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Nicolas Cage says his portrayal of Kal-El in Tim Burton's Superman Lives would have been "gutsy"

Dec. 11, 2013by: Jesse Giroux

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.

Source: Metro

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2:26AM on 12/12/2013

Hmm...

Would've been better than Man of Steel at least.
Would've been better than Man of Steel at least.
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+1
8:57PM on 12/11/2013
Is it me or is the suit that Cage has on in the picture above the same one Henry Cavill has on in the pictures of his audition for Superman Flyby
Is it me or is the suit that Cage has on in the picture above the same one Henry Cavill has on in the pictures of his audition for Superman Flyby
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4:21PM on 12/11/2013

The Next DC Universe Animated Film

Wish they would actually make this film as a DC Universe Animated Movie. Nic Cage could voice Kal-El, Sandra Bullack can reclaim her Lois Role, and Chris Rock can finally be Jimmy Olsen. Tim Burton could direct. This could be very interesting. I would pay $20 to own the Blu-Ray combo pack. We might even get a Nic Cage Superman figure out of it.....if nothing else....one of those Best Buy exclusive little figures.
Wish they would actually make this film as a DC Universe Animated Movie. Nic Cage could voice Kal-El, Sandra Bullack can reclaim her Lois Role, and Chris Rock can finally be Jimmy Olsen. Tim Burton could direct. This could be very interesting. I would pay $20 to own the Blu-Ray combo pack. We might even get a Nic Cage Superman figure out of it.....if nothing else....one of those Best Buy exclusive little figures.
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-9
2:53PM on 12/11/2013
Risks are exactly what shouldn't be taken when dealing with a firmly established character like Superman. You shouldn't be rocking the boat with a character like that.
Risks are exactly what shouldn't be taken when dealing with a firmly established character like Superman. You shouldn't be rocking the boat with a character like that.
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6:18PM on 12/14/2013
Why?
Why?
12:32PM on 12/11/2013
Well, at least the suit doesn't look like it was made out of garbage bags like it did in the initial photos released a few years back.
Well, at least the suit doesn't look like it was made out of garbage bags like it did in the initial photos released a few years back.
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12:20PM on 12/11/2013
Lol, I'm trying to imagine a Tim Burton film that doesn't have Johnny Depp. His version of Krypton would have been interesting though.
Lol, I'm trying to imagine a Tim Burton film that doesn't have Johnny Depp. His version of Krypton would have been interesting though.
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6:20PM on 12/14/2013
So...you're imagining "Beetlejuice"? :p
So...you're imagining "Beetlejuice"? :p
11:59AM on 12/11/2013
We can't bash a film that was never made...Or can we?
We can't bash a film that was never made...Or can we?
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11:50AM on 12/11/2013
"Gutsy"? Someone, somewhere, probably thought that having Superman snapping necks was a "gutsy" move, too.
"Gutsy"? Someone, somewhere, probably thought that having Superman snapping necks was a "gutsy" move, too.
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12:35PM on 12/11/2013
Dear Joblo.com

Can I thumbs down this twice... Just this once? You can take away the power after that, I promise.
Dear Joblo.com

Can I thumbs down this twice... Just this once? You can take away the power after that, I promise.
1:28PM on 12/11/2013
Or as gusty as Superman throwing Zod into a bottomless pit, as he did in 1980. Nobody seemed to have a problem with that and Zod didn't even have his powers at that point, nor were any lives in immediate danger.
Or as gusty as Superman throwing Zod into a bottomless pit, as he did in 1980. Nobody seemed to have a problem with that and Zod didn't even have his powers at that point, nor were any lives in immediate danger.
3:30PM on 12/11/2013
@jackieblue62

Asinine mentality like that is why these pointlessly dark & terrible superhero flicks get made. Do you not see a difference between someone dying in an Indiana Jones film vs someone dying in Schindler's List? Why people can watch Indiana Jones a million times and enjoy every second despite the main character killing dozens of people vs why people can't watch Saving Private Ryan more than once due to the killing? It's sad that these lines between reality an fantasy have been
@jackieblue62

Asinine mentality like that is why these pointlessly dark & terrible superhero flicks get made. Do you not see a difference between someone dying in an Indiana Jones film vs someone dying in Schindler's List? Why people can watch Indiana Jones a million times and enjoy every second despite the main character killing dozens of people vs why people can't watch Saving Private Ryan more than once due to the killing? It's sad that these lines between reality an fantasy have been disturbingly blurred.

Superheroes and characters like Indiana Jones are meant to be fun. They were created to be enjoyable wish fulfillment works of fantasy. Man of Steel took the fun away, and focused on conjuring horrifying violence (not action, but violence) through 9/11 imagery (complete with innocent bodies raining from the sky) and forcing Superman to break Zod's neck in the most violent and vile way possible followed by a blood curdling scream. Trying to strip the fantasy away from a fantasy character isn't enjoyable to watch. Replacing action with violence isn't enjoyable. It is a fad that has already gotten very old very quickly.
3:30PM on 12/11/2013
double post
double post
11:00AM on 12/12/2013
jackieblue62 is labouring under the false assumption that Zod was thrown into a bottomless pit without any proof that it was a bottomless pit, whereas I am not labouring under the false assumption that Zod had his neck brutally snapped when there were other options available to our 'hero'.
jackieblue62 is labouring under the false assumption that Zod was thrown into a bottomless pit without any proof that it was a bottomless pit, whereas I am not labouring under the false assumption that Zod had his neck brutally snapped when there were other options available to our 'hero'.
11:03AM on 12/12/2013
Dear Joblo.com

Please, oh, please, grant Jekkie24601 several more thumbs to suck.
Dear Joblo.com

Please, oh, please, grant Jekkie24601 several more thumbs to suck.
11:03AM on 12/12/2013
Double posts suck.
Double posts suck.
11:23AM on 12/11/2013
I think the REAL reason WB passed on this was because of Batman Returns' loss on selling toys. I mean, we're talking about a time where WB was strictly focused on making 2 hour toy commercials. Either way, as much as I love Nic Cage, I don't think Superman as a character would look good with a receding hairline.
I think the REAL reason WB passed on this was because of Batman Returns' loss on selling toys. I mean, we're talking about a time where WB was strictly focused on making 2 hour toy commercials. Either way, as much as I love Nic Cage, I don't think Superman as a character would look good with a receding hairline.
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11:08AM on 12/11/2013
for god's sakes can we stop talking about cage as superman already? this is fuckin' jurassic history. it's over, it never happened. let's move on.
for god's sakes can we stop talking about cage as superman already? this is fuckin' jurassic history. it's over, it never happened. let's move on.
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11:00AM on 12/11/2013
I'm with violentbuddha on this. Everything about Superman Lives spells "T-R-A-I-N W-R-E-C-K". I kinda want to tell everyone who hated Man of Steel "uh, would you have been happier if we'd gotten the Tim Burton-Nicolas Cage Superman movie?" There is a documentary in the works that might include reenactments of how the film would've looked had it gotten made and I am curious to see those.
I'm with violentbuddha on this. Everything about Superman Lives spells "T-R-A-I-N W-R-E-C-K". I kinda want to tell everyone who hated Man of Steel "uh, would you have been happier if we'd gotten the Tim Burton-Nicolas Cage Superman movie?" There is a documentary in the works that might include reenactments of how the film would've looked had it gotten made and I am curious to see those.
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9:59AM on 12/11/2013
my favorite thing about this movie is how NO ONE involved seems to understand how bad this would have been. its like insulting someone and they laugh along with everyone else while whispering "i dont get it"
my favorite thing about this movie is how NO ONE involved seems to understand how bad this would have been. its like insulting someone and they laugh along with everyone else while whispering "i dont get it"
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9:54AM on 12/11/2013

I'm glad this never got made.

I was in my early 20's around that time and probably would have thought the movie was cool. Nic Cage was at the peak of his career at the time. I picture this movie would have looked very much like Joel Schumacher's Batman movies. Way too campy.
I was in my early 20's around that time and probably would have thought the movie was cool. Nic Cage was at the peak of his career at the time. I picture this movie would have looked very much like Joel Schumacher's Batman movies. Way too campy.
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+24
9:17AM on 12/11/2013
So by gutsy, he means Superman would have screamed a lot and laughed maniacally?
So by gutsy, he means Superman would have screamed a lot and laughed maniacally?
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+2
9:02AM on 12/11/2013
I'm not normally one for saying actor X can't play character X - I'm just not that good a judge of these things. That said, I just can't see Cage as Superman and/or Kent especially when you compare this casting with what we already know. Since my first exposure to Superman/Kent was Reeves, it goes without saying I had no issue with him. I also had no issue with Routh or Cavill. Dean Cain took quite a bit of getting used to but by the end of season 1, I was over it. May be as with most
I'm not normally one for saying actor X can't play character X - I'm just not that good a judge of these things. That said, I just can't see Cage as Superman and/or Kent especially when you compare this casting with what we already know. Since my first exposure to Superman/Kent was Reeves, it goes without saying I had no issue with him. I also had no issue with Routh or Cavill. Dean Cain took quite a bit of getting used to but by the end of season 1, I was over it. May be as with most things (certainly for me), you can only tell when you see the final product.
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8:52AM on 12/11/2013
Nic Cage in that Superman suit looks like Ricky Santoro of "Snake Eyes" wearing Superman suit. Maybe Superman's catchphrase is "You got snake eyes!".
Nic Cage in that Superman suit looks like Ricky Santoro of "Snake Eyes" wearing Superman suit. Maybe Superman's catchphrase is "You got snake eyes!".
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-7
8:50AM on 12/11/2013

Interesting

You could have had a young Idris Elba play teenage clark Kent....
You could have had a young Idris Elba play teenage clark Kent....
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8:37AM on 12/11/2013

This movie could never have lived up to what it has become now.

It's so much better it never happened because the "what if" factor is supremely better in hindsight.
It's so much better it never happened because the "what if" factor is supremely better in hindsight.
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+7
8:29AM on 12/11/2013
The movie I'm glad was never made but would have loved to see how it turned out.
The movie I'm glad was never made but would have loved to see how it turned out.
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8:26AM on 12/11/2013
Look, I like Nicolas Cage and he's a fantastic actor. But he would have made for a terrible Superman. He just doesn't have the Clark Kent/Superman iconic look.

We're better off with this film never being made.
Look, I like Nicolas Cage and he's a fantastic actor. But he would have made for a terrible Superman. He just doesn't have the Clark Kent/Superman iconic look.

We're better off with this film never being made.
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8:22AM on 12/11/2013
I guess we'll find out when that documentary comes out.
I guess we'll find out when that documentary comes out.
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6:45AM on 12/20/2013
really?? theres gonna be a documentary? or are u just kidding?
really?? theres gonna be a documentary? or are u just kidding?
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