The Superman Lives costume was unveiled on an episode of DC Daily, marking the first time the suit has ever left the Warner Archives and been put on display publicly.
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So it was a big deal today when we brought out from the Warner Archives one of Nicolas Cage’s Superman suits from the never-made “Superman Lives”. Check out the full reveal on the DC YouTube page in today’s episode of #DCDaily. Or just enjoy me having a Jimmy Olsen-like moment here. #DCComics #SupermanLives
Superman Lives was a proposed Superman film project dating back to 1996. Kevin Smith was hired to write the script, though producer Jon Peters reportedly already had a pretty clear idea of the film he wanted to be made. Peters' ideas included that Superman shouldn’t fly and that he should fight a giant spider in the film’s third act, and also that the film’s villain, Brainiac, should fight a polar bear at some point. Later, he suggested that the film should give Superman a “space dog” companion for merchandising reasons.
Tim Burton, who had already directed two successful Batman movies, was hired to direct Superman Lives. Wesley Strick was brought in to rewrite the script. His script was later rewritten again to lower the film’s projected cost. Cage, a huge Superman fan, was hired to play the Last Son of Krypton. The film went into pre-production but after about a year Warner Bros. put the project on indefinite hold.
The entire process is documented in much more detail in John Schnepp’s 2015 documentary The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened? Cage hasn’t said much publicly about the film.
"The only thing I’ll say about that — because that is such a lighting rod hot topic and if I say anything at all it just seems to snowball — but I will say that I had great belief in that movie and in what Tim Burton’s vision was going to be for that movie," Cage said around the time the documentary was released. "I would’ve loved to have seen it, but I feel that in many ways, it was sort of a win/win because of the power of the imagination. I think people can actually see the movie in their minds now and imagine it and in many ways that might resonate more deeply than the finished project."
For a while, Warner Bros. floated the idea of creating an animated film based on Smith’s Superman Lives script, with Cage voicing the hero. Warner Bros. eventually passed on the project, but Cage did get to voice Superman in this summer’s film Teen Titans GO! to the Movies.
What do you think of Cage’s Superman suit? Let us know in the comments!