Considering he named one of his sons Kal-El, it’s pretty obvious Nicolas Cage is a big Superman fan, so it must have been a dream come true for him back in the mid-90s when he signed on to portray the Man of Steel in Batman director Tim Burton’s reboot Superman Lives. Sadly for Cage, the project fell apart amid ballooning costs after spending a year in pre-production, and after remaining virtually silent on the project in the years following its collapse, the actor has now shared a few thoughts on the ill-fated reboot.
“The fact that Tim and I were pretty far down the road designing [Superman Lives], and I know that with Tim and where I was going to go, we would have done something really special,” Cage tells MTV Splash Page. “At least it’s out there in the ether that that could have happened, but we don’t have to make the movie. It’s still interesting to people. I do think that I had the win-win situation, because that character is such a bullseye that you have to hit. He’s one of the most precious icons of our country.”
It certainly was a win-win for Cage, who bagged a cool $20 million for not playing Superman thanks to a hefty pay-or-play deal. And as for Burton and Cage doing “something special” with Superman Lives, if you’ve read any of the scripts, saw any of the concept art or costume design work, or heard Kevin Smith talk about his dealings with producer Jon Peters, then you’ll know that “special” might not be the first word that springs to mind.
While he never got to play Superman, Cage did flex his comic book muscles twice in Ghost Rider and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, and while he recently announced that he’s hung up his leathers as Johnny Blaze, the Oscar-winner isn’t ruling out another superhero movie somewhere in the future – in fact, it seems like he’s putting himself out there for an upcoming role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe:
“I’m open to anything. I just want to try something else, try something new,” said Cage when asked by HeyUGuys if he’s interested in playing any other superheroes. “Doctor Strange is interesting, but I don’t know, right now I’m in a phase where I’m more interested in going back to my roots and doing independently-spirited dramatic films… I don’t really see another comic book-based film any time soon.”