Over the last decade or so, we’ve seen an increasing interest in comic book lore in popular culture. Since the landing of the sleeper hit Iron Man, we’ve been relentlessly getting comic book movies. Every year we see more and more of our favorite hero's come to life on the big screen. In the same time frame, the genre of documentaries went in renovation mode and elevated the stakes from A&E specials. With the success of independent documentaries like Cocaine Cowboys and the Zeitgeist series, documentaries came back with a gritty and bold flavor.
In 2015 the momentum culminated in the gift that is The Death Of Superman Lives! What Happened? Known for his work on Adult Swim's Metalocalypse and Venture Bros.. a staple on Colliders Movie Talk, and host of his own show Heros, director Jon Schnepp uncovers a compelling story of the Hollywood machine.
The Death of Superman Lives explores the almost-cinematic-what-if telling of the classic Death Of Superman graphic novel. Step by step we see how this project went from idea to disaster. From the very beginning we get a sense of uneasiness like the opening of Unsolved Mystery and the documentary carries that tone throughout. Jon Schnepp does a great job at introducing us to alot of the people involved and setting up the circumstances for this kind of undertaking. Key players like Kevin Smith & Tim Burton really bring us in to the unglamorous sides of the creative process. Real life villains and real life steaks are almost as grand as the would be film.
Any comic book fanatic or film buff would appreciate the rare footage and concept drawings TDOSL was able to unearth. For the layman it's a fun watch as a behind the smoke and mirrors. But all viewers would've loved to see what the final movie would have been. But don't hold it against Jon Schnepp. Through his debut documentary Superman does in fact live.