Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is filled with inspired casting choices, but Nicolas Cage's turn as Spider-Man Noir just might be the best.
According to co-director Bob Persichetti, Cage was also the first cast member to join the film. In the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Official Movie Special, Persichetti said that envisioned the eccentric actor for the role in very early steps of the process.
“When looking at who we could approach to play there alternate dimension Spider characters, we thought about seminal actors that also might be comic book geeks,” said Persichetti, as Comicbook.com noted. “There were so many different casting meetings where a lot of options were put in front of us, but with Spider-Man Noir, we kept coming back to Nicolas Cage and wondering if he could or even would do it.”
Cage earned critical praise for matching the low growl and melodrama of his voice to Spider-Man Noir’s dark personality perfectly.
Of course, Into the Spider-Verse isn't the first time Cage signed up to be a superhero on the big screen. Cage portrayed Ghost Rider, the supernatural Marvel hero with a flaming skull, in a pair of movies. The actor also famously almost played Superman in Superman Lives, a Tim Burton-directed Superman movie. While that movie never happened, Cage finally appeared as Superman last year in Teen Titans Go! to the Movies, which referenced the abandoned film.
After Cage was cast in Into the Spider-Verse, Persichetti said that the star quickly latched onto the character and was drawn into his eclectic personality and monochromatic suit. Cage also brought his own take on method acting to the recording sessions, adorning dark sunglasses indoors and never abandoning his accent.
“He never took them off, and never broke character. There was a palpable Humphrey Bogart energy that he brought into the room. It was really fun,” Persichetti said. “We worked through his lines in three hours. He delivered awesome pulp magazine style line reads, and also comedy pulp style readings. He’s so good at it! Then we were done, he said his goodbyes, walked out of the room and that was it! No small talk, it was all business. He was just amazing.”
Directed by Persichetti, Ramsey and Rothman, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is in theaters now. It also stars Directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse stars Shameik Moore, Brian Tyree Henry, Jake Johnson, Mahershala Ali, Hailee Steinfeld, Liev Schreiber, Luna Lauren Velez, Lily Tomlin, Nicolas Cage, John Mulaney and Kimiko Glenn. The film is in theaters now.