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Long before Bryan Singer made Superman Returns, it was going to be Tim Burton who brought the Man of Steel back to the big screen, the director signing Nicolas Cage to star in Superman Lives. That project wound up not getting made due to multiple factors, but it turns out that Cage actually doesn't have a problem with that, given that he thinks the movie is better off existing in all of our individual imaginations.
Cage recently sat down with Yahoo! in promotion of his new movie Runner, and it was during their conversation that the subject of the doomed Superman Lives came up. The actor was asked about the documentary that was recently released about the project, titled The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened?, and while he didn't really have anything incredibly specific to say about the movie, he did express a lack of regrets regarding the project's ultimate progress. Said Cage,
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.
One such thing that we are now just left to imagine instead of see realized is Tim Burton's vision for Superman's homeworld, Krypton - which apparently had a real effect on the Oscar winner. Apparently it had a deep impact on the actor, telling the website,
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.
It's interesting that Nicolas Cage has such a deep appreciation for Tim Burton, especially because the two men have never actually worked together on a project that actually made its way through production. Either Cage is either a super fan of the director's work, or Burton made one hell of an impression on him during the attempt to make Superman Lives. Regardless, it is kind of strange that the two men never wound up working together after their almost-blockbuster collapsed in the early 1990s.
The documentary The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened? was completed and released earlier this year. To see the film for yourself, you can head on over to its official website, where it's available for purchase.