Generally speaking, economics books are not meant to make for pleasant reading.
What if Superman existed in our current reality? How would the world react to a literal illegal alien — the ultimate immigrant — with godlike abilities? And how would he, in turn, react to the world?
The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has completely changed Hollywood. From the proliferation of comic book heroes to the notion that every major movie studio now needs its own universe in which its characters can interact through multiple films, Marvel has laid the path that all others are following, praying that they will find the same success. The films within the MCU have combined for a box office total of an estimated $14.8 billion worldwide, including five films raking in more than a billion each. In short, “Marvel has made consistent hits, which is supposedly impossible in a creative business.” But, to hear some tell it, Marvel’s record is not perfect and there are a few black marks on the studio’s résumé.
Actually, one of those marks is green.
Last year, Ta-Nehisi Coates, a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a celebrated writer on race in the United States, published Between the World and Me, a book that is presented as a letter to his teenage son about being a black man in America.
It’s been a Batman week for me.
For my birthday, my wife (and kid) decorated the dining room in a Batman theme and gave me a Batman cake like I was turning 12 and not 36.
I also wrote a long piece on how Tim Burton’s Batman films are better in memory than in reality.
From Deadpool to Captain America: Civil War to X-Men: Apocalypse to Suicide Squad, we are truly living in the age of the comic book film. Studios pour hundreds of millions of dollars into films that try valiantly to remain true to the source material and translate the artwork of a splash page onto a movie screen.
It wasn’t always this way.
Deadpool is a monster hit. It has shattered records and proven that an R-rated superhero film can not only work, but be a massive success. In everything I’ve read and heard, it keeps getting repeated that Deadpool is a Marvel film.
And that’s true…but it’s also false.
In the mid-to-late ’90s, Warner Brothers began development of a revival of Superman. Kevin Smith even wrote a script for it before Tim Burton became attached and brought in his own writers. He immediately cast Nicholas Cage as Clark Kent and there are rumors that Jim Carrey was in talks to portray Brainiac.
The project never took off for a variety of reasons, a major one being the fact that Batman & Robin was so awful that Warner Brothers decided to remove itself from the entire comic superhero universe for a few years. So Joel Schumacher, who has made some great movies in his life, ruined not only Tim Burton’s Batman franchise but also his Superman franchise.
Still, this is a fascinating film about a film that was never made. Seeing Nicholas Cage with the giant S logo on his chest and listening to what they had planned makes one wonder how it all would have turned out.
Update: The film has been ripped off YouTube so here’s the trailer:
Previously in Documentary Tuesday:
Christopher Pierznik is the author of eight books, all of which can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, and many more. He has been quoted on Buzzfeed and Deadspin. Subscribe to his monthly reading review newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.