Tim Burton was set to bring the Man of Steel to the silver screen in the 90s with his short-lived project Superman Lives. Nearly 25 years after the film was cancelled, Hollywood icon Nicolas Cage, who was set to star as Superman in the film, gives his thoughts as to why the project was dropped.
Nicolas Cage reflected on his history with the superhero genre during a recent interview with Variety. He recalled how Burton landed the role after being in good graces with DC following the release of Batman and its sequel Batman Returns. The films were beloved by fans and critics alike, which is what drew Cage to bringing him on in the first place.
“They wanted Renny Harlin to do the movie.” Cage explained “I sat down with Renny. I was doing another picture, 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, I said, 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.”
The movie began to move forward with Burton at the helm as the director finished up his other projects at the time. It was one of these projects and more particularly the 1996 film Mars Attacks! that, according to Cage, led to the cancellation of Superman Lives:
“I love ‘Mars Attacks.’ I thought ‘Mars Attacks’ was just a fantastic, groundbreaking movie.” Cage spoke “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.”
While Cage laments the cancellation of the film, it’s possible this isn’t the last we hear of his version of Superman. The comic book movie landscape has evolved a lot in the past three decades, with movies focusing on the multiverse being more popular than ever. With cult-classic films such as Keanu Reeves’ Constantine getting sequels and Michael Keaton’s Batman returning in The Flash, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Cage could don the red and blue spandex one more time.
Who is replacing Henry Cavill as Superman?
Henry Cavill’s Superman exit has left many fans disappointed. Cavill’s Superman portrayal in the DC Extended Universe was widely praised, with his performance in Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League earning acclaim from fans. However, rumors of Cavill’s exit from the franchise have been circulating for some time, with reports suggesting that negotiations for a new DCEU contract had broken down.
DC Studios has not revealed who will play the new Superman, but its co-heads James Gunn and Peter Safran are said to be looking for a younger actor to portray the character. The announcement of Superman: Legacy has also sparked a renewed interest in the DC Universe, which has been struggling to find its footing in recent years. DC has been facing stiff competition from Marvel, which has dominated the superhero genre with its interconnected cinematic universe.
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