Looking at unmade science fiction, fantasy, horror and superhero films, television shows and episodes.
Superman Reborn was the next in a long line of attempted Superman films between Superman IV: The Quest for Peace and Superman Returns.
After Canon’s follow-up to their Superman film with Superman V film and the Salkinds’ attempt to return to the series with Superman: The New Movie both failed to enter production, Warner Bros took back the rights and put Superman under the control of producer Jon Peters. In the meantime DC had had major comic book success with the “Death of Superman” storyline.
Writer Jonathan Lemkin was commissioned to do a script cashing on the recent successful storyline, with a family friendly toyetic. Lemkin’s script was rejected and he was fired and replaced by Gregory Poirier who produced a new script dated December 1995.
Lemkin: In the moment that Superman is killed by Doomsday his lifeforce enters Lois’s body and she falls pregnant with his clone which rapidly grows to maturity becoming Superman. [Script]
Poirier: Doomsday (now created by Brainiac and infused with Kryptonian blood) kills Superman and an alien called Cadmus steals his body to resurrect him. Reborn without the ability to use his powers (a mental discipline called “Phin-Yar”) he wears a robot suit that duplicates them while he relearns how to use them. Superman villains Silver Banshee and Parasite also appeared. [Script]
The script was well-received and Kevin Smith was hired to do a rewrite. Smith thought that the script was like the Batman TV series, a campy version of the character and asked to rewrite it from scratch. Smith was allowed to start afresh and began work on “Superman Lives.”