Among the new discoveries is a sixty-second video featuring prototype suit concepts, above, offering a look at the shiny and glowing suit that would have been worn by Nicolas Cage as a mullet-wearing Man of Steel.
(That's the triumphant Forrest Gump music you're hearing.)
Special FX artist Steve Johnson, who has put in work on horrors seen in Predator and A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master — as well as crafting the gooey green spectral Slimer from Ghostbusters — was tasked with crafting costumes, props, and prosthetics for the doomed production.
The project, then slated to be the live-action debuts of Kryptonian-killing creature Doomsday and the big-brained Brainiac, would have seen Superman return to the land of the living with what are described as "bioluminescent Superman regeneration suits," which got their rainbow glow through practical effects.
Cyalume, the same active liquid in glow sticks, was weaved throughout a series of elaborate tubing patterns lending the silvery suit the appearance of blood coursing through veins. Others were lent their ethereal glow powered by a fiber-optic light set up Johnson says was inspired by his work on James Cameron's The Abyss.
“It was absolutely massive because not only were we working on these Superman suits, we were doing Doomsday, we were doing a Menagerie, a Brainiac and an entire spaceship that was literally filled with creatures. It looked like the Star Wars cantina on steroids,” Johnson said.
The project, a revival of the then-stagnated Superman franchise that starred Christopher Reeve, would have adapted the famous 'Death of Superman' storyline ultimately culminating in the alien superhero's resurrection.
Cage's primary Superman suit would have been overwhelmingly blue with a splash of red in the form of the all-red "S" insignia sprawled across the chest, as spotted in behind-the-scenes footage.
Massive budget concerns and a lack of a cohesive vision eventually forced Warner Bros. to pull the plug on Burton's Superman.4comments
The franchise wouldn't be revamped until 2006's Superman Returns, itself giving way to another reboot, Man of Steel, in 2013. The studio most recently partially adapted the death and return of Superman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League.
Cage will debut, albeit voice only, as Superman in the animated Teen Titans Go! to the Movies, out July 27.