Nicolas Cage is set to play Spider-Man Noir in Sony's upcoming animated film Into the Spider-Verse, and he based the performance on Humphrey Bogart. Cage is certainly one of the most recognizable actors working today, but his notoriety isn't always for the right reasons. While Cage has more than proven that he's a talented performer - earning two Oscar nominations, winning once - the more recent stages of his long career have seen him gravitate more toward the eclectic.
His latest choice of unconventional role will see Cage voice Spider-Man Noir in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, alongside a variety of other Spider-Man variants. This convergence of Spider-people is made possible by the film's universe-blending plot, which sets the lead focus on young Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), who's new to both the Spider-Man identity and being a superhero. Peter Parker's (Jake Johnson) Spider-Man also makes an appearance, as does Spider-Ham (John Mulaney), Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld), and Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn).
For those unfamiliar, Spider-Man Noir is an alternate universe version of Peter Parker whose story is set in 1933. He made his first comic appearance in 2009, and this will be his first adaptation to the big screen. During a recent chat with EW, Cage revealed his inspirations for the characterization of Spider-Man Noir in Spider-Verse, citing classic Hollywood stars like Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, and Edward G. Robinson. Bogart is of course probably the actor most closely associated with the film noir genre. Here's Cage's full quote:
There are multiple Spider-Men in different dimensions that are kind of colliding together,” says Cage of the movie. “My character’s Spider-Man Noir. He’s really Peter Parker from the ’30s. I tried to channel those noir films with [Humphrey] Bogart, and have those kinds of sounds that he might make with [James] Cagney, or Edward G. Robinson, that kind of way of talking. I tried to give the character that. It was a lot of fun. I think it should be quite funny. The movie definitely has a sense of humor, and that’s a good thing because it’s good for the whole family.
One of the most legendary leading men in Hollywood history, Bogart's glory days came in the 1930s and 40s. He'll probably always be best remembered for playing club owner Rick Blaine opposite Ingrid Bergman in 1942's Casablanca, but gave almost equally iconic performances in noir classics like 1941's The Maltese Falcon and 1946's The Big Sleep. If most film fans were asked to name an actor from the noir genre, chances are their answer would be Bogart, making him a completely logical choice for Cage to base a noir-styled version of Spider-Man on.
At this point though, it remains to be seen how big a role in the story that Spider-Man Noir will have within Into the Spider-Verse. After all, he's sharing the screen with such a large line-up of characters that it would be easy for him to get lost in the shuffle. Hopefully his unique backstory and a sure to be intriguing vocal performance from Cage will be enough to set Spider-Man Noir apart from the pack, and make his film debut a memorable one.
- Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) release date: Dec 14, 2018