Brian Hiatt
January 04, 2002 AT 05:00 AM EST

It ain’t easy playing a superhero. Though onetime Superman wannabe Nicolas Cage scored the title role in Constantine, based on the DC Comics series Hellblazer, the character’s creator isn’t impressed with the casting choice. ”No offense to Nicolas Cage, but they should’ve gotten Sting,” says Alan Moore, who modeled the blond British crime-fighting occult expert on the rocker when he devised John Constantine in the ’80s (originally as a supporting player in Swamp Thing). Retorts a Warner Bros. spokesperson: ”No offense to Sting or disrespect to Mr. Moore, Sting is not the appropriate age for the role, nor is he as accomplished an actor.” Moore, who also authored the graphic novel From Hell on which the Johnny Depp thriller was based, concedes that Cage is a ”nice bloke” who rings sometimes to discuss comic-book lore.

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