Crowd Sourced Projects We Love – The Death of Superman Lives

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

So, I came across a documentary project on Kickstarter last week which I decided I just had to blog about.  It’s calledThe Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened? by Jon Schnepp, and tells the tale of Tim Burton’s failed Superman movie, and the script written by Kevin Smith. It tells the bat-Sh*t crazy story of a Superman nobody would see coming (starring Nicolas Cage) and why Warner Brothers decided to kill it.

This film, out of all the various attempts to make a Superman movie between 1987 and 2006, would have stood the test of time and become a bonafide Cult Classic… – Jon Schnepp, Kickstarter appeal

Superman Lives was announced with great fanfare, with Burton directing, Smith writing the script, and Cage starring as the Man of Steel.  But almost immediately, there was fall  out over what Schnapp says were crazy weird story elements such as Superman being unable to fly, Brainiac having giant skull shaped space ships, and Kalel’s own army of polar bears guarding his fortress of solitude.  It was going to be as Man of Steel meets Willie Wonka.  And Schnepp says it would’ve been an instant cult classic worthy of anyone’s DVD collection.

Cut to almost 15 years later, and I really wish I could slap that “Superman Lives” disc into my player, and watch this guaranteed weird, strange, and original new take on the mythology of the Superman character.

Schnepp has been collecting anything he could on the mythology of this failed feature, including story boards, scripts, production art, and finally, his friends and family have pushed him to raise the money on Kickstarter in order to make it a reality.    “In addition to delving into the making of “Superman Lives”,” says Schnepp, “I’ll be focusing on the ideas, legends, and ever expanding mythos of Superman and the need for a superhuman character in our society and culture in general.”

This will be my first feature length documentary, but over the years I’ve had plenty of experience in doing interviews, talking on camera and specifically editing interviews. I was a featured guest in Morgan Spurlock’s “ComicConIV: A Fans Hope”, I’ve edited over a dozen episodes of “Space Ghost Coast to Coast”, and I’ve directed hundreds of Actors both in front of the camera and in “behind the scenes” docs, so I’m very prepared to make this documentary soar, both visually and with the talent involved!

His goal is $98,000 (seems an odd figure with 100K just over the horizon) and if he makes it, any additional funds will go towards making what Schnepp says will be a Script reenactment from part of the film to show what could’ve been. He figures the “stretch goal,” as he calls it, to add that level of story telling will tack on an additional $50,000 for 3D and practical models, backgrounds, costumes, and the like.  But this won’t happen unless he makes that amount over and above the $98,000 he needs to do the documentary itself.   And his goal is to premiere the The Death of Superman Lives at ComiCon or one of the other larger comic book conventions (as if there’s any other worthy of a world premiere like this).

To date, he’s in pretty good shape, fundraising wise, having received pledges of over $75,000 towards his goal.  But as we learned from Freddie Wong’s kickstarter experience, up to 25% of that pledge amount can be eaten away from denied credit cards and fees.  But with 15 days to go, he’s nearly there.  So, if you’re a Supes fan, or a comic book fan in genral, and you want to hear this story, head on over to his Kickstarter page and toss him some love.

About James DeRuvo

James has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. A writer about the technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James is also an award winning film director, having garnered a Telly Award for his short film Searching for Inspiration. He's also worked as a producer of many talk radio programs in Los Angeles with topics ranging from entertainment to travel to technology.

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