Warner Bros. Nearly Made Tim Burton's 'Superman' Movie An Animated Film

Tim Burton's Superman film never made it into live-action, but it did almost make it to animation.

The film is a fascinating case of what could have been, a film that starred Nicholas Cage in the lead role. While it never passed the finish line, Batman vs. Two-Face co-writer Michael Jelenic revealed at New York Comic Con that an animated project was considered (via CBR).

"I had a big pitch, and they took it seriously for a second," Jelenic said, "to do Tim Burton's Superman…to do that animated."

"Nic Cage would do it," a reporter said, which prompted Jelenic to reply "He would absolutely do it!".

Seeing Burton's Superman Lives project realized in animated form would really be something to behold, but Cage feels the project is powerful despite never hitting the big screen.

"The movie that Tim and I would have made, in your imagination, is more powerful than any of the Superman movies," Cage told EW. "I didn't even have to make the movie and we all know what that movie would have been in your imagination. That is the Superman. That is the movie. Even though you never saw it — it is the Superman."

Cage is a Superman, well, superfan as it were, and would probably be more than game to take on the role in animated form.

Superman Lives was set to take on the classic Death of Superman storyline and was famously helmed by producer Jon Peters. We say famous because Kevin Smith was eventually brought in to write the script, and well, any Smith Q&A fan will know the rest is history.


Several weird meetings and giant spiders later, Tim Burton was brought in to direct the project, and Cage was cast in the role of Clark Kent. After that pictures of the suit Cage was set to wear emerged, throwing many for a loop.

The project even inspired a documentary all about the making of this hidden classic as it were, the 2015 documentary The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened?, which gives fans the best look yet at what could have been.