Remember that bizarro Superman project that Kevin Smith was going to write, Tim Burton was going to direct, and Nicolas Cage was going to star in before he became a complete joke? Superman Lives — a truly strange genre offering, circa 1997/1998 — would have found Smith as the perfect guy for the job since he was writing a lot of comics at the time. The inclusion of Burton, of course, meant things took a turn for the weird. All we're left with from the whole fiasco is a bunch of strange concept art and what-might-have-beens.
shared some concept designs that a team at the Hasbro Toy Group worked on years ago. Their creations could have been used in the movies as well as a toy line set to market the film. Apparently they did hundreds of designs for Superman Lives
, altering our familiarity with the all-American hero in red and blue. Superman might have worn a cowl, or a mask, or even … something that lights up. There's no way to tell for sure what designs were for what platform, but it's fun to imagine the wacky possibilities.
Chris Samuels sketches show Supes with a weird mask, while Brian Eun's Kryptonite Explorer design finds inspiration from Superman: The Movie
. The concept also reappeared in Superman Returns
starring Brandon Routh. A suit design from Ben Torres shows a "traditional" getup for the man of steel that Nic Cage could have worn. Torres also worked up the drawing for the "light up" suit that was most likely a toy, but given Burton's involvement could have easily been a screen addition. Yikes. Finally, Brian Eun's sculpted suit concept was said to be "beautiful," and is probably the one that will remind you of the traditional superhero the most.
Let us know what you make of this mess below.
Suit concept designs by Chris Samuels
The Kryptonian Explorer, designed by Brian Eun
Suit by Ben Torres
"Light up" suit design by Ben Torres
Suit design by Brian Eun