Nicolas Cage Admits He Isn’t Watching Superhero Movies

Nicolas Cage doesn't keep up with superhero movies because he just isn't into them.

By Sean Thiessen | Updated

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It is hard to get superhero fatigue when you don’t watch superhero movies. That is the case for Nicolas Cage, who, while promoting his new film Renfield, told Yahoo! Entertainment that he does not keep up with superhero movies. “I’m not really that up on [the new movies] … It’s not really what I’m consuming so to speak,” Cage said. “It’s fine is what I guess I’m trying to say.”

Nicolas Cage is no stranger to comic book movies. He has a history with Marvel, first portraying the hero Ghost Rider in two feature films, then voicing Spider-Man Noir in 2018’s animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Cage played Big Daddy in the subversive superhero hit Kick-Ass, and was up for the part of Superman for Tim Burton back in the 90s. That project fell apart, but Nicolas Cage finally got to play the Kryptonian when he voiced the character for Teen Titans Go!

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Though he still shows up to play a part in the occasional comic book film, Nicolas Cage has eased up on his involvement with superheroes. “I mean, did I have my tray of lemon cookies and my bottle of NyQuil and lose my mind reading Stan Lee’s Marvel Comics at 12? Of course I did,” Cage said. “But I’m not doing that anymore.”

Nicolas Cage may not keep up with superhero movies anymore, but there is plenty of superhero influence in Renfield. The film follows X-Men franchise alum Nicholas Hoult as Renfield, the haggard assistant to Count Dracula, portrayed by Cage.

In exchange for his servitude to Dracula, Renfield is imbued with special powers that can be activated by eating bugs. This lends the film to superhero-esque action sequences that fuse the larger-than-life battles with horror, comedy, and shocking violence.

In spite of its superhero influences, Hoult believes Renfield offers audiences something new. “They’re classic, iconic characters from Bram Stoker’s novel, but at the same time, there’s this new twist on the story and their relationship and dynamic,” Hoult explains. “I think that’s fun if you can explore something new, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Nicolas Cage may not be feeling superhero fatigue, but a lot of people are. This year’s superhero releases, Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and DC’s Shazam! Fury of the Gods were both box office disappointments met with lukewarm reviews from critics and audiences.

DC co-CEO James Gunn has made his awareness of superhero fatigue known, pointing to poor storytelling and the mismanagement of assets as the major contributing factors. Regardless of the reasons for superhero fatigue, the reality of it is setting in. 

Nicolas Cage is already tuned out of superhero movies, and many more may be right behind him. According to a poll GIANT FREAKIN ROBOT conducted on Twitter, excitement for Marvel Studios’ upcoming sequel The Marvels is at pitiful levels. The film’s trailer is setting records as the most disliked in the studio’s history.

The wavering loyalty and enthusiasm from superhero fans and the disinterest of Nicolas Cage have been offset by some of Cage’s Renfield collaborators. Cage and Hoult’s co-star, Ben Schwartz, is eager to get in on the superhero action, especially at DC.

“I desperately want to play Plastic Man or do something in the DC Universe, especially with James [Gunn] in charge,” Schwartz said. “I love the way that he tackles ensemble movies like Guardians of the Galaxy and The Suicide Squad — I don’t think there’s anybody that does it better.”

Renfield’s director, Chris McKay, and producer of The Walking Dead and Invincible’s Robert Kirkman are also optimistic about the future of superheroes. Nicolas Cage is part of a long superhero tradition that, to Kirkman and McKay, has established itself as a mainstay in the culture.

Kirkman admitted that the superhero genre has become a little stale, but that does not mean audiences have given up on their favorite characters. With movies like Renfield, the filmmakers hope to help reinvigorate the cinematic landscape with a fresh take on familiar characters and tropes – pun most definitely intended.

Nicolas Cage does not have superhero fatigue because he does not watch superhero movies. That is one solution to the problem, but not the one that will make movie studios any money. To revive the superhero genre, studios must find ways to surprise and intrigue audiences again. Renfield may not be a superhero movie, but it may contain keys to reinvigorating the genre that, at least in part, inspired it.