Sunday, May 5, 2013

Kevin Smith's Superman Lives

So and posted some of my old concept art from the infamously aborted Superman Lives project, which was written by Kevin smith and to be directed by Tim Burton.

During my early freelance career I worked briefly on several films in development by way of Hasbro's "Special Projects' division, such as Dreamwork's (aborted) Helen of Troy: Exo, the (aborted) Superman Lives, Men in Black 2, Small Soldiers 2, Jurassic Park 3 and Cowboys & Aliens (aborted then resurrected 10 years later). They would collaborate with the studios developing art, story ideas, building maquetees etc. as speculative bids to try and land the merchandising rights, e.g.  on "Helen of Troy: Exo" they made a 3 foot high models based on some of my designs, another example was the transforming car in Men in Black which they made at their own expense and the studio used in the film but they never got the contract.

I must admit looking back some of this stuff hasn't held up too well! For Superman Lives I was working mostly in the dark based on vague descriptions without  seeing a script. At the time it all sounded rather crazy and confusing, with Brainiac's Skull Ship that could absorb anything it came across, Brainiac himself inside some sort of alien shape-shifting 'hybrid technology' which would open up and engulf people and grow ever larger, more limbs, etc, then Superman also had alien tech in the form of the Eradicator, which could become a suit as well as transform into an 'Interceptor' ship...  A giant biomechanical alien spider thing which had a body that could open up and smaller ones came out, etc, etc...

At the time I had no idea who had written it or that Tim Burton was on board to direct, but they told me Jim Carrey and Gary Oldman were being considered for Brainiac. It was interesting to read the script years later and see that Kevin Smith had actually done a pretty impressive job by introducing the Eradicator as a transforming suit in order to weave together all the requirements the producer wanted: "No Superman suit, no flying... and a giant spider in the 3rd act." He even managed to include 2 polar bears.

1 comment:

Maurice Mitchell said...

This is amazing stuff, especially since you were working off vague descriptions. You're right about Smith's script, it's pretty amazing considering the number of "rules" he had to follow. Thanks for sharing the story behind the images Rolf!