Nicolas Cage Says It's Too Late to Be Superman, But He'd Be a "Great" Lex Luthor

The Oscar-winning actor nearly played the Man of Steel for Tim Burton 20 years ago.

Too much time has passed for Nicolas Cage to try once more to play Superman, but that is not to say he couldn't pull off another pivotal role from the classic superhero comics — he thinks. 

In a recent interview with The Guardian to promote his new horror film, Mandy, the Oscar-winning actor touched on a number of different topics from his decades-long career, including when, in the late '90s, he nearly played the Man of Steel in Tim Burton's Superman Lives.

While talking about the defunct project, Cage said the red-caped boat had sailed. 

“Oh, I think my Superman days are long gone,” he said with a little pat of his belly, according to The Guardian. Interviewer Hadley Freeman suggested perhaps he could play the villain, and wrote that Cage's eyes lit up at the idea. “Oh, that would be GREAT! I’d make a great Lex Luthor!”

Other interesting little nuggets dropped in the article include that Cage had to audition for Raising Arizona, the classic 1987 Coen brothers film, 20 times. Also in 1987, he was nearly canned from Moonstruck when he initially insisted Jean Cocteau references be made in the film, which he co-starred in with Cher. 

Cage also talked about working on Peggy Sue Got Married with Kathleen Turner, who said in a recent interview of her own that she did not enjoy the experience, and even called him an "asshole."

Seems Cage thought it was otherwise. 

“I think Kathleen was amused," he told The Guardian. "I think we were a little bit in love with each other, to be entirely honest." 

As for his acting style and the independent films he now does, Cage had plenty to say. 

“I like to break forms, try different things, and I don’t think studios are comfortable with that," he said. "But in an independently spirited film, I can do that. Also, if I don’t have somewhere to go in the morning and a job to do, it can be very self-destructive. Then I’m just going to sit and order two bottles of red wine and dissolve, and I don’t want to be that person, so I have to work."