Nicolas Cage says his portrayal of Kal-El in Tim Burton's Superman Lives would have been "gutsy"
You all know the story behind SUPERMAN LIVES, right? The canceled Tim Burton film was based on a script by Kevin Smith, and would have starred Nicolas Cage as Superman. Every couple of years or so some concept art or test footage will surface online from the project, and there are even a few images (see above) of Cage dressed as Superman. In an interview with Metro, Nicolas Cage was asked how close he was to making the movie. He says he was damn close, and believes Warner Bros. was nervous about the film.
Very close. Look, I’m not going to be one of these guys that’s going to be, like, lamenting things. But is Tim Burton one of my favourite directors? Yes. Did I see some of the drawings of where he wanted to go? Yes. And I will tell you, they were fantastic and it would have been a mind-blowing experience. Did I have a concept of how to play the character? Yes, and I can tell you it would have been gutsy. So maybe Warner Brothers got scared because they had two artists that weren’t afraid to take chances.
Nicolas Cage has expressed his love for comics in the past (he did name his son Kal-El), but he told Metro that at his age, he doesn't read them anymore.
Look, the truth is I’m not obsessed with comics. I don’t read comics as a 49-year-old man. Not that there’s anything wrong with that but I have other interests that are more in tune with where I’m at right now. But I’m loyal and I will never forget the impressions that comics gave me as a child. They are like primitive cartoons and those characters became like a modern mythology that’s touched the world. So animated movies are like cousins to comics.
SUPERMAN LIVES could have been an interesting film. But interesting doesn't equal awesome, and it's probably a good thing the film was aborted. I do wish Nicolas Cage had talked a bit more about his concept for the character though. Could SUPERMAN LIVES have been a "mind-blowing" movie? We'll never know for sure, but to me, it's a very fascinating part of comic book movie history.