10) Nicolas Cage (Superman)
Let’s start with perhaps the most famous almost-superhero casting in movie history. After the success of his Batman films, Tim Burton was hired to helm a Superman reboot titled Superman Lives. Despite the project going through several redrafts from different writers (including Kevin Smith), and a release date planned for 1998, the movie eventually disintegrated. Nevertheless, Burton did hire his (peculiar) choice for the Man of Steel when the film was still operational – and it was none other than self-confessed comic book fan Nicolas Cage.
Though he didn’t get to shoot any material, Cage attended several costume fittings. As you can see, he would have sported a mullet and a more metallic outfit. We’ve no idea how the actor would have fared in the role – Burton wanted to emphasize the alien outsider part to Superman’s character, which we guess Cage could have played quite well – but his casting has become the stuff of movie legend ever since.
9) Charlie Sheen (Spider-Man)
Nowadays, Spider-Man is such a surefire cinematic hit that three different actors have played the role in the last ten years. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, however, it wasn’t so easy to get the webslinger on screen, as various versions were mooted and then booted. Most famously, James Cameron wanted to do a Spidey movie with Leonardo DiCaprio. The most unlikely almost-Spidey, though, has to be Two and a Half Men star Charlie Sheen.
We kid you not. Charlie Sheen was almost Spider-Man. Well, at least according to the man himself. Apparently, Sheen tried to get the movie rights for the character back in the 80s, and pitched the idea to Orion – the studio that later made Oscar winners Platoon and Silence of the Lambs.
Here’s what he later explained:
“I had an office at Orion at the time, and I brought them Spider-Man. I said, ‘Look, in a couple of years, I’ll be too old to play Peter Parker.’ And they said, ‘Yeah, we’re just thinking that cartoons are not the future, comic books are not the future.’ And I said, ‘But it’s Spider-man, I’m perfect.’ And they were like, ‘Nah, we’re gonna wait.’”
Unfortunately for Sheen, there was no “winning” this role.