It’s become a deeply ingrained part of internet culture, the mythos of the almost-movie where Nic Cage would have been Superman. You’ve seen the image of his test costume. You’ve heard about how his devotion to the character spurred him to name his son Kal-El. Maybe (like us) you’ve lamented what could have been if Tim Burton had devoted his post-Batman career to Superman Lives instead of starting down a path that would ultimately make us loathe him and Johnny Depp. Well, now you can see a glimpse of what could have been with some unearthed footage from the suit’s earliest camera tests.
I know it’s only Cage in a sculpted shiny blue leotard. But having been painfully bored by just about every Superman movie to ever, this footage hurts my heart at what never was. Perhaps the upcoming documentary The Death of Superman Lives will be a balm? The film aims to explore how such a seemingly perfect combination of late ’90s talent failed to come together, and speculates on how the movie landscape would be different now if this had happened.
The Death of Superman Lives will be available for purchase through the film’s website July 9th. We haven’t seen it yet. But if it’s half as dripping with insane details as Lost Soul, it’ll be a must-see.
Kristy Puchko is watching Batman Returns for the 876th time, weeping.