Nicolas Cage Speaks Out on Superman Role and Praises Henry Cavill

Following reports earlier this week Henry Cavill may be out as the DCEU’s Superman, comic book super-fan Nicolas Cage — who nearly portrayed the last son of Krypton in Tim Burton’s never-made Superman Lives — said he’s an admirer of Cavill’s portrayal of the character.

“I thought Henry Cavill was a very good Superman and I liked the anger he brought to the role,” Cage told IndieWire.

Cage said he hopes to next see an iteration of the character that deeper explores Kal-El-slash-Clark Kent’s “alienness,” pointing to his well-known origin story of a refugee rocketed away from a dying alien planet.

“There’s certainly a character there that has aspects that have not yet been seen before,” Cage said. “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 really wasn’t tapped into with the character. He’s quite vulnerable. I don’t know who should do it, but best of luck to them.”

The actor, who headlines just-released horror-thriller Mandy under writer-director Panos Cosmatos, isn’t sure who he’d next like to see step into Superman’s red cape and boots, but has two potential directors in mind whenever the next Supes-centric project takes flight.

“You have to have a filmmaker that can create worlds. I can only think of maybe two right now,” Cage said. “I would love to see Panos’ version of Krypton. The other one would be the original guy I had, Tim Burton.”

After Burton helmed Batman and Batman Returns for studio Warner Bros., he was tapped to revive the abandoned Superman franchise — only for Superman Lives to long languish in development hell, much to the dismay of Burton, Cage, and screenwriter Kevin Smith. The development process proved costly and frustrating, and both Burton and Cage eventually walked away from the project before Warner Bros. pulled the plug.

Cage has since played Superman in this summer’s animated Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, and after playing a live-action sort-of-superhero across two Ghost Rider movies, the star said high-profile projects like Superman movies are no longer his primary interests.

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“I’d love to, but they have to invite me,” Cage said. “I’ve kind of gone in this other direction and I’m happy with this little world that I have. I think it’s been a mutually successful relationship.”

Mandy is now playing in limited theatrical release and is available on video on demand.