Never-before-seen picture of Nicolas Cage as Superman emerges

Cage was probably snapped at a late-90s costume fitting for Tim Burton's botched Superman film

A long lost photograph showing what Nicolas Cage would have looked like as Superman has surfaced online – it appears at the top of this article.

Cage was due to star as the Man of Steel in a late-90s movie from director Tim Burton. Titled Superman Lives, the film went into pre-production and over $30m (£19m) was spent before Warner Bros halted the project over script and budget concerns.

Before the project fell apart, Cage attended a costume fitting for the role and this picture is believed to have been taken then. The photo of Cage in his Superman costume has only just emerged on an obscure Twitter feed for DC Comics fans.

Meanwhile, Superman is set to return to the big screen later this year in Man Of Steel, a reboot from Watchmen director Zack Snyder. British actor Henry Cavill stars as Clark Kent aka Superman, while Amy Adams will play Lois Lane.

The film, whose cast also includes Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner and Laurence Fishburne, opens in cinemas on June 14. Scroll down and click ‘play’ to watch the trailer.