Would-be-Superman Nicolas Cage is not really in the new documentary about his failed superhero film Superman Lives. He didn’t have time to be part of the film during production—but he’s now offered up some suitably nostalgic (and slightly crazy) comments on the project.
Speaking to Yahoo Movies, Cage said he didn’t want to comment too much on the never-made nineties film, but did offer up this:
The only thing I’ll say about that — because that is such a lighting rod hot topic and if I say anything at all it just seems to snowball — but I will say that I had great belief in that movie and in what Tim Burton’s vision was going to be for that movie. I would’ve loved to have seen it, but I feel that in many ways, it was sort of a win/win because of the power of the imagination. I think people can actually see the movie in their minds now and imagine it and in many ways that might resonate more deeply than the finished project.
Now, thanks to the documentary, fans can see lots of what director Tim Burton had planned for the movie and Cage says that’s truly where the magic is:
Tim is the total artist, a pure artist with a real vision, and I’ve often said that he can create worlds and that’s exactly what he does. I saw some of the tests of different characters and costumes for Krypton and they were just so surreal and so magical and beautiful. He’s definitely one of my favorite filmmakers because of his originality, because of his vision.
To quickly recap, in the nineties, Warner Bros. wanted to reboot Superman and hired Tim Burton and Nicolas Cage to do just that. The film, Superman Lives, never got made and became an Internet urban legend thanks to a few leaked images. But earlier this summer, director Jon Schnepp released his great documentary The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened? and it debunks lots of the rumors and speculation about the movie, while showing what Burton and team had planned.
The filmmakers contacted Cage’s people, and while he was interested in participating, it never happened. Now in the the film, his thoughts are represented with an archival TV interview. That means the above comments are pretty much his first thoughts released since the documentary came out. Read more about the doc here. And no, that top image isn’t a photoshop. That’s what Cage would’ve looked like in the movie.