Comedian Chris Rock talks about missing out on playing Jimmy Olsen alongside Nicolas Cage when the infamous Superman Lives was shelved by Warner Bros.
Actor and comedian Chris Rock has spoken about missing out on playing Jimmy Olsen in the infamous Superman Lives project. One of the most well-known cinematic projects to never make it beyond the development phase, the film’s cancellation even inspired a 2015 documentary The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened? by director Jon Schnepp. Planned to be directed by Batman’s Tim Burton, the film was slated to star Nicolas Cage as Clark Kent, and Christopher Walken was rumored to tackle the role of the film’s antagonist, Brainiac.
While the earliest version of the script was penned by comic-book connoisseur and Clerks director Kevin Smith, when Burton signed on to the project, he tasked his Batman Returns writer Wesley Strick with overhauling the story. The film entered pre-production in 1997 and was set to be released in 1998 in time for the 60th anniversary of Superman’s comic debut. However, in April 1998, Warner Bros. officially put the project on hold, and Burton left to begin work on 1999’s Sleepy Hollow instead.
More recently, Rock, who had been cast as the Daily Planet’s photojournalist Jimmy Olsen, revealed his frustrations in never getting his opportunity to star in a superhero film. According to Yahoo! Entertainment in a recent roundtable interview with John Boyega, Regé-Jean Page, Josh O’Connor, and Jonathan Majors, Rock reflected on the scrapped project and being “this close” to starring in a blockbuster DC property. Check out his full comments below:
“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 [director] Tim [Burton], and the whole thing fell apart. There’s a part of me that’s like, where’s my superhero movie? I was this close.”
As frustrating as missing out on being included in such a high-profile superhero project must be, Rock certainly isn’t the first actor to feel the sting of films that failed to make it past pre-production. Superman Lives isn’t even the only potential DC blockbuster to be shelved before filming could start. In 2008, Warner Bros. also put a halt to work on a Justice League film that was intended to be helmed by Mad Max director Chris Miller. Actors from that ill-fated production who could sympathize with Rock’s disappointment include Armie Hammer (Batman), Megan Gale (Wonder Woman), D.J. Cotrona (Superman), Adam Brody (The Flash), Santiago Cabrera (Aquaman), and Common (Green Lantern).
Of course with the sheer volume of superhero projects currently being pushed through by both Warner Bros. and Marvel Studios, perhaps there may be a chance for Rock to finally get his shot at working on a superhero film after all. With multiple Superman projects already on the horizon, including a new film being produced by J.J. Abrams, as well as an HBO Max series helmed by Michael B. Jordan, there may still be opportunities for Rock to get up close with the Man of Steel. Perhaps then, the sour taste left by the cancellation of Superman Lives may finally be washed away.
Source: Yahoo! Entertainment
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