Nicolas Cage's Unbelievably Close Encounter with Being Superman

November 30, 2023
Nicolas Cage's Unbelievably Close Encounter with Being Superman
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In the realm of superhero casting, there are bold choices, and then there’s Nicolas Cage (1964) as Superman. This article unravels the intriguing journey of Cage’s flirtation with the iconic role.

A Superman Dream Deferred

Nicolas Cage once stood on the precipice of portraying the Man of Steel. In the late '90s, the prospect of Cage donning the iconic red cape in Tim Burton’s (1958) “Superman Lives” sent shockwaves through Hollywood. However, due to various challenges, including script rewrites and Burton’s departure, Cage’s Superman dream remained tantalizingly out of reach. Despite extensive costume fittings and promotional photos, the project eventually met its demise, leaving fans to ponder the “what if” scenario.

Cage’s Passion for Comics

Beyond the glitz of Hollywood, Nicolas Cage’s connection to comics runs deep. A devoted comic book enthusiast, Cage once owned a rare copy of Action Comics #1, the debut of Superman, making headlines when it was stolen and later recovered. His passion for the medium extends to naming his son Kal-El, Superman’s Kryptonian moniker. Cage’s unwavering love for comics adds a layer of authenticity to his interest in embodying the iconic superhero on the silver screen.

The Unearthed Test Footage

The internet buzzed with curiosity when test footage from Superman Lives surfaced, revealing Cage in the Superman costume. The footage showcased a distinctive interpretation of the character, blending Cage’s charismatic presence with Burton’s surreal aesthetics. While the project’s cancellation left fans yearning for more, the footage serves as a time capsule, offering a glimpse into the unconventional path that Superman might have taken in the hands of Cage and Burton.

Revealed Secrets in the Documentary Film

Some details about the unrealized film were revealed in a documentary film “The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened?” (2015). For instance, viewers learned that in addition to Nicolas Cage, Christopher Walken (1943) was considered for the role of Superman’s adversary, Brainiac, and Courteney Cox (1964) and Sandra Bullock (1964) were being considered for the role of [Lois Lane]. In the conclusion of the film, Superman was supposed to engage in a battle with a giant spider.

Although the planned film in 1998 was canceled, Nicolas Cage’s dream was at least partially fulfilled. In the 2023 film “The Flash” he appeared in a brief scene dressed as Superman, fighting a giant spider. With this performance, he surely delighted many viewers who were contemplating how a film with him as the famous hero would look.


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