For all the faults of this year's The Flash movie, it did allow viewers to finally see Nicolas Cage as Superman — the iconic superhero role he was originally supposed to play in a '90s film that never got off the ground. However, in a new interview with Yahoo Entertainment, Cage revealed that he was surprised by how his appearance was used in The Flash.
"When I went to the picture, it was me fighting a giant spider. I did not do that," Cage said. "That was not what I did."
In other words, Cage's appearance in The Flash wasn't just cobbled together from old test footage from Superman Lives, the aborted film that was scripted by Kevin Smith and had Tim Burton as the intended director.
Max Nicolas Cage as Superman in 'The Flash'
Cage was on set for The Flash; he just didn't know that director Andy Muschietti was going to pit him against an oversize arachnid, which was in reference to what producer Jon Peters inexplicably wanted from Superman Lives. (The concept was somewhat of an obsession for Peters, who also suggested giant spiders to Neil Gaiman for a movie version of The Sandman that never got off the ground.)
"I think [Muschietti] is a terrific director, he is a great guy and a great director, and I loved his two It movies," Cage said. "What I was supposed to do was literally just be standing in an alternate dimension, if you will, and witnessing the destruction of the universe. Kal-El was bearing witness [to] the end of a universe, and you can imagine with that short amount of time that I had, what that would mean in terms of what I can convey. I had no dialogue [so had to] convey with my eyes the emotion. So that's what I did. I was on set for maybe three hours."
Burton has recently spoken out against AI tools trying to "recreate" his style, describing it as "like a robot taking your humanity, your soul." Asked about those comments, Cage echoed Burton's sentiments about AI, though he distinguished it from what happened on The Flash.
"I get where Tim's coming from. I know what he means. I would be very unhappy if people were taking my art," Cage said. "I'm with him in that regard. AI is a nightmare to me. It's inhumane. You can't get more inhumane than artificial intelligence. But I don't think it [was] AI [in The Flash]. I just think that they did something with it, and again, it's out of my control."
Cage's latest film, Dream Scenario, is set to hit theaters Nov. 10.