TIMELINE – Superman IV to Superman Returns

Looking at unmade Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror films and television…


Between 1987 and 2006 a number of attempts were made to continue or restart the Superman franchise.


  • July – Superman VI: The Quest for Peace was released in cinemas.  Underfunded and universally panned the film looked to some like the end of the series.


  • Superman V was announced by Canon, using the 45min of unused footage from Superman VI.


  • Canon Pictures went bankrupt and the rights to Superman reverted to Ilya and Alexander Salkind (Superman I – III & Supergirl.)
  • A script was written called Superman: The New Movie or Superman: Reborn was written by 1992.


  • Eventually Warner took back the rights to Superman and put them under the control of producer Jon Peters, with a script being submitted in December 1995 for Superman: Reborn.  The script was well received, but Kevin Smith was hired to do a rewrite, but instead restarted for scratch.


  • Superman Lives, Kevin Smith was submitted.
  • Smith suggested Tim Burton as a director.  Burton hated Smith’s script.
  • Burton’s version of Superman Lives entered pre-production.


  • Warner had two competing scripts for a new Superman film:   Superman: Flyby by JJ Abrams and Batman vs Superman by Andrew Kevin Walker was submitted.  Flyby was finally chosen.
  • Brett Ratner was hired as director.


  • March – Ratner left Flyby, to be replaced by McG.


  • With Warner Bros insisting the film be made in Australia, McG’s fear of flying caused him to quit his version of Superman: Flyby.
  • Bryan Singer was hired to replace McG, causing yet another new script to be written.


  • June – Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns was released.

~ DUG.




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