Footage from unmade Nicolas Cage Superman film shows the disaster that might have been

If you’re seeing Nicolas Cage in your sleep, it’s probably because of images like this. Or maybe it’s because he’s racked up a list of acting credits that rivals even the near-ubiquitous Samuel L. Jackson. Either way, Hollywood’s most meme-able actor is in the news again. But this time, it’s not because of a new gig. Instead, Cage is making waves for the oh-so-beautiful disaster of a film that almost was.

Once upon a time, Cage was actually cast as … Superman. Yes. This man was almost the Man of Steel, Kal-El the Kryptonian, Clark Kent, etc. And as if that weren’t strange enough, consider that one of Hollywood’s most eccentric star directors, Tim Burton, was attached to direct. If you’re having trouble visualizing the sort of superhero that duo might produce, have no fear — there’s plenty of footage available.

Thanks to the documentary The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened?,  we don’t need to speculate anymore. In the movie, Director Jon Schnepp undertakes a quest to find out what befell Burton’s famously unmade film, interviewing anyone and everyone that worked on the project.

The trailer above features — among other wacky images — Nic Cage in some sort of skin-tight, lycra-esque, suit that is equal parts monstrosity and electric blue masterpiece.

While we still wish that the original had made its way to the big screen, at least we now have a movie that we really want to see, about a movie that we really, really wanted to see.

You can argue about whether or not Superman Lives would have been a triumph of originality or a spectacular mess — after all, Burton’s Batman was a critically-acclaimed, paradigm shifting film in its own right. But you can’t deny that it would have been quite the sight to behold.

The Death of “Superman Lives” What Happened? is set to hit theaters on July 9 2015, so you’ll soon have a new perspective on one of the most interesting films that never was.

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