REVIEW: SUPERMAN LIVES script
This is the first of (hopefully) many reviews for movie and television scripts or pilot episodes that were never produced and/or never released. Today I will review the script "Superman Lives" by Kevin Smith (Clerks).
The story mainly centers around the death and rebirth of Superman at the hand of Braniac and his creation Doomsday.
The script, which is 200+ pages, begins which Brainiac and his assistant El-Ron “absorbing” the energy of two alien species. Sound familiar? Well the opening scene read almost exactly like 2011’s Green Lantern. Brainiac than receives a message from Lex Luthor which welcomes those to the planet earth and mentions that they have a kryptonian, something which catches the ear of Brainiac. Brainiac travels to Earth, in his skull ship, where he deploys Doomsday to kill Superman. Brainiac, now working with Lex Luthor, blocks out the sun (Simpsons much?) to weaken Superman. Both Superman and Doomsday eventually die. A magnificent Tomb is built for Superman and at his funeral Batman makes a brief cameo as he hacks into a giant video screen in the city. Brainiac arrives on Earth and explains that he has wrapped the Earth in shadows to blind alien invaders from the life on the planet. He also explains that Superman was simply a being sent to scout out planets with life on it and prepare them for the real god Brainiac (Similar to Silver Surfer/Galactus in FF: Rise of the Silver Surfer). Meanwhile Superman’s body disappears from the tomb and arrives in the Fortress of Solitude where a mechanical shape changing super computer (The Eradicator) helps in reviving the Man of Steel. The Eradicator explains to Superman that he no longer has powers and that his powers will eventually come back. He also explains how Brainiac came to be and how he was part of the destruction of Krypton. Brainiac begins to search for the Eradicator as the power it contains will truly make him unstoppable. Superman and Eradicator destroy the machine blocking the sun and the people realize that Brainiac is a sham and begin to turn on him. Superman returns, at first no one knows it is him as he is wearing the Eradicator suit, and defeats Brainiac. Luthor is arrested and Lois and Clark reunite. The end (which is ruined by El-Ron - think C-3PO meets Jar-Jar) leaves it open for Brainiac to return.
*I have not included all plot lines because their are many (Jimmy destroying a projector-thing, Superman fighting a spider-esque alien etc...)
The characters and relationships for the most part are well written. Lex seems the most well written of the bunch and all his lines seem to reflect the character. The Lois/Clark relationship works well with the script and one can truly feel for Lane as Superman dies. Superman/Clark is written relatively well however at times he seems a little too witty or joking rather than serious. Brainiac was also a very cool character that I think would have transitioned well on screen. The Eradicator at first seems like a useless plot line works well into the main plot by the end. The single Doomsday fight seems epic but in reality Doomsday functions just as Brainiac’s pet who dies as quickly as he appears. The one character I think that should have been completely removed was Brainiac’s assistant El-Ron who is mainly their for comic relief. The character is essentially a more annoying C-3PO and I believe was even placed in the script to sell more action figures.
HOW I THINK IT WOULD HAVE TURNED OUT:
The script I read was from Kevin Script. I heard that Tim Burton ordered re-writes after he took over the project. Based on Kevin Smith’s script I think the film would have been enjoyable. Some of the concept art that was released resembles what I read in the script but a lot of it does not. The script sounds a lot more epic and entertaining than Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns and actually seems like an extended episode of Superman: The Animated Series of the late 90s. As for Nic Cage as a possible Superman, I can’t picture him as the Superman in this script (or Superman in any work for that matter). I could however picture Courtney Cox as Lois.
Overall the script is entertaining, fast paced, and for the most part well written. It is also not as cheesy or silly as Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. Whether or not that is what we would have seen on screen is a whole other matter.
Based on Kevin Smith’s script alone, I give Superman Lives a
Its better than Superman 2/3/4/Returns.
To read the script, use the link below:
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