Nicolas Cage recently expressed his thoughts on the use of artificial intelligence in the film industry and also discussed his feelings regarding the final edit of his surprise appearance as Superman in Warner Bros.’ “The Flash.”
During a recent interview with Yahoo! Entertainment, Cage shared his personal aversion to AI technology, stating, “AI is a frightening concept to me. It lacks humanity and embodies the epitome of inhumanity.”
While AI was not involved in Cage’s unexpected cameo as Superman in “The Flash,” the final scene diverged from what he originally filmed for the 2023 superhero movie.
Cage elaborated, “My initial role was simply to stand in an alternate dimension, bearing witness to the cataclysmic end of the universe. Kal-El observed the universe’s demise, and considering the brevity of my appearance, I had to convey emotions without any dialogue. Thus, I relied on my expressions. I spent approximately three hours on the set.”
In “The Flash,” Cage’s portrayal of the Man of Steel involves a battle with a colossal spider as the multiverse teeters on the brink of collapse. This references Tim Burton’s shelved “Superman Lives” project, in which Cage was originally set to play the titular hero.
Cage reflected, “When I signed on, I thought I would be fighting a giant spider. However, that wasn’t the case. I wasn’t part of that. I’m doubtful AI played a role. I believe it was accomplished through CGI to de-age me, and I found myself battling a spider, which I hadn’t actually filmed. I don’t have an explanation for what transpired there.”
Burton previously voiced his displeasure with AI versions of Disney characters made in his own unique style in an interview with The Independent. He said, “I can’t quite describe the unsettling sensation it evokes. It’s reminiscent of when other cultures express concerns about having their pictures taken, fearing that it takes away a part of their soul.”
He continued, “What it does is drain something from you, extracting a piece of your soul or psyche. This can be deeply disconcerting, particularly when it concerns your own likeness. It feels as though a machine is siphoning away your humanity and essence.”
Burton also commented on Nicolas Cage’s appearance as Superman in “The Flash,” stating “This also ties into another aspect of AI, and this is why I believe I’m growing weary of the studio system. They can take what you’ve created, like ‘Batman’ or any other iconic character, and culturally appropriate it, or whatever you wish to term it. Even if you’re under contract with Disney or Warner Brothers, they possess the authority to manipulate it as they see fit. So, in my later years, I find myself quietly rebelling against all of this.”