It was the moment fans had been waiting decades for – Nicolas Cage flying into the role of Superman – a moment that was finally made possible in the recently released Andrés Muschietti film, The Flash. During a recent conversation with USA Today, the beloved actor shared his memories of working on the superhero film saying, “I was glad I didn’t blink,” adding that “it was the feeling of being actualized.”
“I was glad I didn’t blink.”Nicolas Cage on appearing in The Flash
For Cage, his appearance as the Man of Steel was a long time coming, having first been cast in Tim Burton’s 1998 film Superman Lives, a title that would later be left on the cutting room floor with Cage never reaching his full potential – until now.
“Even that look for that particular character, finally seeing it on screen, was satisfying,” Nicolas Cage explains as his turn donning the recognizable cape of the legendary DC superhero. The only downside to the Renfield star’s appearance in the Ezra Miller-led film was that it was a short one, not really giving much context to how Cage would have brought the character to life.
For this, he said, “Look at my performance in ‘City of Angels,’” the 1998 feature in which he starred opposite Meg Ryan.
City of Angels is a romantic drama with plenty of brooding and longing coming from Nicolas Cage’s Seth, an angel who solemnly walks the streets of Los Angeles completely unseen by humans. When a living person’s life comes to an end, Seth goes to them and helps them make the big change between life and the afterlife, a job that’s made challenging by his desire to become human himself after falling for heart surgeon, Maggie (Meg Ryan).
With Nicolas Cage describing his Superman as Seth-like, we can presume that he meant his take on the character would have been filled with plenty of yearning, heartache, and care for others while wanting to fit in with the society around him.
“Even that look for that particular character, finally seeing it on screen, was satisfying.”Nicolas Cage
In his interview, Nicolas Cage goes on to break down what audiences could have expected from his role in Tim Burton’s Superman Lives, saying that because he was “already developing this alien otherness playing this angel,” it would have been easy for him to transfer that to the story of Clark Kent.
He goes on to explain that there’s a certain duality he would have brought to the part as “Clark would’ve been a little more amusing but Kal-El (had) the sensitivity and the goodness and the vulnerability and all those feelings that were kind of angelic and also terrifying.”
Essentially, we were robbed of another stellar and in-depth performance by Nicolas Cage after the studio scrapped Superman Lives.
But, even for just that moment in The Flash, we got to peek into the soul of how Cage’s performance could have changed how the character was played for years to come. A self-proclaimed superfan of Superman, Cage undoubtedly would have brought the heart, soul, and heat to the role, something that we would still love to see happen should Warner Bros. Discovery and DC ever reinstate Tim Burton as a director.
With James Gunn and Peter Safran at the helm of DC Studios, anything is possible.
“Clark would’ve been a little more amusing but Kal-El (had) the sensitivity and the goodness and the vulnerability and all those feelings that were kind of angelic and also terrifying.”Nicolas Cage on how he would’ve portrayed Superman in Tim Burton’s unmade film
As for The Flash, even Nicolas Cage’s appearance as Superman couldn’t save it from being a box office blunder. What was initially seen as the film that would save the DC Universe quickly fell through the cracks with audiences not turning out in droves quite like the studio suspected. As for Nicolas Cage, the Academy Award-winning actor will next be seen opposite Joel Kinnaman in Sympathy for the Devil.