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Movie fans were thrown for a serious loop this week, when it was reported that Henry Cavill was out as Superman. It was surprising news, and whether or not this is a negotiation ploy by Cavill's agents, everyone is talking about what actor could play a new version of Superman. In that case, why not ask someone who almost played the character himself? Back in the day, Nicholas Cage was almost Superman, and the actor has shared his opinion that whatever the next Superman project ends up being, it should focus on the character's isolation from humanity.
There's certainly a character there that has aspects that have not yet been seen before. All the feelings of alienness. How am I going to fit into society? Maybe if I become a hero, everyone will love me, even though I'm a freak. All that stuff wasn't really tapped into with the character. He's quite vulnerable. I don't know who should do it, but best of luck to them.
In the late nineties, Nicholas Cage was attached to play the Man of Steel in Superman Lives, which was to be directed by Tim Burton. The project never made it to fruition, but it still gained cult status on the internet for what could have been. It even inspired a documentary called The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened?, which dived into the story behind the lifespan of the project. Some photos of Cage in the red and blue costume exist online, and while the actor's days of pursuing the role are long behind him, he's still a massive fan of the character.
While doing press for his new movie Mandy, Nicholas Cage was asked by Indiewire what his thoughts were on who should be the next Superman. Cage took himself out of the running for the job, and while he names no specific actor, he feels there is still lots of potential because certain aspects of the character haven't been seen onscreen before. For instance, there hasn't been a movie that dives into Superman's feelings as a literal alien in society. Because as much as Superman genuinely wants to do good, he also wants to be accepted.
Some of the DCEU movies touched on this part of Superman, but that was ultimately weighed down by angst. Nicolas Cage shared that he was also a fan of Henry Cavill's performance, specifically the anger he brought to the character.