As a self-confessed comic book nerd, Nicolas Cage was naturally devastated when Kevin Smith's Superman Lives movie fell apart.
In the 1990s, Smith penned a script for a Superman and pitched the idea to Warner Bros. executive Jon Peters, whose demands for the movie became infamous.
Peters' conditions included that he did not want Superman to fly and that Superman would fight a giant spider in the third act.
Smith agreed to the terms as it was the only way the movie was going to get made. Eventually, Tim Burton signed on to direct, with Cage cast as Clark Kent / Superman. The Academy Award winner even screen-tested for the role in Superman's famous blue and red suit.
In 1998, the project was postponed and eventually scrapped, with Smith and Burton both clashing with Peters.
Over 20 years later, Cage would appear as Superman on-screen in a cameo appearance in The Flash. Even though it was a brief appearance, Cage was happy with it.
"Well, I was glad I didn't blink," Cage told USA Today.
"For me, it was the feeling of being actualized. Even that look for that particular character, finally seeing it on screen, was satisfying. But as I said, it's quick. If you really wanted to know what I was going do with that character, look at my performance in City of Angels.
"I was supposed (to play) Clark Kent after that, and I was already developing this alien otherness playing this angel. That is a perfect example of the tonality you would've gotten for Kal-El and for Clark Kent: Clark would've been a little more amusing but Kal-El (had) the sensitivity and the goodness and the vulnerability and all those feelings that were kind of angelic and also terrifying."
The failed production of Superman Lives was detailed in the documentary The Death of 'Superman Lives': What Happened?
Death of "Superman Lives": What Happened?, The
2015 • 104 minutes
Action / Adventure
2023 • 144 minutes