Nicolas Cage finally sounded off to USA Today on his brief return as Superman in Warner Bros.’ “The Flash.” The Oscar winner made a surprise cameo appearance as the Man of Steel he never got to play back in the late 1990s, although he did not say any lines.
“Well, I was glad I didn’t blink,” Cage said about his brief return. “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.”
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“If you really wanted to know what I was going do with that character, look at my performance in ‘City of Angels,’” he added, giving a tease about what fans could’ve expected from his iteration of Superman. “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.”
After launching the Batman movie franchise for Warner Bros. to great success, director Tim Burton turned his attention toward Superman in 1998 with the development of “Superman Lives.” Kevin Smith penned the script, which focused on Superman’s fight against Doomsday. Despite spending over $30 million on the film’s casting and pre-production, Warner Bros. pulled the plug on “Superman Lives” due to creative differences.
One of the big sources of contention during the development of “Superman Lives” was producer Jon Peters’ insistence that Superman fight a giant spider. Smith was forced to add the spider to his script as one of three Peters-mandated requests (the producer also wanted Superman to not fly in the film and to wear a black suit). Towards the end of the “The Flash,” Cage pops up during a scene in which the multiverse is ripped open and Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen takes a peek into different worlds. Barry spots one world in which Cage is Superman and battles a giant spider in a nod to the failed “Superman Lives.”
Smith told Rolling Stone after “The Flash” opened that seeing Cage’s Superman battle a giant Spider made him realize that perhaps he was wrong to staunchly oppose such a plot point back in the ’90s.
“It’s mind-melting,” Smith said about the Cage cameo scene. “One of the first things I thought when I saw it at the premiere is, ‘Goddammit, [the giant spider] would have worked.’ As much as I used to make fun of Jon Peters, that looked badass.”
When asked if he likes the giant spider now, Smith answered: “You know what? He wasn’t wrong. Like, it totally could have panned out.”
Head over to USA Today’s website to read Cage’s latest interview in its entirety.
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