Tim Burton calls abandoned Superman film an experience ‘that never leaves you’

The film was eventually scrapped following a highly publicised development process.

Tim Burton has admitted the cancellation of his ’90s Superman movie is an experience that has never left him.

Titled Superman Lives and starring Nicolas Cage in the titular role, Burton was tapped to direct the film after the blockbuster success of 1989’s Batman and 1992’s Batman Returns. However, the film was eventually scrapped following a highly publicised development process.

In a recent interview with the British Film Institute (BFI), the 65-year-old filmmaker admitted he still reflects on the ill-fated project.

“No, I don’t have regrets,” the director confessed. “I will say this: when you work that long on a project and it doesn’t happen, it affects you for the rest of your life. Because you get passionate about things, and each thing is an unknown journey, and it wasn’t there yet. But it’s one of those experiences that never leaves you, a little bit.”

Speaking with IndieWire in 2022, Cage described the film’s demise as both a “positive and a negative”.

“It’s a positive in that it left the character, and what Tim (Burton) and I might have gotten up to, in the realm of imagination – which is always more powerful than that is concrete,” the actor explained at the time. “And a negative in that I think it would have been special.”

In a multiverse twist of fate, Cage eventually paid tribute to the abandoned project by suiting up as Superman for a very brief cameo in 2023’s The Flash.

During his interview with the BFI, the Edward Scissorhands filmmaker made it clear he wasn’t a fan of the cameo.

“This is why I think I’m over it with the studio. They can take what you did, Batman or whatever, and culturally misappropriate it, or whatever you want to call it,” he stated. “Even though you’re a slave of Disney or Warner Brothers, they can do whatever they want. So in my latter years of life, I’m in quiet revolt against all this.”

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