In a Reddit AMA, Nicolas Cage said he wants to play DC's Spectre, the angelic Wrath of God.
Nicolas Cage is ready to make James Gunn’s DC Universe a living nightmare as the Spectre. While promoting his new vampire film Renfield in a Reddit AMA, Cage was asked by a user if he wanted to play any other undead characters after portraying Dracula and Marvel’s Ghost Rider. “Ohh! Yeah! Jim Corrigan, the Spectre (old DC comic character),” Cage replied. “That would be a fun one.”
Nicolas Cage played the Spirit of Vengeance when he took on Ghost Rider for Marvel, but DC has its own supernatural enforcer in the Spectre. The character has a complicated past; comic creators have rebooted and reimagined the Spectre many times since his original 1940 appearance. But certain aspects of the character have stuck.
The Spectre is the supernatural alias of hard-boiled cop Jim Corrigan. After his murder, Corrigan’s spirit refuses to die and becomes the embodiment of the Wrath of God. While in the invincible form of the Spectre, Corrigan exacts violent vengeance on criminals, especially murderers, placing him at the center of extreme moral dilemmas.
Though he expressed excitement about the character, Nicolas Cage also acknowledged the issue DC has always faced with the Spectre: invincibility. “[Spectre is] a hard one to pull off because he’s virtually invincible, he has no weakness,” Cage explained. “You need characters that have a kryptonite, that have a flaw, but he’s kinda unbeatable.”
Telling a story about an impervious, omnipotent protagonist has its challenges, and those challenges are reflected in the character’s popularity. Comic fans like Nicolas Cage may know him, but DC has never cracked the code to make the Spectre a household name. However, the James Gunn and Peter Safran DCU may be the perfect stage for the obscure character.
Gunn has proclaimed that the DCU moving forward will experiment with genre and place storytelling at the forefront. One of the new regime’s first genre experiments will be the dark horror origin story of Swamp Thing. Early Spectre comics were essentially horror tales, and as the DCU branches into the genre, there may be an opportunity to put Nicolas Cage at the center of a supernatural tale that allows DC to make the Spectre the A-lister he deserves to be.
Nicolas Cage is no stranger to superheroes or hard-boiled detectives. He merged the two when he portrayed Spider-Man Noir in 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Cage was a fan favorite in the role, and a crack at Jim Corrigan could be the perfect way for fans to get another pulpy noir performance from the actor.
Even though Nicolas Cage is up for it, DC has not announced a project centered on the Spectre. The character rarely makes appearances outside the pages of comic books. He made brief appearances in Smallville and the animated series Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and Jim Corrigan appeared a handful of times in the Arrowverse.
Spectre headlined the animated film DC Showcase: The Spectre and appeared in DC Showcase: Constantine – The House of Mystery, along with cameos in Teen Titans Go! To the Movies and in a few DC video games.
Nicolas Cage could be an exciting choice should DC ever decide to cast the Spectre in live action. With the open road ahead of the DCU, anything is possible. Nicolas Cage has haunted the criminal underworld in one comic book movie universe, and as the Spectre, he may do it again.