Chris Rock Recalls Superman Role That Never Happened: I Was This Close

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There have been a large number of comic book based movies that have entered production only to fall apart before ever making it to screens, and one of those in that “one that got away” category is Superman Lives, a potential Tim Burton-directed project from the late 1990s. While speaking as part of a roundtable interview which also featured Joy Boyega, Rege-Jean Page, Jonathan Majors and Josh O’Connor, Chris Rock mentioned his experience as one of the actors who were set to star in the DC franchise revival.

Rock said, “I was cast in Superman 20 years ago when Nic Cage was going to play Superman. I was cast; I had wardrobe fittings. I saw the miniature sets, and I was hanging out with Tim, and the whole thing fell apart. There’s a part of me that’s like, where’s my superhero movie? I was this close.”

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The Tim Burton project, which came years after his foray into the world of DC with Batman and Batman Returns, is one of those famed what-if moments from cinema history, and there are still some who can’t quite see how it all went so wrong. The film would have seen Nicholas Cage taking on the role of Superman, facing off against Christopher Walken as villain Brainiac. Among those considered for Superman’s girlfriend Lois Lane were Sandra Bullock and Courtney Cox, and then there was Chris Rock, who had been cast as Jimmy Olsen. Having made it as far as the costume fittings, it is easy to see why Rock still remembers how he almost made it into the superhero world over two decades ago.

Superman Lives was not the only time Rock came close to appearing in a superhero movie either, as in 2000 Kevin Smith was all set to direct the comedian in The Fly, an adaptation of the Joe Simon comic book from 1959. Smith recalled last year that Rock was interested in starring in the movie, but a whole host of reasons could have been to blame for the movie never being made. It does almost seem like Rock is just not meant to appear in one of these movies.

The lost Superman movie is not the only time DC have had one of their children become the stuff of legend for not making it screen. In 2008 a film that would find its place in the list of films that could have been is Justice League Mortal. The Chris Miller directed movie would have brought together DC’s greatest heroes years before the Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill-led Justice League was made. The cast of the movie included Armie Hammer as Batman, Megan Gale as Wonder Woman, D.J. Cotrona as Superman, Adam Brody as The Flash, Santiago Cabrera as Aquaman, and Common as Green Lantern. According to reports, that film, unlike Superman Lives, was only days away from the start of shooting which makes it even more of a fabled missed opportunity to many comic book fans.

However, Rock shouldn’t think that his opportunity to join the comic book movie world has completely passed him by, as with so many DC and Marvel projects on the slate and a lot more to come, there is every chance we will see him joining the ranks sometime in the next few years. While DC are reportedly developing a Superman miniseries for HBO Max as well as a film centering on a Black Superman, it should be remembered that there will be a lot of actors joining Marvel’s ranks when casting begins on the MCU iterations of the X-Men in the not too distant future. This news comes to us from Yahoo.

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