Nicolas Cage recently did an interview where he talked a little bit about comics and the Superman Lives film project he was developing with Tim Burton. That Superman film would have been very interesting to see, but according to Cage, Warner Bros. was too scared to push it into production.
When asked if animated features connect with his love of comic books, the actor reveals that he may not be as big as a fanboy as we thought he was,
"Look, the truth is I’m not obsessed with comics. I don’t read comics as a 49-year-old man. Not that there’s anything wrong with that but I have other interests that are more in tune with where I’m at right now. But I’m loyal and I will never forget the impressions that comics gave me as a child. They are like primitive cartoons and those characters became like a modern mythology that’s touched the world. So animated movies are like cousins to comics."
I love how he added the "Not that there's anything wrong with that" line. He then talked about Superman Lives, which would have been based on the "Death of Superman" arc with Brainiac and Doomsday as the villains in the story. Cage had this to say,
"Very close. Look, I’m not going to be one of these guys that’s going to be, like, lamenting things. But is Tim Burton one of my favorite directors? Yes. Did I see some of the drawings of where he wanted to go? Yes. And I will tell you, they were fantastic and it would have been a mind-blowing experience. Did I have a concept of how to play the character? Yes, and I can tell you it would have been gutsy. So maybe Warner Brothers got scared because they had two artists that weren’t afraid to take chances."
It's strange that the studio got cold feet, especially after Burton's Batman films did so well. I would have thought they would trust his judgment. But they must not have liked how "gutsy" it would have been.