Tim Burton‘s Superman Lives is one of the great “What Ifs” of film history. While today the concept of Tim Burton directing a Superman movie starring Nicolas Cage seems insane, keep in mind that around the time the movie was planning to shoot in 1998, Burton hadn’t descended into self-parody and Cage was riding a wave of action film hits (The Rock, Con Air, and Face/Off) following his 1995 Oscar for Best Actor. Also, the superhero movie landscape was very different, and while a film like Batman Forever would be soundly rejected today, it was the 2nd-highest grossing film of 1995.
We’ve seen costume sculpts, screen tests, and concept art for the toys, and there’s even a documentary, The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened?, on the way. Now, with his excellent debut feature Nightcrawler opening October 31st, we got to speak with writer-director Dan Gilroy, who was the screenwriter on Superman Lives. During the interview, Gilroy talked about the specifics of Burton’s vision, how it compares to Man of Steel, and how close they were to production. Hit the jump for more.