Nicolas Cage's Kick-Ass Character Inspired by Adam West
04.09.10 by BJSprecher
Academy Award-winning actor Nicolas Cage is a self-avowed comic book fan who
almost played Superman, but settled for a demonic anti-hero in Ghost Rider instead. In one week, Cage will be making his debut as a second superhero in Matthew Vaughn's Kick-Ass, in which he plays Damon Macready, aka Big Daddy, half of a father-and-daughter team of violent vigilantes. Cage recently said that his character was inspired by Batman, which is not very surprising considering how closely Big Daddy's costume resembles Batman's. What is surprising, however, is the Batman actor that Cage modeled his Big Daddy performance after.
Cage attended the recent WonderCon comic book convention in San Francisco in support of Kick-Ass and told MTV that none other than Adam West, who portrayed Batman in the incredibly campy Batman TV series from 1966-68, inspired his portrayal of Big Daddy.
Comic books to me are almost like Jungian archetypes for the modern age. Like the way Greek myths were in ancient Greece. And, so, there are people that go out, like paramedics and cops, and they wear, like, a Superman t-shirt underneath their uniform, you know? And, so, Big Daddy—when Damon is in his Big Daddy mode, that uniform is like his homage to the early Batman, not
Dark Knight, but older, like Adam West-style.
Cage didn't just use West's Batman as subtext, he also incorporated it into Big Daddy's speech.
That was the homage. Adam West would've been the Batman that [Damon Macready] grew up with. That would be the Batman that would help him get the job done.
We don't really see the connection, but you make the comparison. Here's Big Daddy in action in Kick-Ass:
And here's a "best of" reel of West as Batman from Batman:
Kick-Ass is based on the comic book of the same name by Mark Millar and also stars Aaron Johnson as Kick-Ass, Chloe Moretz as Hit Girl and Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Red Mist.
On a side note, if you're wondering what's up with Cage's scraggly blonde hair in that interview with MTV, it's for his upcoming movie Drive Angry. Cage said that he originally wanted his character in the movie to sport a shaved head with a scalp tattoo, but the producer didn't go for it. Instead, Cage decided to "embrace the Celtic roots on the other side" of his family and go blonde.