The story behind the movie that never happened

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Warning: Spoilers for the flash follow…

DC Comics fans will surely be surprised when they see the flash in theaters, to see his craziest cameo: Nicolas Cage as Clark Kent, aka Superman, battling a massive alien creature.

Near the end of the Ezra Miller-directed film, a lengthy sequence takes the audience on a whirlwind journey through the multiverse. When Barry Allen, aka The Flash, enters the extradimensional Speed ​​Force, we get a glimpse of alternate realities — and alternate versions of superheroes played by actors from past DC movies.

The big screen’s original Superman, Christopher Reeve, appears with Helen Slater as Supergirl, Adam West as Batman, and George Reeves also as Superman.

Related: "The Flash": all the wild A-list cameos revealed (spoiler alert!)

But the reason for Cage’s cameo amid these blasts from the cinematic past may not be clear. After all, the Oscar-winning actor’s turn as the Man of Steel – in director Tim Burton’s sequel to Batman And Return of Batman – never made it past pre-production.

superman livesas the unproduced 1998 film would have been called, sought to reboot Superman onscreen like Burton and Michael Keaton did with Batman.

Written by Kevin Smith and produced by Jon Peters, its plot featured Superman taking on his enemies Lex Luthor, Brainiac, and the killing machine Doomsday. After distributor Warner Bros. decided to abandon the idea, Clark Kent did not return to film until 2006. The Return of Superman. And it would take 25 years in total for Cage’s portrayal of Superman to come full circle.

the flash director Andy Muschietti said Esquire Middle East Cage was “absolutely wonderful” to work with. “He’s a huge Superman fan. A comic book fanatic…Even though the role was a cameo, he immersed himself in it.

<p>Eric Charbonneau/Shutterstock</p><p> Ron Livingston, Ben Affleck, Andrés Muschietti, director, Ezra Miller, Kiersey Clemons, Barbara Muschietti, Maribel Verdú  and Sasha Calle at the world premiere of The Flash” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/W7hkhhVDklCbhhkE918sIw–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MQ–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/people_218/2cc0d5e201e17b8d67a4b9538b9c0b18″/><noscript><img alt=Eric Charbonneau/Shutterstock

Ron Livingston, Ben Affleck, Andrés Muschietti, director, Ezra Miller, Kiersey Clemons, Barbara Muschietti, Maribel Verdú and Sasha Calle at the world premiere of The Flash” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/W7hkhhVDklCbhhkE918sIw–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MQ–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/people_218/2cc0d5e201e17b8d67a4b9538b9c0b18″ class=”caas-img”/>

Eric Charbonneau/Shutterstock

Ron Livingston, Ben Affleck, Andrés Muschietti, director, Ezra Miller, Kiersey Clemons, Barbara Muschietti, Maribel Verdú and Sasha Calle at the world premiere of The Flash

Cage’s enthusiasm for the comics was never in doubt; THE Front/Off The actor named one of his sons Kal-El after Superman’s birth name from his home planet Krypton.

His stain aged in the flash is technically his second time playing Superman after voicing a version of the character in 2018 The Teen Titans Go! At the movie theater (in which Kal-El Cage also voices a young Bruce Wayne).

unhappy people superman livesCage says Variety in March that “it was more of a 1980s Superman with, like, long black samurai hair. I thought it was going to be a really different kind of emo Superman, but we never got there.

“They wanted [director] Renny Harlin to do the movie,” he continued. “But I thought if I was going to do that, it was so spot on…I said, it has to be Tim Burton. I called Tim and said, ‘Would you do that?’ Tim didn’t choose me, I chose Tim, and Tim said yes. I loved what he did with Michael. [Keaton] and Batman, and I was a huge fan.

Cage added that his Superman ultimately never came to fruition because Burton’s 1996 film Martian attacks wasn’t enough of a box office hit.

“They were scared in the studio because of Martian attacks. Warner Bros. had lost a lot of money on the film. These movies that are really bizarre, that challenge and innovate, they piss off a lot of people. I think they have cold feet.

It didn’t help that a leaked photo of Cage in an unfinished version of Superman’s iconic red and blue costume convinced fans more than the actor, fresh off his 1995 Oscar win. Leaving Las Vegasdid not fit the role.

“They couldn’t shape it in their minds,” Holly Payne, producer of the 2015 tell-all documentary The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened?said fast business Co.CREATE. “And no one had seen the art, except for a gruesome Polaroid of Nicolas Cage, out of print, taken during a costume test.”

Burton also lamented the cancellation of superman livestelling Howard Stern in a 2019 interview “he was the only character that had ever really been portrayed with any depth…I thought for the first time, with Nic, you could see a guy whose you could see the change [from Clark Kent to Superman].”

Smith, who in addition to scripting the unproduced film, directed episodes of the flash television series, recently approved the inclusion of Cage’s new film as Superman battling an alien spider – a scene slated for superman lives.

“During the first part of my career, I did a lot of pop culture nods,” he told ComicBook.com. “I can’t tell you how happy it makes me at the time of my life every time pop culture nods at me. . For all the times I’ve said that superman lives story, it delighted me to no end to hear that it was picked up in the flash.”

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert/Youtube

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert/Youtube

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As for the other superhero cinematic universe, Cage made his feelings clear in the same Variety interview: “I don’t have to be in the MCU, I’m Nic Cage.”

Although another Marvel role outside of spider worms is unlikely, especially after a 25-year appearance in DC Comics, Cage added that he has an affinity for that franchise as well.

“I have to be nice to Marvel movies because I named myself after a Stan Lee character named Luke Cage,” he said. “What am I going to do, pose Marvel movies? Stan Lee is my surreal dad. He named me.

the flash is in theaters now.

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