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The Flash: Nicolas Cage on His Cameo – "That Was Not What I Did"

Nicolas Cage is talking about his cameo appearance in The Flash, and he was actually on set, but he says, "I did not do that. That was not what I did."

Article Summary

  • Nicolas Cage expresses confusion over his VFX-edited cameo in 'The Flash' movie.
  • Cage shot a silent scene observing a universe's destruction in a three-hour stint.
  • The final movie shows Cage’s Superman fighting a giant spider, something Cage didn’t film.
  • 'The Flash's' use of Cage's likeness addresses SAG-AFTRA's ongoing fight against AI intrusion.

The Flash finally saw the light of day back in June, and to say that the reception wasn't exactly stellar would be an understatement. Between mediocre to terrible reviews and a bunch of better movies being out at the time, the film couldn't make a dent at the box office earning $270 million. The budget of The Flash was said to be around $250-$300 million, but that was before marketing and not taking into account the decade that this film has been sitting in varying levels of production. You have to pay those directors and writers hired before this version made it to the big screen. So, the film is considered one of the biggest bombs in the history of Warner Bros. One of the things that people had a lot to say was the Crisis scene, where the film showed different versions of characters from the multiverse, including some that were brought to life through VFX and some that just looked like they were. Nicolas Cage turning up at Superman was a deep cut that only the terminally online would care about, but Cage looked so incredibly fake when he turned up on screen despite reports saying that he was on set and shot footage. Cage recently spoke to Yahoo! and explained what exactly he shot those few hours he was on set.

"First and foremost, I was on set," Cage explained. "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. … 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 wi,th 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."

The Flash: Nicolas Cage on His Cameo - "That Was Not What I Did"
Nicolas Cage attends 'The Croods' press conference at the 63rd Berlinale International Film Festival on February 15, 2013 in, Berlin, Germany. Editorial credit: Denis Makarenko /

So it sounds like the scene that Cage shot was the scene that they ended up giving to the revived version of Christopher Reeve that we saw on screen. Instead, Cage's version of Superman ended up doing something completely different and Cage wasn't even aware of those changes until he went to see The Flash.

"When I went to the picture, it was me fighting a giant spider. I did not do that. That was not what I did. I don't think it was [created by] AI. I know Tim is upset about AI, as I am. It was CGI, OK, 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. … But I get where Tim's coming from. 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. 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. 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."

The Flash came out just about a month before the SAG-AFTRA strike would begin, and one of the big points of contention regarding the strike is the use of AI and people having control of their own likeness. What The Flash did to Cage, taking the footage of him and making something completely different from what he actually shot, is part of what the actors are fighting for. An actor shouldn't shoot a scene and then turn up to see the movie they are in and see something completely different. The scene that Cage shot sounds like one that would have been moving, and Cage can emote so much with his eyes that it's insane. Instead, we got a jumbled CGI mess with a giant spider where the graphics surrounding it looked so bad that Cage had to assure people that he did spend time on set. There wasn't any single scene that could have saved The Flash, but what Cage initially shot would have made that Crisis scene a little less egregious.

The Flash: Summary, Cast List, Release Date

Warner Bros. Pictures presents The Flash, directed by Andy Muschietti (the IT films, Mama). Ezra Miller reprises their role as Barry Allen in the DC Super Hero's first-ever standalone feature film. Worlds collide in The Flash when Barry uses his superpowers to travel back in time in order to change the events of the past. But when his attempt to save his family inadvertently alters the future, Barry becomes trapped in a reality in which General Zod has returned, threatening annihilation, and there are no Super Heroes to turn to. That is unless Barry can coax a very different Batman out of retirement and rescue an imprisoned Kryptonian… albeit not the one he's looking for. Ultimately, to save the world that he is in and return to the future that he knows, Barry's only hope is to race for his life. But will making the ultimate sacrifice be enough to reset the universe?

The Flash ensemble also includes rising star Sasha Calle, Michael Shannon (Bullet Train, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice), Ron Livingston (Loudermilk, The Conjuring), Maribel Verdú (Elite, Y tu mamá también), Kiersey Clemons (Zack Snyder's Justice League, Sweetheart), Antje Traue (King of Ravens, Man of Steel) and Michael Keaton (Spider-Man: Homecoming, Batman). It's in theaters now.

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Kaitlyn BoothAbout Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is the Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. Film critic and pop culture writer since 2013. Ace. Leftist. Nerd. Feminist. Writer. Replicant Translator. Cinephillic Virtue Signaler. She/Her. UFCA/GALECA Member. 🍅 Approved. Follow her Threads, Instagram, and Twitter @katiesmovies.
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