“Superman” Un-Caged

Published June 28th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

If anyone can survive script retooling, a major cast departure and the usual development hell, it's gotta be Superman…Right? 

Warner Bros. apparently thinks so. More than four years, and several scripts, after plans surfaced for the Man of Steel's fifth film, it looks like Superman Lives is not dead. The studio says it's moving forward with the project with or without everyman action star Nicholas Cage who says he no longer interested in taking over where Christopher Reeve left off.  

Those heroic red-and-blue undies may have fit Cage, oh, say, three years ago. But he's since decided to withdraw from the project, saying recently that "it seemed like a great idea at the time, but it has come and gone."  

Cage split from the film in March (mutually and amicably, his publicist adds), and he recently told reporters he'd "rather just move on" with his life after being attached to the Superman gig for so long.  

Cage's involvement, it seemed, was one of the only things that hadn't changed over the years. Onetime Superman Lives scribe Kevin Smith and director Tim Burton have long since bolted from the project, and a handful of different scripts have reportedly come and gone since then.  

In 1998, the studio dropped a big hunk of kryptonite on the project, after execs were reportedly unhappy with the screenplay and fed up with its spiraling budget, which some said reached about $140 million.  

Months later, word surfaced that the script would be getting an overhaul from Dan Gilroy, the scribe behind Emilio Estevez’s sci-fi flick Freejack, and it led Warner Bros. and producer Jon Peters (Batman) to believe Superman may indeed fly again.  

Hollywood trade papers later reported, however, that Gilroy's script was tossed and William Wisher (the Terminator movies) ended up writing a new script, and one that the studio was happy with. Finally. We think. Maybe.  

Since then, several names popped up as potential directors, including conspiracy-monger Oliver Stone and more recently, Ralph Zondag, who directed Disney's recent computer-animated flick Dinosaur. Daily Variety reported that an offer to direct Superman had been handed to Zondag.  

Others, meanwhile, have grown so impatient with Superman that they've just switched careers. After all, why else would Superman arch-nemesis Lex Luthor run for president?—Reuters. 


© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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