9 intriguing details from Burton's newly leaked Superman Lives script

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Jan 31, 2013, 3:49 PM EST (Updated)

After more than a decade tucked away in obscurity, the script for Tim Burton’s ill-fated 1997 flick Superman Lives has finally leaked. So what would Nicolas Cage’s version of the Man of Steel have looked like?

A draft of Wesley Strick’s (Doom, Arachnophobia) screenplay has surfaced via Superman Homepage, finally giving us a look into what Burton had planned for one of the most unique attempts to adapt Superman for the big screen. The version of the script we have here is a July 7, 1997, first draft—and, not surprisingly, it’s a little raw. Here are some of the highlights:

  • An early portion of the film is set on Krypton. Would've definitely been cool to see how Burton would've imagined it.
  • Classic Superman baddies Doomsday and Brainiac are the main villians.
  • Speaking of Brainiac, he is described as a head attached to some spidery legs. He's apparently pretty big, though, and is described as "towering."
  • Lex Luthor is also lurking around and joins forces with Brainiac to take down Supes. Brainiac actually runs some of his operation out of Luthor's secrect basement labs.
  • In a very dumb move, Lex Luthor tries to pat a young Doomsday on the head. It doesn't go well, and Doomsday bites off a bit of his finger.
  • The dialogue reeks of the '90s in a nostalgic way, and it's loaded with hit-and-miss one-liners. Some highlights: "Superman must meet his doomsday," "It's me you want you fat ugly brainless furball!," and "Fade back to my crib?" stand out. Man, I haven't heard someone call their home a "crib" in a long, long time.
  • Superman essentially dies in battle just past the halfway point of the script, but is resurrected by Kryptonian Resuscitation Gel at the Fortress of Solitude. Good thing he had some lying around.
  • Before walking off into the sunset with Lois Lane, Superman tears down his own tomb/monument in Metropolis after his resurrection. It sounds a little cheesy, but could've been a great closing scene.
  • The Superman/Lois Lane love story is at the center of the tale, and looks to work as a nice line to connect all the dots around.

With a Kickstarter campaign rolling along to film a documentary about Superman Lives, it’s no surprise to see that interest in the project has ramped up as of late. Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel is just a few months away, and folks are dying for any Superman material they can get their hands on.

You can download the entire 116 page PDF of the screenplay right here.

So what’d you think? Are you glad this one died in development hell, or would you have liked to see it play out on the big screen?

(Via Superman Homepage)