“Into the Spider-Verse” is fast becoming my most anticipated movie of 2018. In addition to beautiful animation and the cinematic debut of Miles Morales and Spider-Gwen, the movie may now also play host to a truly wonderful sight: Spider-Man, as portrayed by Nicholas Cage.
Reports suggest that Cage could well be playing Spider-Man Noir, one of the classic Spider-Verse alternatives to the regular Peter Parker.
Spider-Man Noir is one of the more enduring reimaginings of the classic character. Imagine if Vanilla Spider-Man and Batman had a baby, and you’ve pretty much got Spider-Man Noir straight in your head.
There are two ways of approaching this character. The traditional (boring) interpretation of Spider-Man Noir is to play the whole thing straight, and expect the audience to truly believe that this is anything other than a brooding DC knock-off.
This probably wouldn’t fit too well with the bright, colorful tone established in the “Into the Spider-Verse” trailers.
Thankfully, the second approach to Noir Spidey feels like a far better fit. The character can be played for gags, as an ultra-silly deadpan parody of the The Dark Knight himself.
Nic Cage the Self Parody
The possible inclusion of Nic Cage suggests that “Into the Spider-Verse” is not going to expect audiences to take Spider-Man Noir seriously, and that definitely feels like the right choice.
Who better to play a one-note brooding Spider-Man than Nic Cage, master of the overstated performance?
Sure, when Cage is trying to play things straight, he comes across as something of a lunatic. We all remember the nightmare that is “Ghost Rider”.
But the actor has built a solid career as Hollywood’s go-to shlock guy. No premise is too ridiculous; no character is too bizarre, for Cage to take a stab at them.
Take, for example, his role as Big Daddy in “Kick-Ass”.
This works so well because Cage is able to parody himself; playing an over-the-top character that is a collection of every tired superhero trope that’s every appeared on film.
If Cage can do something similar with Spider-Man Noir, his role could be one of the best of the film.
I want to see a dark, gritty Spider-Man swinging around in the shadows. I want him to then speak with the slow, deliberate drawl that he’s become known for. As if Spider-Man Noir is trying to sound deadly serious, but he just can’t quite pull it off.
This could be glorious. With so much silly comic book weirdness, not only could “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” be the best comic book movie of 2018, but it might just be the most accurate depiction of reading a comic book in the history of cinema.