HomeAmerican EntertainmentNicolas Cage Opens Up About Iconic Role He Nearly Landed

Nicolas Cage Opens Up About Iconic Role He Nearly Landed

by Craig Garrett
Nicolas Cage
(Photo by Jason Koerner/WireImage)

After decades in Hollywood, actor Nicolas Cage has played everything from cowboys to vampires and everything in-between. However, one dream role alluded him back in the 90s. Cage was cast as the man of steel himself in Tim Burton’s ill-fated Superman Lives film.

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Though the film went into preproduction (with Cage even being fitted for the iconic blue tights), it never got off the ground. The Academy Award-winning actor still isn’t sure what happened with the film. However, he did give his side of the story while on the red carpet at the Variety Legend & Groundbreaker Award at Miami Film Festival.

“They wanted [Cliffhanger director] Renny Harlin to do the movie. I sat down with Renny. He came to the trailer and we talked. I liked Renny… but I thought if I’m going to do this, it’s such a bullseye to hit,” Cage told Variety. “This has to be Tim Burton. I called Tim and said, ‘Would you do this?’ Tim didn’t cast me, I cast Tim, and Tim said yes. I loved what he did with Michael [Keaton] and Batman, and I was a big fan.”

Nicolas Cage believes the failure of ‘Mars Attacks’ led to his Superman project getting dumped

Cage added, “I love [Tim Burton’s 1996 film] Mars Attacks. I thought Mars Attacks was just a fantastic, groundbreaking movie. He’s a groundbreaker! But they were scared at the studio because of Mars Attacks. Warner Brothers had lost a lot of money on the movie. These movies that are really weird, that challenge and break ground, they piss a lot of people off. I think they got cold feet. They’d spent a lot of money already building the sets and the costume and what have you. But you never know. I don’t mean to be cryptic Cage, but you never know!”

Cage also revealed that he and Burton’s take on the man of tomorrow would be quite different. “It was more of a 1980s Superman with like, the samurai black long hair. I thought it was gonna be a really different, sort of emo Superman, but we never got there.”

The Face/Off star also noted that genre films, such as sci-fi projects, can be the most freeing as an actor. “Everybody is very sensitive right now,” Cage reasoned. “If you look at the science fiction format, you put it on a different planet, you put it in the future, what have you, you can pretty much say what you want because it’s not right now. Oh, I didn’t I didn’t mean that — it was on a planet called Exeter or something. That’s where it happened. I didn’t mean that! You can get your freedom speech mojo on and do what you want.”