10 'What If?' Scenarios That Almost Changed Comic Book Movies Forever

8. Superman Lives Is A Thing That Exists

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Warner Bros.

One of the most famous movies never made, the story behind what the hell happened with Superman Lives is absolutely nuts. Based on how the project was shaping up behind-the-scenes, this may have genuinely been the final nail in the coffin for the comic book movie in the wake of Batman & Robin.

After countless rewrites to lower the projected budget from $190m to $100m, paying director Tim Burton and star Nicolas Cage $5m and $20m respectively on a 'pay or play' basis and spending an estimated $30m on pre-production before canning the entire thing more than a year into the process, Superman Lives was a mess from top to bottom.

Based solely on the testimony of those who worked on the doomed project and the information readily available online, it was shaping up to be an absolute disaster. Initially set for release between 1998 and 2000, at what would turn out to be a pivotal time for the superhero genre, had Superman Lives bombed critically and commercially the effect on the comic book movie could have been catastrophic.

With the one-two punch of Batman & Robin and Superman Lives rendering the genre almost toxic, it would have become that much harder for the X-Men, Spider-Man and others to claw their way out of development hell and into production to rehabilitate the genre at the turn of the 21st Century, and turn the superhero blockbuster into Hollywood's most bankable medium.


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