Forget 'Ghost Rider,' Nicolas Cage Was Almost In 'Batman' As Scarecrow!

How's this for a frightening thought: Nicolas Cage was almost Scarecrow in a Batman movie.

Of course, the role of psychotic psychiatrist Jonathan Crane eventually went to Cillian Murphy in Christopher Nolan's "Batman Begins." But well before that, the once and future "Ghost Rider" star was approached to stuff himself full of straw for Joel Schumacher's planned trip to Gotham in "Batman Triumphant," which would have been the director's third dance with the Dark Knight.

"He said he was going to do another installment of 'Batman' and that he'd like me to play Scarecrow, which would have been a lot of fun," he told MTV News at the "Ghost Rider" junket about being approached for the role. "I must admit [it would have been fun], especially with Joel, because he and I share a similar sense of humor."

Of course, it was not meant to be, and the Batman movies took a different turn. No worries for Cage, though. The notorious comic book fan has had plenty of other opportunities to take his fanboy urges out on the "Ghost Rider" franchise, as he once again assumes the role of Johnny Blaze with this weekend's "Spirit of Vengeance."

"I think, unfortunately, we are living in dark times," he said of the current state of comic book movies. "Sometimes in the zeitgeist you need heroes that can reflect that, so Ghost Rider is perfect for that … What they are is no different than ancient Greek myths or Nordic mythology or Grimm's fairy tales. They give people kind of a young identity to embrace themselves to help them get through life."

Would you have enjoyed Cage's take on Scarecrow? Tell us in the comments and on Twitter!

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