Nicolas Cage Calls AI a 'Nightmare,' Says His “The” “Flash ”Cameo as Superman 'Was Not What I Did'

“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,” he said

<p>Robin L Marshall/Getty</p> Nicolas Cage at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 9, 2023

Robin L Marshall/Getty

Nicolas Cage at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 9, 2023

Nicolas Cage is scratching his head over the final cut of his cameo as Superman in The Flash.

The actor said in an interview published Wednesday with Yahoo! Entertainment that in the cameo he made in the film, for which he visited the set, "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."

Cage, 59, played a younger, multiverse version of Superman in the cameo. But the version on screen showed the character "fighting a giant spider" — which is not what Cage said he filmed.

“I did not do that. That was not what I did," he said. "I don’t think it was [created by] AI. I know Tim [Burton] is upset about AI, as I am. It was CGI, okay, so that they could de-age me, and I’m fighting a spider. I didn’t do any of that, so I don’t know what happened there.”

"I just think that they did something with it, and again, it’s out of my control," Cage also said of his appearance in the film. "I literally went to shoot a scene for maybe an hour in the suit, looking at the destruction of a universe and trying to convey the feelings of loss and sadness and terror in my eyes. That’s all I did.”

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<p>TDOSLWH</p> Nicolas Cage as Superman in the unproduced 1998 <em>Superman Lives</em> film


Nicolas Cage as Superman in the unproduced 1998 Superman Lives film

Related: Nicolas Cage Recalls Almost Playing a 'Sort of Emo' Superman for Director Tim Burton

Cage's comments about Burton come after the famed filmmaker, 65, recently discussed Hollywood's trend of bringing back beloved characters with the assistance of AI, during a conversation with the British Film Institute.

"It goes into another AI thing, and this is why I think I’m over it with the studio," said Burton, who directed 1989's Batman and its 1992 sequel Batman Returns. (He also worked for nearly two years in the '90s on Superman Lives, starring Cage as the titular hero, before the project was scrapped.)

"They can take what you did, Batman or whatever, and culturally misappropriate it, or whatever you want to call it. Even though you’re a slave of Disney or Warner Brothers, they can do whatever they want," Burton added. "So in my latter years of life, I’m in quiet revolt against all this.”

And while Cage doesn't believe AI was used on his cameo in The Flash, "I get where Tim's coming from," he told Yahoo! Entertainment. "I know what he means. I would be very unhappy if people were taking my art … and appropriating them."

"I get it. I mean, I’m with him in that regard. AI is a nightmare to me," the actor continued. "It’s inhumane. You can’t get more inhumane than artificial intelligence."

<p>Domine Jerome/ABACA/Shutterstock; ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty</p> Tim Burton; Nicolas Cage

Domine Jerome/ABACA/Shutterstock; ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty

Tim Burton; Nicolas Cage

Related: All the Actors Who Have Played Superman on Screen

He praised the movie's costume department and director Andrés Muschietti, though, saying, “They did put a lot of time into building the suit … and I think [Andy] is a terrific director, he is a great guy and a great director, and I loved his two It movies."

The Flash was full of cameos, as Cage appeared while Ezra Miller's Barry Allen hit the multiverse and explored alternate realities featuring Christopher Reeve's Superman, Helen Slater's Supergirl, Adam West's Batman and George Reeves' Superman.

Back in July, Cage spoke with USA Today about his appearance as Superman in The Flash, over two decades after the cancellation of his unproduced 1998 Superman Lives film.

"Well, I was glad I didn’t blink," the Oscar winner joked about the brief cameo, which occurs at the end of the blockbuster that was directed by Muschietti, 50, and written by Christina Hodson.

"For me, it was the feeling of being actualized. Even that look for that particular character, finally seeing it on screen, was satisfying. But as I said, it’s quick," Cage added.

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