Later this month at The Comic Bug in Manhattan Beach, California, a group of comics retailers, creators, and fans will gather for a table read of Superman Lives!, the screenplay by Kevin Smith that would have provided the basis for Tim Burton's never-made Superman film starring Nicolas Cage. The screenplay, which was based loosely on the then-popular "Death and Return of Superman" story, featured Brainiac and Doomsday as its central antagonists, giving it a little something in common with Krypton, SYFY's acclaimed alternate history series that centers on the battle between General Zod (Colin Salmon) and Superman's grandfather Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe).
Instead of Krypton's Blake Ritson, though, the Brainiac of this event -- titled Superman Lives!: A Development Hell Table Read -- will be voiced by Scott Koblish, best known for his work on Marvel Comics like X-Men '92 and Deadpool. He joins a cast that includes Adam Marcus as the narrator; Gib Gerard as Superman; Tracy Drolet as Lois Lane; Curtis Fortier as Jimmy Olsen; Nigel Lawes as Lex Luthor; Sassan Safari as The Eradicator; and Will Dixon as Batman, Jor-El, and Perry White, among many others.
Smith's screenplay leaked online in the late '90s, shortly after word came down that the movie wasn't going to happen. The film has captivated the imagination of fans for years, given that it would have been a massive sci-fi spectacular that included the bizarre casting of Cage as Superman as well as rumored appearances by Chris Rock (who would later go on to work with Smith on Dogma) as Jimmy Olsen and Cameron Diaz as Lois Lane. A documentary film -- The Death of Superman Lives -- was made based on the events surrounding the film, and in recent years, costumes and other elements from the aborted production have leaked as well.
Here is how the Facebook event -- where you can go to RSVP or to get more details -- describes the film and the event:
What happens when Kevin Smith, Tim Burton and Nicolas Cage walk into a Hollywood Production office in the mid-90's?
Well, eventually NOTHING, but not for lack of trying and one of the most off-beat superhero screenplays ever written!
Based loosely on the Death and Return of Superman storyline, Brainiac employs the services of Doomsday to bring about the Man of Steel's demise. Featuring the witty banter we've come to expect from Kevin Smith, this table read promises to be more entertaining than Man of Steel, Batman V. Superman and Justice League combined!
Brought to you by the fine folks at Skeleton Crew Productions (Secret Santa) and Cattywampus Productions (12 Sided Die) and featuring a spectacular cast of actors and amazing sound design by Thirsty Crowes Chris Saunders. This event is FREE for everyone and the first 100 people will get an exclusive SUPERMAN LIVES! poster by artist Ralph Miranda. Up, up and away!
The event will take place at 7 p.m. PT on July 13 at the Comic Bug in Manhattan Beach.