thoughts and ideas. It seemed like they really tied Smith's hand and he came up with some great stuff there.

Ben Affleck would have worked as Supes, not a bad choice at all

And Nicholas Cage as Superman in any project would have been a Horrible Idea, does anybody else feel as though Cage would have made a great Superman? Personally I think Cage would have ruined Supes...
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BiohazardXBW



Joined: 09 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i hate Burton so i hate the idea he had. i would like Superman: Flyby why now something new finally
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Omar33



Joined: 03 Apr 2006
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Location: somewhere in the U.S

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Techno Bat wrote:

Ben Affleck would have worked as Supes, not a bad choice at all


hey, he didn't look half bad in 'Hollywoodland' playing George Reeves playing supes lol
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The Techno Bat



Joined: 19 Aug 2005
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Location: Lynnfield, Massachusetts

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

masteroms33 wrote:
The Techno Bat wrote:

Ben Affleck would have worked as Supes, not a bad choice at all


hey, he didn't look half bad in 'Hollywoodland' playing George Reeves playing supes lol


He looked pretty decent as both Clark Kent & Supes in HollywoodLand
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ChristonaBike



Joined: 22 Aug 2004
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Location: Coventry, UK

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think if Smith had been allowed to write a superman script without limitations it woulda been the best one. As it goes at the moment i think JJ Abrams woulda done a fantastic job.
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Dash Madden



Joined: 11 Nov 2005
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Location: Murray State University

PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had no idea Daron Aronofsky did a Year One script--I don't guess that's viewable anywhere, is it?
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The Techno Bat



Joined: 19 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dash Madden wrote:
I had no idea Daron Aronofsky did a Year One script--I don't guess that's viewable anywhere, is it?


I believe there is a script floating around somewhere, I will try and find a site or link that has it
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