One of the most fascinating “what ifs” in DC history is the aborted Superman Lives movie from the 1990s that had Nicolas Cage locked in for the lead. Though he’s known to be a massive fan of the Man of Steel – he named his son Kal-El, after all – Cage was such a left-field choice for the role that Supes lovers have always wondered what it would’ve been like to see him play the character. Well, it turns out we could’ve finally got this in “Crisis on Infinite Earths.”
In an interview with IndieWire, Arrowverse EP Marc Guggenheim revealed that The CW did reach out to Cage to see if he would want to be a part of the upcoming DC TV crossover. The producer didn’t reveal exactly why he couldn’t do it, but he did lay out a few reasons why various stars that were contacted didn’t end up being part of the mammoth event.
“We did reach out to Nic Cage. We reached out to a lot of people, and there were people who didn’t want to do it. There were people who would only do it for amounts of money that we could not ever afford. And there were other people who really wanted to do it, but couldn’t for scheduling. That was the case with a lot of, I have to say, the movie stars that we reached out to. The thing about movie stars is, they’re all shooting movies. And unless those movies are shooting in Vancouver, we’re kind of out of luck. But I have to say that the sheer number of actors that we did end up getting exceeded my expectation.”
It’s up to fans to speculate which of these reasons caused Cage to turn down the offer to finally play Superman in live-action. Given an actor as in-demand as him, presumably the plan was to only get Cage in for a walk-on part, but it still would’ve been incredibly cool to have him involved in “Crisis” in any capacity. Ah well, at least he finally got a chance to portray Clark Kent in last year’s Teen Titans! Go To The Movies animated flick.
What’s more, there are three other Supermen taking part in the crossover all the same. Tyler Hoechlin reprises his role as the Arrowverse’s resident Supes while Tom Welling drops by as Smallville‘s Clark. Brandon Routh is the only movie version in the mix, playing his Superman Returns character once again, this time with a Kingdom Come twist.
The five-part “Crisis on Infinite Earths” begins with this Sunday, December 8th on The CW.