Nicolas Cage Almost Played The Scarecrow In 'Batman'

'Ghost Rider' actor tells MTV News that working with director Joel Schumacher 'would have been a lot of fun.'

Nicolas Cage is one of Hollywood's biggest actors and one who always seems to enter the conversation when comic books are involved. The Academy Award-winning actor has been attached to "Superman," starred in two "Ghost Rider" movies and -- it was recently revealed -- was in talks for the Scarecrow in "Batman" for director Joel Schumacher.

MTV News' Josh Horowitz caught up with Cage while he was promoting "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance," and the actor talked about the job he almost had as the villain.

Schumacher directed the third and fourth Batman films before Christopher Nolan rebooted with "Batman Begins." A proposed third Schumacher Batman movie, "Batman Triumphant," never happened, but the director did speak with Cage about a villain role before the shutdown. "[Schumacher] came to visit me on the set of 'Face/Off.' It was either 'Face/Off' or 'Con-Air,' " Cage said.

"I was in my camper. He said he was going to do another installment of 'Batman' and that he'd like me to play to Scarecrow, which would have been a lot of fun. I must admit, especially with Joel, because he and I share a similar sense of humor," Cage said, but the discussion never went further than that. "It was literally an hour lunch, and that's as far as it went."

Even though Nolan's films meant no "Batman" for Cage, the actor said he enjoys the movies a lot. "I think that [Nolan] is genuinely philosophical, and that the dialogue that emanated from Heath Ledger was brilliant," Cage said.

Like Nolan's take on the Caped Crusader, "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" handles superhero material in a darker tone. Cage said that those types of comic book films are products of their time, but lighter, happier superhero films are still possible. "There is room for all kinds. I think, unfortunately, we are living in dark times. Sometimes in the zeitgeist you need heroes that can reflect that, so Ghost Rider is perfect for that," he said. "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."

Cage, widely known as a comic book collector, recently sold the entirety of his collection, and despite his passion for the medium, he has no interest in taking up a new one. "I'll walk into a boutique shop, like while I'm in New York, I'll go to Forbidden Planet, predominantly because I enjoy taking my kids there," he said. "I used to with my older son, and now with [my son] Kal-El, I'll take him. He's into all that now too. It's just really good stuff for the imagination. He's more Marvel, but he likes all of it."

How do you think Nicolas Cage would do in the role of the Scarecrow? Leave your comment below!

Check out everything we've got on "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance."

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