Cage, Fincher Go Hard Boiled

By hook or by crook, Nicolas Cage is going to play a comic book hero.

The Oscar-winning actor, who was long set to star in a version of Superman, which never got off the ground, recently left the lead in the comic book adaptation Ghost Rider after director Steve Norrington signed on to Blade 3 instead.

Now Cage is attached to Hard Boiled, which Warner Bros. Pictures is in the process of acquiring from Frank Miller and Geoff Darrow.

Hard Boiled — not to be confused with John Woo's 1992 film of the same name — is a sci-fi story about a killer robot who thinks he's a tax collector. Miller and Darrow hold the rights to the property, which was published by Dark Horse Comics.

Both Miller and Darrow have strong ties to Warner Bros. and to its production chief, Lorenzo di Bonaventura. Miller is currently working with Darren Aronofsky on an adaptation of Miller's Batman: Year One, and Darrow was the comic book artist behind The Matrix. Both films were di Bonaventura pet projects.

Fight Club director David Fincher is being courted to bring his dark style to the project. Fincher, who was once in the running to direct Spider-Man, is expected to next film New Line Cinema's Seared, an adaptation of Anthony Bourdain's memoir of life as a chef (titled Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly). Hmmm, now why does this make us think of the unsavory "special food preparation" from Fight Club?

Cage will next be seen in the World War II drama Windtalkers, which reunites him with Face/Off director Woo, and Adaptation, for director Spike Jonze.

Reuters/Variety contributed to this story.

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