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Sylvain Despretz is a conceptual designer/artist and storyboard artist with a great list of films behind his name, including: Alien: Resurrection, Black Hawk Down, The Fifth Element, Gladiator, Panic Room and much, much more. He also worked on the failed Superman Lives/Reborn project and took the time to answer some questions on that project and the project that is currently in development. With some surprising answers:
Q: Is it true that producer Jon Peters brought in kids to see if they liked the concepts so that they could be made into toys?
A: Yes. It's true. I was there on a couple of occasions where this happened.
Q: What do you feel about the fan uproar about the change of suit at the time?
A: I never heard of an uproar. I do think that so-called fans are a bit unreasonable in the amount of attention they pay to relatively innocuous matters; like we say in the business: "it's just a movie".
Q: Do you know if their were any sets/props/vehicles built or any visual effects/animatics tests done?
A: A little piece of Krypton was built, that summer, and Nick Cage came in for a suit fitting, one day. That's all I remember on my watch, that summer. I understand that several months later, in another attempt at the project, more sets went up, then back down.
Q: How did you react to the fact that the film never went into full production, because of budget constraints (which I find ridiculous because you absolutely cannot make a Superman movie with a small budget and expect it took look good)?
A: I didn't' really care. I was long gone when the news came in. I don't think the budget had anything to do with the film not being made, I recall that the issue was that there was no favorable consensus on a script, and that Warner Brothers were scared because they had had a very bad year. Fear was the reason. Not money.
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