Throughout his unique career, Nicholas Cage came close to playing several DC and Marvel characters – both heroes and villains. A huge fan of comic books, Nicolas Cage was actually inspired by Marvel superhero Luke Cage when choosing his stage name, not to mention the fact that he named his own son, Kal-El, after DC’s most famous hero, Superman. Nicolas Cage eventually got to play a few superhero roles, but movie history could have taken another direction with Nicolas Cage in some Marvel and DC movies.
When it comes to superhero roles Nicolas Cage has played, the first and most memorable mention is Ghost Rider. The Marvel Anti-Hero Many Now Want to See in the MCU Made His Live-Action Debut in 2007 ghost rider with Nicholas Cage. ghost rider had a sequel in 2011 Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, which saw Cage reprise his role as Johnny Blaze. Despite an interesting performance by Nicholas Cage, the ghost rider moviesabove all Spirit on revenge, were met with much criticism. One year before spirit of revengeNicolas Cage played Big Daddy in the film adaptation of Kick ass comic. Cage also got to voice DC and Marvel heroes, with him voicing Superman in The Teen Titans Go! At the movie theater and Spider-Man Noir in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
For any other actor, so many superhero roles would have already been a remarkable feat. However, for Cage, that was just a small part of what could have been a much longer list. Here’s a breakdown of all the Marvel and DC characters Nicolas Cage almost played and why they didn’t happen.
Superman in Tim Burton’s The Canceled Lives of Superman
By far Nicolas Cage’s best-known undone film, superman lives would have seen Batman director Tim Burton facing the man of steel. Although he does not return for a third Batman movie after clashing with next studio Return of BatmanTim Burton almost teamed up again with Warner Bros. for a superhero movie in superman lives, which featured several different titles and writers before it was eventually dropped. One of the screenwriters attached was Kevin Smith, who rewrote the screenplay after Wesley Strick and Dan Gilroy wrote a loose adaptation of the Death of Superman and Reign of Superman cartoon bows. Kevin Smith is the one who changed the title of the film from superman reborn at superman livesand the studio then struck a deal to Nicolas Cage will play Superman.
That’s when things start to get confusing about superman lives‘ production. Kevin Smith claims to be the one who suggested Tim Burton as superman lives director while Nicolas Cage says he was the one who chose Burton for the project. Indeed, during an interview (via rolling stone), Nicolas Cage said he “Throwing Tim Burton” and not the reverse. Also according to Cage, the studio wanted Renny Harlin, but the vision Nicolas Cage had for Kal-El “was more of a Tim Burton-style presentation universe.” Although it is very advanced in pre-production, superman lives ultimately fell due to creative differences and budget constraints applied to all Warner Bros. blockbusters, especially superhero-related, following batman and robindisastrous reception. A superman lives screen test was finally released in 2009, revealing a curious look at what is perhaps pop culture’s greatest “what if…”.
Scarecrow in Joel Schumacher’s Unmade Batman Unchained
While canceled superhero projects will always be common, the ’90s saw a significant number of DC movies being scrapped at various stages of production – and two of them involved Nicolas Cage. In addition to Tim Burton batman 3 and superman livesWarner Bros. also decided not to move forward with a third Joel Schumacher Batman movie after batman and robinwhich reportedly featured Nicolas Cage as the Scarecrow. batman foreverthe first by Joel Schumacher Batman film, had been an even bigger box office success than Tim Burton’s Batman and Return of Batman. Therefore, even before batman and robin first, Warner Bros. was convinced that the Batman franchise had found a new course, and therefore early talks for a third Joel Schumacher Batman film had already started.
After the light-hearted and often silly batman forever and batman and robin, Joel Schumacher wanted to bring back some of the darker elements of the Batman mythos. The key to that would have been Scarecrow, who Schumacher later revealed he envisioned as Nicolas Cage, toying with Batman’s fears. Scarecrow’s fear gas would have caused Batman to hallucinate with the Joker, and the idea was for Jack Nicholson to reprise his role as the Joker in one of those hallucinations. Nicolas Cage and Jack Nicholson sharing the screen in a Batman the movie looked very exciting, but batman and robinthe reception made sure that unleashed batman was never done.
Green Goblin in Spider-Man
After Scarecrow, Nicolas Cage was considered another creepy comic book villain – this time for Marvel. In September 2000, EO reported that Columbia was eyeing Nicolas Cage to play the Green Goblin in the 2002 Spider Man film. While Sam Raimi was already attached to directing Spider Man, the reportage of Nicolas Cage being considered for the role of Green Goblin came before the final draft of the film. As EW reports, in addition to Norman Osborn, Columbia was also looking for an actor to play Doctor Octopus, who would have been Spider Manis the other villain along with the Green Goblin. When contacted by EW about the matter, Stan Lee, who also served as a co-executive producer in Spider Mansaid Nicolas Cage would be “a big green goblin”. Nicolas Cage’s publicist later confirmed that the actor was still in talks for the role, but Cage’s schedule was busy. Outside of EW’s 2000 story, not much has been reported regarding Nicolas Cage in Spider Manand the The role of Green Goblin finally went to Willem Dafoe.
John Constantine in Constantine
Before that of Francis Lawrence Constantine starring Keanu Reeves was released theatrically in 2005, several different versions of the film were considered at Warner Bros. One of these versions, which almost became reality, was supposedly directed by Tarsem Singh, who had recently directed The Cell (2000). Tarsem Singh was first announced as the Constantine director in January 2001, and in his version of the film, Nicolas Cage would have played John Constantine. However, a year later, Tarsem Singh left the project and therefore Nicolas Cage’s status in the film was no longer certain. By the time Francis Lawrence joined the project, Nicolas Cage was no longer part of the project and Keanu Reeves had been cast as John Constantine.
Bizarro in strange adventures
In October 2019, a DC anthology series named strange adventures was announced to be in the works for HBO Max. The show would have focused on Adam Strange, who in the comics has the ability to teleport across the galaxy using Zeta-beam technology. strange adventures would have been produced by Greg Berlanti, and it would have featured many different DC characters. After the Discovery merger and the bat girl cancellation, Kevin Smith, who worked on the series, revealed that strange adventures was also cancelled. Kevin Smith revealed that the strange adventures the episode he was working on would have featured Bizarro and that he wanted Nicolas Cage to play the part. After almost playing Superman in superman livesit would have been more appropriate for Nicolas Cage to play the Clone of Superman Bizarro. Sadly, that’s just another character on the list of superhero roles. Nicholas Cage almost played.
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