Once upon a time, Nicolas Cage was Superman. Director Tim Burton’s planned adaptation of the DC Comics icon got so far that Cage was cast in the role and outfitted in the hero’s famous blue suit and red cape. Photos and concept art from Superman Lives have surfaced online in recent years, which is something that doesn’t sit well with Cage.
“I don’t understand it,” he tells Empire. “I thought there were laws against this sort of thing, but it’s not being judged fairly because you [don’t] have the lighting that Tim does, or the set, or the shade, or all of that built up. You’ve just got a stark wardrobe shot that’s not given any affection.”
Cage, a devoted Superman fan who even named one of his sons Kal-El, adds that Burton’s ideas were “really magnificent,” but he’s happy the project never took flight.
“In a way it was a win-win for me that it didn’t work out,” he says, “because the power of the imagination [allows you to] imagine what that might have been like. That might be even more powerful than the finished product, so I think it worked out.”