Just Imagine! Tim Burton Does Superman

With all the attention to Superman Returns, coming out at the end of this month, I almost forgot that Superman’s return to the big screen was almost done by Tim Burton. But then I found this: storyboards and conceptual art from the pre-production of Burton’s Superman Lives.

Just imagine what could have been...

Now, I love Burton, but I think he’s best suited for his own stuff, not other properties (see Planet of the Apes). But, I do have to say, those conceptual drawings of Superman are spot on!


  1. Well that certainly is edgy. Literally, the angles on that “S” shield could cut through glass.

    I have to ask, what do you mean by the concept drawings being spot on? Are you serious or am I not picking up on your sarcasm? It looks like the Venom symbiote joined with Superman.

    I do like the Brainiac art and the idea of a Superman/Doomsday fight is appealing. Ending the film with the death of Superman would be cool. However that seems more like Bret Ratner/X3 film making and not Bryan Singer/X2 film making.

    Has anyone ever seen A Night with Kevin Smith? His story about working on the script for a Superman movie is hilarious.

  2. I actually have a copy of Kevin Smith’s Superman Lives script in a box somewhere in my apartment. I’ll be honest, it’s not that good. There were certainly some good scenes and interactions with the characters, but it just felt really small for a Superman movie.

    It had a cameo by Batman, though.

  3. It was sarcasm…I could have put a 😉 I suppose…


    The Kevin Smith Superman story is indeed hilarious

  4. I completely forgot about all this stuff.

    You can’t blame the black suited Superman on Tim Burton – the Warner Bros. execs thought that Superman was too hokey looking for modern audiences and needed to have a “hip” costume with “street cred”. Also, they didn’t want to see him flying. In Smith’s script, when he flies it’s just a red blur.

    God, why are movie execs so stupid?

  5. I guess they weren’t hugged enough as kids. But lets face it. This would probaly have been a horrible movie, but it would have been intresting to watch. I just want too see how bad Nick Cage would have been. Don’t know why but I’m a glutton for punishment.

  6. He would have been A-W-F-U-L. And I like Nick Cage. He’s just wrong for Superman.

  7. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory redeemed him for me, but Tim Burton on Superman would have been a disaster. He would have had Superman eating bugs, more interested in his ‘alien’ nature than his attempts to be the best man he can be.

  8. Big Fish I liked. Charlie and Chocolate factory was NOT my cup of tea. It was a movie that didn’t need to be remade.

    But, again, we’re ALL in agreement that it’s a great thing this movie didn’t get made. It would have been an astounding abomination however.

  9. I read the Kevin Smith script and I think I’d rather have seen that movie than Batman and Robin

    Also that script wouldn’t have been the one used Tim Burton was going to bring in his own writers

  10. I was reading the latest Empire last night about the various attempts to get a Superman movie up up and away..

    I love that Jon Peter’s plot element where Superman (who was unable to fly) fought a giant Mechanical Spider was rejected, and then the same guy who proposed it put in Wild Wild West… well you all saw how well that did!

    Doomsday would be cool to see done these days, but back when it was due for release (1998?) it would have looked dodgy as hell!

    I haven’t read the script, but it sounds like there were too many plotlines in the movie.