Dodged Bullets: 14 Actors Who Were Almost Superheroes

Published 4 years ago by , Updated May 3rd, 2014 at 7:40 am,

nicholas cage superman outfit Dodged Bullets: 14 Actors Who Were Almost Superheroes

Nicolas Cage as Superman

Superman took a long time to make his ‘return’ after the shambolic Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. A decade before Christopher Reeve-lookalike Brandon Routh became the Man of Steel for Bryan Singer’s sentimental second coming, Superman Returns, Nicolas Cage was set to slip into the red undies – or black ones – for Tim Burton.

As soon as Warner Bros. finally took full control of the rights to Superman movies in 1993, the studio planned a grand ‘re-conceiving’, Batman-style. Kevin Smith (Clerks, Dogma) was among a number of screenwriters hired by heavyweight producer Jon Peters to try and take Superman to never-before-seen heights (from a theatrical perspective).

Smith’s unique take, titled Superman Liveswhich featured Supes wearing a black ‘Eradicator’ suit and battling the ominous pairing of Brainiac and Doomsday – ultimately lured Tim Burton to direct and Cage to star – though Smith allegedly wanted his old mate, Ben Affleck.

SUPERMAN BRAINIAC HC Dodged Bullets: 14 Actors Who Were Almost Superheroes

Burton eventually had Wesley Strick (who penned the A Nightmare on Elm Street remake) re-write Smith’s work – much to Smith’s chargrin – with Superman now confronted by a strange Brainiac-Lex Luthor amalgamation called Lexiac; however the studio scrapped that script, and then another one by Dan Gilroy, before eventually scrapping the entire flailing project to focus on Wild, Wild West. Judging by this 2000 interview, Burton was the one left annoyed, and rightly so.

“… I think, and this is only my opinion of course, that it wasn’t filmed because it was going to be an expensive movie, and they were a little sensitive because they were getting a lot of bad press that they had screwed up the Batman franchise … If they’d just allowed us to make the film, I think that we could have done something interesting. They made a choice. They had this, Superman, and Wild, Wild West, and they opted for that and canned this one. It’s frustrating. I like to be positive, but I really feel that I wasted a year of my life. That’s a terrible feeling.”

Cage was like a bride left at the altar: all dressed up (during a costume fitting) with nowhere to fly, and forced to fulfill a goal of playing a superhero by becoming B-grade Marvel hot-head Ghost Rider in 2007. Burton, on the other hand, has steered clear of the genre he helped mold with Batman in 1989, settling on a career filming Johnny Depp in bad makeup and crazy wigs.

More Superman near-misses…

« 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9»

TAGS: batman, captain america, iron man, iron man 2, iron man 3, spider-man, superman, superman man of steel, the avengers, the dark knight rises

73 Comments

Post a Comment

  1. Kansas;Wichita

  2. Ah man,,,,,that was a good laugh!!! Epic!!!
    ^

    Nothing, I’m sorry to bother you, Nandrolone-Decanate.
    Ah. ;-O

  3. wtf K?

  4. the manips are gold, man. gold.

  5. You know Thomas Jane was also up for the Wolverine role. In fact Singer wanted him, but Fox wouldn’t let him hire Jane unless there was a screen test, of which Jane couldn’t do because of scheduling another film at the time.

    Here’s the interview where, Jane talks about it.

    http://www2.kisw.com/listen/thomas-jane-0

  6. Mihovil, I think Jackman was perfect for Wolverine!

    Jane is a good actor, but doesn’t have the wild look Hugh can pull off.

    :-)

    I think the X-Men films would have sucked without him.

  7. I liked Jackman as Wolverine too, I just found it interesting that Jane was basically a hair away from being cast. While, I do think Jane could have pulled off playing Wolverine, I thought he was much better suited as the Punisher.

  8. Ah I agree Mihovil, Jane was great as Punisher!

    I liked the recent directors cut Dvd release.

  9. You know, I’m really glad Tim Burton (crappy excuse for an artsy director) didn’t get to make Superman. Otherwise, Superman would have had hands for scissors, his girl would be goth and Johnny Depp would play the villain or Superman, which of course, would be dressed in black. Very original if you ask me /sarcasm. Why Tim Burton makes movies even today is beyond me.

  10. I loved this article!

    But there are several, well-documented cases that I think are worth mentioning that were left out:

    Charlie Sheen lobbied for the role of Spider-Man when the film was being developed in the early ’90s, Tom Cruise was also interested. Stan Lee wanted to play J. Jonah, and said in a raido interview that John Cusack was up for Peter Parker. John Malkovich, Nicolas Cage, and Robert De Niro were all offered the roll of the Green Goblin during Raimi’s run. Heath Ledger was the first choice to play Spider-Man at one point, he rejected the studio’s offers fearing typecasting.

    Glenn Danzig (of The Misfits) was set to play Wolverine in a low-budget one-shot X-Men film in the early ’90s because of his height (5’4″) and toned build. Russell Crowe was offered the role in a later production but declined. Angela Bassett had been offered the role of Storm.

    Tim Burton considered Pierce Brosnan, Keven Costner, Kevin Kline, Alec Baldwin, and Tom Selleck for Batman, among others. Willem Dafoe has gone on record stating he was in talks to play Batman early in production, despite rumors he was in the running to play the Joker. David Bowie, Tim Curry, John Lithgow, James Woods, John Glover, Ray Liotta, and Robin Williams were all considered for the Joker.

    Marlon Wayans was actually cast as Robin in Batman Returns & Burtons proposed third film. While promoting GI Joe, he said he still gets residual checks, even though he part was cut.

    Guy Pearce was offered the role of Daredevil (which would have been awesome – fingers crossed for the reboot…), Matt Damon and Edward Norton were also considered.

  11. Last year, I remember reading a story about how a reporter who had an appointment to interview Jason Statham (The Transporter) at Cannes had to interview him at table where he was meeting with Frank Miller (Sin City). Apprently, dispite Stathams obvious Cockney accent, Miller want him to play Daredevil in much darker, more violent reboot. I think, that if Statham could nail the accent he’d be brilliant in the role.

    • Not just the accent, PHOENIX80…he’d HAVE to get a toupee, as Matt Murdock is not bald, but Statham IS a bit sparse on the rooftop…

      • That’s very true. If they set it near the end of his crime fighting career they could work around it, (make out like he’s getting on a bit) but they’d still have to work around that accent. “Oeem t man witout Feeeeaar!”

  12. Rem pretty much got all the ones I can think of. Lets not forget Will Smith Being considered for Captain America. Back in The 90′s Captain movie they offered the part to Arnold Swartzenager but then changed there minds do to hi accent. They also asked Val Kilmer who later on played Batman. Christian Bale auditioned for the role of Robin in Batman Forever and was turned down. Just to add to Matt Damon playing Daredevil(that would be awesome) It was a script written by Kevin Smith who was the Current Writer of the comic and Robert Rodriguez Directing. They all eventually dropped because of the unnecessarily high budget.

  13. Another near-miss was Lyle Waggoner as Batman instead of Adam West.

  14. “Cruise, on the other hand, may have made Stark just an asshole. Sorry Tom.”

    That was LOL funny…

  15. … and, from what I undestand, Prince lobbied pretty hard for the original Joker

  16. Wow! Christopher Reeve, Tom Welling, and Brandon Routh all the way!!!

  17. Always knew Will Smith was a racist

    • I hope you’re joking.

      • …because he is 100% correct with what he said.

        I mean my goodness the comments section of this site is evidence of that!?!

  18. You forgot to mention Jack Black as Green Lantern! Ugh….that would have been awful.

  19. I’d be just FINE in a world without Christian Bale Batman—as well as one without Christian Bale—PERIOD. Just a huge bloated ego, overrated waste of space. Total diva. But no one but Downey could be Tony Stark. Tom Cruise is okay, but not in that role.

  20. I feel neither one way nor another about Tom Cruise, and I think RDJ is definitely the superior actor of the two, but I need to point out that RDJ could also be considered a “midget” in the same vein as Cruise. They are both about 5’6″…just sayin…

  21. And I may be alone in my thinking, but I think John Krazinski would have made a perfect Steve Rogers. *swoon*

    As for Halle Berry, I agree that see is a zero talent moron skating by on her looks. Just listen to any interview that she’s ever done if you don’t believe me. Catwoman is by far my favorite comic book character, abduction I refuse to recognize that abomination of a movie she made by that name. She was NEVER Catwoman as far as I’m concerned. *HISSSSS!!* lol

    End of rant. ;)

  22. AND* not abduction lol

  23. The weird one is Jake Gyllenhaal as Batman. With that voice? No. Now, Daredevil on the other hand, I could totally see him as.

  24. They shouldve used Angela Basset as Storm

Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.


If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it.

Be Social, Follow Us!!