Nicolas Cage as a quirky, long-haired Superman in a Tim Burton-directed superhero flick written by Clerks director Kevin Smith?

It may seem unbelievable — and more than a little awesome — but  it almost happened, with the Batman director actually going into preproduction with Superman Lives in the late 1990s until the studio pulled the plug on what is now one of the most famous movies never made.

Thanks to a new documentary, The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened?, we’ll soon know all the ins and outs of this famously aborted movie, as well as seeing some unearthed footage of Cage in costume as the iconic Kryptonian superhero — as we’ve never seen him before.

The demise of the film, which was to have been based on the controversial “Death of Superman”; comic book storyline, will be examined in detail when the documentary is released on DVD and VOD on July 9, featuring in-depth interviews with studio execs, Kevin Smith (one of several screenwriters who turned in scripts), director Tim Burton and others associated with the doomed project.

“Now, when you think about it, if somebody was like, “Would you like to see a Nic Cage Superman movie?’ I’d be like “F**k’ and “Yes’,”; says Smith. “Go ahead and take all my money, cause I wanna see what that looks like.”;

In the meantime you can get a small glimpse of what that would have looked like in this trailer for the doc, which features a rare look at “Man of Steel”; Nic Cage in a muscle-sculpted blue suit: