Thanks to artist spdrmnkyxxiii, we can now all see what Nicolas Cage’s canceled Superman movie might look like today. Though it’s been over two decades since the Tim Burton-directed, Nic Cage-led Spiderman Lives was gearing up to revitalize the Kryptonian’s film franchise, the star’s popularity has kept the canceled project a subject of fan speculation even now.
Coming off the success of the Michael Keaton Batman films in the early ‘90s, Tim Burton seemed like a surefire talent to direct the triumphant return of Clark Kent to the big screen. The script – based on the hit comic storyline The Death of Superman – was written by comic book super-fan Kevin Smith. Nicolas Cage was at the peak of his stardom after winning the Academy Award for Best Actor for Leaving Las Vegas. Unfortunately, that seemingly perfect storm was blocked by many production issues and creative differences, and the project never saw the light of day (though you can see some of the old screen tests). Though he didn’t get to play Superman – a character he’d always loved – Cage would later go on to name his son Kal-El, after the Kryptonian himself.
The new fan art piece by spdrmnkyxxiii, posted to Instagram, envisions what Cage could look like as Superman were he to don the cape and tights at his current age. The poster shows an older, more seasoned Kal-El, with a simple, elegant red and blue outfit design. Cage himself sports a bushy salt-and-pepper mane and a distinguished curl hanging proudly in the center of his super-forehead. The post’s caption reads, “Superman Lives.”
Cage has become something of an internet favorite in recent years, with his long line of wacky, over-the-top performances carving out a distinct niche of fans. That unique popularity means that any weird project involving the actor – especially one as high-profile as Superman Lives – is sure to be of interest. However, it doesn’t seem as if Warner Bros. is actively pursuing Cage to suit up anytime soon.
Given the DCEU’s newly announced multiverse model, and the impending return of Michael Keaton’s Batman in The Flash, some have even speculated that Cage might finally have the opportunity to appear as the Man of Steel one day soon after all. He’d surely jump at the chance as such a massive fan of the character, and he’s already voiced Kent in Teen Titans Go! To the Movies. Either way, it would be a real treat to see Cage show up, in costume, as Superman.