Look, I don’t know how many more times we can tell you about the magic of Nicolas Cage. Don’t you know by now? He’s played countless ridiculous roles, but some miracles just weren’t meant to happen. Here are seven famous movie roles that were ALMOST played by Nicolas Cage.
Possibly the most legendary of the Cage roles lost to the ether of time, our sweet boy Nicolas was all set to play the Tim Burton Superman. This version of the Man of Steel would’ve worn a suit that was, believe it or not, not stripey OR monochromatic. It was a pretty standard suit, but that HAIR is anything but standard! For once, I fully believe that was a choice all of Nic’s, and not some weird attempt by Burton to give Edward Scissorhands superpowers. (Edward Superhands? Can that be a thing?)
The wrestler in The Wrestler
When Darren Aronofsky was conceptualizing The Wrestler, it’s not the least bit surprising that Nicolas Cage entered his mind. Who would be better to play Randy “The Ram” Robinson than a man who walks around in his daily life with the charisma of a professional wrestler? The role went to Mickey Rourke, of course, because if someone hit Nic Cage with a steel chair, that chair would instantly become sentient and apologize profusely.
It makes a certain amount of sense that Keanu Reeves, the one who would eventually be, well, The One, is the only person in time and space that can match Nic Cage’s very (VERY) specific exuberance. All I really want in this lifetime is Keanu vs. Nic, both bedecked in Neo gear, having a “Woah”-off. Maybe throw Joey Lawrence in the mix.
Chev Chelios from Crank
The Crank movies are just fever dreams fueled by adrenaline and machismo, and God, I have never wanted anything more than for Nicolas Cage to have played the inexplicably-named Chev Chelios. If our favorite Ghost Rider took on the role of someone who was literally surviving on adrenaline, I’m pretty sure we’d never have another Oscars ceremony again, because he would have won them all, both retroactively and going forward. So, you know. Probably for the best.
Harry from Dumb and Dumber
Again, a casting decision that had to be done, because you can’t simply ask a gentleman and a scholar like Nicolas Cage to debase himself with scenes of violent diarrhea. Leave that for the director’s cut of Con Air.
Have you seen Vampire’s Kiss? Then you know how really and truly horrifying Nicolas Cage can be. Now imagine that fear channeled into playing Batman’s scariest foe, The Scarecrow in Joel Schumacher’s canceled follow-up to the campy Batman and Robin . The man from Face/Off with those eyes and syringes for fingers? Yep, game over, Dark Knight, might as well call it a day.
Speaking of anti-heroes, how about a version of underworld detective John Constantine played by the star of The Rock, hmm? While this is another role that sadly ended up going to one-half of Bill and Ted, we at least got to see Nic Cage play with demons and hellfire in Ghost Rider. I believe that movie was also the birthplace of his famous contract rider, in which every role Nic Cage plays must include at least one scene in which the character’s head is on fire (look, the scenes always get deleted, it’s just not fair).
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