The Flash: Nicolas Cage’s Superman Cameo Changed Dramatically in Post

Superman actor Nicolas Cage says the final version of his cameo in DC‘s The Flash is very different from what he actually filmed.

During an interview with Yahoo! Entertainment, Cage confirmed that he was physically on the set of The Flash, contrary to speculation otherwise. The actor praised director Andy Muschietti, as well as the design of his Superman suit. He also revealed what his cameo as the Man of Steel was originally going to look like. “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 said.

“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,” he continued. “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.”

Of course, things changed dramatically in post-production. “When I went to the picture, it was me fighting a giant spider. I did not do that,” Cage explained. “That was not what I did. I don’t think it was [created by] AI. I know Tim [Burton] 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.”

The Flash brought Nicolas Cage’s Superman story full circle

Cage was once attached to star as the Last Son of Krypton in director Burton’s Superman Lives. Kevin Smith wrote the original draft of the screenplay, which saw Superman fight a giant spider in the third act. (Hence, the beast’s inclusion in The Flash.) Producer Jon Peters had imposed this particular plot point on Smith.

Of course, Superman Lives never saw the light of day. Warner Bros. infamously shelved the project in April 1998 — mere weeks before shooting was set to begin. Years later, director Jon Schnepp put out The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened? — a documentary chronicling the abandoned superhero film’s troubled development.

Thanks to The Flash, Cage finally got the chance to play Superman in a live-action feature film. However, he had actually portrayed the character on the big screen before. Cage voiced Kal-El in DC’s 2018 animated feature Teen Titans Go! To the Movies.

The Flash is available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital. The film is also currently streaming on Max.