Eons ago, before the DC cinematic multiverse, Nicholas Cage almost played Superman in another DC superhero movie from Tim Burton and writer Kevin Smith. In what can only be described as a crime against cinema, the movie was canceled three weeks before shooting was scheduled to begin in 1998.
However, if some recent (unfounded) rumors about the 2022 movie The Flash are true, this unseen Superman may still become part of the DC Extended Universe.
What Happened? — In a story from FandomWire, dated September 19, the site reported rumors surrounding the 2022 movie The Flash. Due to the movie’s premise of multiverse travel, FandomWire claims the producers “are approaching” actor Nicholas Cage “to briefly portray” his version of Superman from the canceled 1998 movie Superman Lives.
Furthermore, FandomWire reports that the movie will alter the multiverse. If successful in getting Nicholas Cage, The Flash will make Cage’s Superman originate from the same universe that Michael Keaton’s Batman comes from. In other words, 2022’s The Flash is poised to give some long-overdue expansion to an existing DC universe.
The Death of Nicholas Cage’s Superman — It is popular lore that in the mid-’90s, Nicholas Cage was to play Superman in a movie from Tim Burton and writer Kevin Smith, at the time a Hollywood darling after the success of his indie hit Clerks. It was titled, almost ironically, Superman Lives.
As chronicled in the in-depth 2015 documentary The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened?, directed by the late Jon Schnepp, Tim Burton’s movie would have been a loose adaptation of the 1992 story The Death of Superman, when DC killed off Superman in a fight with Doomsday before bringing him back to life. For a variety of reasons, the movie did not get off the ground.
It is not so strange that Nicholas Cage would have been Superman. The National Treasure and Ghost Rider star is a professed comic book fan, his stage name is lifted from Marvel’s Luke Cage, and his second son is named Kal-El, Superman’s Kryptonian birth name. In 2002, the actor auctioned off his vintage comic book collection for $1.6 million. And in 2018, Cage finally fulfilled his dream playing Superman in the animated movie Teen Titans Go! To the Movies.