Fan art imagines how Nicolas Cage would have looked like as Superman

Superman Lives
Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

fans have been having a bit of a year. From the now-debunked rumors that DCEU staple Henry Cavill was moving over to the MCU, to fan debates at whether or not he’s aging out of the role. While they can breathe a sigh of relief that Cavill is still pretty much set in the role for now, a fan art of Nicolas Cage as the Man of Steel is getting fans a little too excited.

In an Instagram image jointly posted by itsryanunicomb and spdrmnkyxxii and created by the latter, Cage looks pretty convincing as the popular Kryptonian. 

In the caption, Ryan tells a brief story about a superhero anthology series titled Strange Adventures which never came to light. Writer and director Kevin Smith was allegedly tapped to direct an episode of the series and wanted Cage to take on the role of the antihero Bizarro who, under the guise of Superman, would have wreaked havoc before redeeming himself with a good deed. 

This marks the second time the Hollywood veteran is attached to the iconic superhero. In 1998, Cage was set to star as the mullet-donning version of the character in Tim Burton’s Superman Lives, but the project never saw the light of day. In 2015, a documentary by Jon Schnepp titled The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened? was released, revealing behind-the-scenes moments of the cancelled film, including a look at Cage in the Superman costume.

Having Cage play Bizarro would have brought things full circle for the actor. Ryan’s Instagram post also revealed that Cage’s Bizarro would eventually be visited by the real Superman, who Brandon Routh would have brought to life. Unfortunately, development of the project was brought to a screeching halt. Comments on the post have expressed a deep desire to have seen the Oscar-winning actor bring his versatile acting chops into the role of one of Superman’s major nemeses. 

Bizarro and Superman are pretty much two sides of the same coin, as the former is a copy of the original Kryptonian, albeit with an imperfect sense of morals. While his powers were initially the same as Superman’s in the comic books, being struck by a meteorite gave him reverse abilities. Instead of heat vision, ice breath, wind breath, and the ability to see through anything except lead, Bizarro possess the powers ice vision, heat or flame breath, vacuum breath, and the ability to see through only lead. 

Bizarro has been portrayed several times in live-action adaptations, most popularly in Smallville, where he was played by Tom Welling, who also starred as Superman. Most recently, the CW series, Superman & Lois, introduced the character in its second season, and Tyler Hoechlin, who is also Superman, took on the role. 

It might seem like a fever dream that once upon a time, Nicolas Cage might have become yet another version of Superman, but the image makes us just a little bit curious as to what the character would have been like on screen.