Friday, June 10th at 6:30 PM
WITH SPECIAL INTRODUCTION BY JON SCHNEPP AND HOLLY PAYNE
Special Encore Showing Saturday, June 11th
After the Save the Massac Benefit Auction.
(Approximately 11:15 PM)
CONTENT ADVISORY: THIS FILM CONTAINS ADULT LANGUAGE THAT MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL AUDIENCES.
PARENTAL DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
'The Death of Superman Lives; What Happened?' delves into one of Hollywood’s
most enthralling “what if” stories. This feature length documentary gives an inside
look into what would have been the most original, unexpected and
cosmic Superman movies ever made.
The story begins in 1996 when Warner Brothers gave the green light for the
first Superman film in 10 years, “Superman Lives.” Legendary producers, Lorenzo di
Bonaventura and Jon Peters, engaged writer Kevin Smith (whose first film Clerks
(1995) placed him in a pool of up-and-coming new filmmakers) to write the
screenplay for “Superman Lives.” As an avid comic book fan, Smith centered the
script on “The Death of Superman” story line from the comics, while also bringing
new elements to the Superman Lives story.
Warner Brothers then brought in visionary filmmaker Tim Burton to direct the project.
Burton had earned his reputation at the time for his unique aesthetic with films like
'Beetlejuice' and 'Pee Wee’s Big Adventure' as well as the critically acclaimed
'Edward Scissorhands' and 'Ed Wood.' Most notably at the time for Warner Brothers,
however, was Burton’s unparalleled success at reinvigorating the superhero genre
with the blockbusters, 'Batman' and 'Batman Returns.' One of Hollywood’s leading
actors at the time, Nicolas Cage (whose 1995 film 'Leaving Las Vegas' had garnered
him an Academy Award for Best Actor) was cast to playSuperman. By bringing in
Tim Burton and casting Nicolas Cage, it was clear that Warner Brothers intended to
make an unprecedented Superman story for a contemporary audience.
For nearly two years following Warner Brothers’ initial green lighting of
'Superman Lives,' under the direction of Tim Burton and with Kevin Smith’s script as
the starting point, and then moving on with screenplays written by Wesley Strick and
Dan Gilroy, an elite group of concept, SFX and costume artists worked tirelessly on
the pre-production of the film, with the creation of thousands of storyboards, plus
countless concept designs and original costumes. At the time, examining the
psychology of a superhero was new territory. Burton was intrigued by the idea of
humanizing a character with extraordinary capabilities, particularly in relation to his
challenges of interacting with the world at large. With Cage in the lead role, the film
would have changed the way in which the modern audience viewed the iconic
In making this documentary, director Jon Schnepp has embarked on a journey to
shed light on this much mythologized and prematurely terminated motion picture.
The film features Jon Schnepp’s interviews with legends and luminaries such as
director Tim Burton, producer Jon Peters, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura,
screenwriters Kevin Smith, Wesley Strick, and Dan Gilroy, production designer Rick
Heinrichs, special effects artist/designer Steve Johnson, and costume designer
Colleen Atwood, among others. This core group of artists contributed unique source
material to the documentary, including never before seen footage and artwork. Yes,
this documentary will explain what happened. More than that though, this
documentary will bring 'SupermanLives' to life for the audience by showing them
what would have been the most innovative take on Superman. Ever.