Back in the 1990s, before the comic book movie renaissance that began with “Blade,” “X-Men” and “Spider-Man,” Nicolas Cage and director Tim Burton spent years working on “Superman Lives”.
The project was an attempt to resurrect the DC Comics franchise which at the time had stalled in the 1980s following lackluster sequels, but their project never took off. Still, two decades later, it remains one of the more talked about ‘lost’ movies out there (along with George Miller’s “Justice League Mortal”).
Ultimately Superman was resurrected on screen first by Bryan Singer with 2006’s “Superman Returns,” and more recently with Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel” in 2013. Even so, Cage still talks about his film every now and then.
That includes this week when he discussed the project with EW at the Toronto International Film Festival, saying that the film having not been made is almost irrelevant at this point:
“I would offer that the movie that Tim and I would have made, in your imagination, is more powerful than any of the Superman movies. I didn’t even have to make the movie and we all know what that movie would have been in your imagination. That is the Superman. That is the movie. Even though you never saw it – it is the Superman.”
Burton previously said in 2013 that their version was controversial at the time for being too dark, though comparatively it now: “looks like a light-hearted romp.” Cage has previously said he: “had great belief in that movie and in what Tim Burton’s vision was going to be for that movie.”
Director Brian Taylor, who helmed Cage’s latest film, also described the actor in a rather perfect way this week: “Directing Nic is like directing the weather – he’s like Hurricane Jose. You can’t change it, you can only wear the right clothing and hope you don’t get destroyed by it.”