Nicolas Cage has earned a reputation for being one of the hardest-working, yet absolutely bizarre actors to ever work in Hollywood. From his acting choices to the actual projects he works on, there’s almost no reason why Cage does things the way he does. The joke is that he’ll say yes to any role, there’s actually a decent amount of parts or projects he’s come close to being involved with, but either had to drop out of them or the projects themselves never got off the ground. Let us have a look at the superhero movies Nicolas Cage could have starred in:
1) Green Goblin
On one hand, Cage excels at being unhinged and could have lent his trademark insanity to Norman’s change into the Goblin, making him a scarier antagonist. At the same time, his performance could have run the risk of being too scary or over-the-top for the film to work. Dafoe was a safer but excellent bet, yet we’ll always wonder what Cage could have brought to the role. Cage was Sam Raimi’s first pick for the role of Norman Osborn and his psychotic alter ego Green Goblin in 2002’s Spider-Man but turned it down. Willem Dafoe replaced him and gave the performance we all know and love, but could Cage have done the same? It’s debatable, but we would have loved to see it regardless.
2) Iron Man
It’s a truth universally acknowledged around these parts that Robert Downey, Jr. was born to play Iron Man and he also kicked off the MCU. From his physical resemblance to the character to his finely-tuned charisma and overall acting chops, it’s strange to think of anyone else inhabiting the role. However, in a time before the MCU, an Iron Man film had been considered, with Cage’s name on a list of several actors rumoured to take the part in the 1990s.
Back in the late ’90s, a new Superman film titled Superman Lives was in development. Helmes by Tim Burton from a script by Kevin Smith, Cage was set to star as the Big Blue Boy Scout in a film inspired by the popular Death of Superman storyline. In a film that included Brainiac fighting polar bears and a fight with a giant spider, Cage’s casting is what most remember about this eventually cancelled project. While he’s been good at playing good-natured characters in the past, it’s hard not to think of this casting without seeing Cage’s usual intensity somehow manifest. Anything’s possible, however, had this been filmed.
4) Benjamin Chudnofsky
One aspect of the film that remains a bit odd is Christoph Waltz’s villain Benjamin Chudnofsky, who switches between serious threat and comic relief throughout the film. While Waltz does his best with the part, it could have used more attention paid to it. But then again, it’s probably safer than what Cage would have done. Seth Rogen recalls the studio wanted him to cast Cage in the role, and that he had sat down with the one-time Oscar winner to discuss it. He said:
Basically, when you’re making a movie that expensive the studio has a real say in who you cast. So the studio was like, “You gotta make the villain a star. We want you to cast Nicolas Cage.” So we thought, let’s talk to him. And we do, and he tells us that he wants to do the movie, but he wants to play the character as, like, a white Bahamian or Jamaican. Which to us was a little worrisome.
5) John Constantine
In an earlier version of 2005’s Constantine, Cage was attached to play the wise-cracking occult detective, with The Fall’s Tarsem Singh on board to direct. Creative differences led to Singh dropping out later on, with Cage following; Francis Lawrence would eventually come on to direct the project with Keanu Reeves as Constantine. It isn’t really a character that matches Cage as an actor. Constantine is a more laid-back character as opposed to some of the more high-strung characters Cage has played. It could have been interesting to see him work with a character outside his comfort zone though. Maybe a pass or maybe a fail, guess we’ll never know.
What do you think about all the above-mentioned superhero movies that Nicolas Cage could have starred in let us know in the comments below.