If the world had taken a few different turns over the years, then Nicolas Cage may well have ended up playing Superman on the big screen, with Tim Burton directing. Superman Lives was, after all, a project that got some way down the road, before finally collapsing.
It turns out, though, that Cage was in line to play a Batman villain as well. The news was revealed by The Playlist, who were talking to director Joel Schumacher. Because in the midst of production on Batman And Robin (when Warner Bros was apparently encouraged by what they were seeing), work had begun on putting together what would have been known as Batman Triumphant, which was being written by Mark Protosevich.
“I was supposed to do a fifth one”, Schumacher says of the film. “I was talking to Nic Cage about playing the Scarecrow. I had begged the studio for [Frank Miller’s comic] The Dark Knight [Returns], but they wanted a family friendly, toyetic thing”.
Batman Triumphant would have seen a brief return for Jack Nicholson’s Joker, too, as The Scarecrow’s toxins would have led Batman seeing some of those he’d battled before. The Joker would have been included in that, and Jack Nicholson was still under contract at that point.Batman Triumphant collapsed in the aftermath of the response to Barman And Robin. And perhaps it’s a good thing that the director didn’t get his paws on Frank Miller’s work. Furthermore, Cillian Murphy hardly did a shabby job when The Scarecrow did eventually make it to the big screen, in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins.
Schumacher went on to add in the interview that, in spite of making wrong choices on Batman And Robin, “I did my job. It was more family friendly, and it sold a lot of toys, and it supported the Warner Bros stores. But I did disappoint a lot of fans”.
Is it stating the obvious, we wonder, to suggest that Schumacher’s job was actually making a decent movie? Even accepting the pressures he was under at the time, it didn’t really sound like he did his job to us.
It’s an interesting interview over at The Wrap, and we do urge you to give it a read. You can find it here.
Follow our Twitter feed for faster news and bad jokes right here. And be our Facebook chum here.