In the 1990s, Tim Burton teamed up with Nicolas Cage on an ill-fated Superman movie. Superman Lives never made it to the big screen, but newly released costume test footage reveals what Cage might have looked like in his Supes suit.
The footage—featured in the upcoming documentary called The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened? and released to the Los Angeles Times’ Hero Complex—shows Burton watching as Cage models a sculpted, skin-tight Superman costume created by Oscar-winning designer Colleen Atwood.
“Initially I was really struck at how he looked in that suit,” director’s assistant Derek Frey says in the video. “His physique, It was different than what we had seen before. Obviously he’s quite a lean fella, but there was a certain power to him as well. … They’re early tests. It’s about the giddiness, the excitement of Tim and Nic, and their passion for it, and their first exploration of the character.”
The documentary, from filmmaker Jon Schnepp (Metalocalypse), also features a glimpse of the notorious rainbow Superman suit from the film-that-might-have-been, concept art of a gigantic spider villain and interviews with Burton, Atwood, producer Jon Peters, and screenwriters Kevin Smith and Dan Gilroy, among others. The documentary is out July 9 on DVD, Blu-ray and video on demand, available to purchase online or in person at booth No. 3915 San Diego’s Comic-Con International.