Nicolas Cage made his big screen debut as Superman in 2023’s The Flash. However, the actor remains confused by his own cameo as the Man of Steel, saying it doesn’t look like it has a heartbeat.
The Chronobowl sequence in The Flash will go down in history as perhaps the most divisive scene in any mainstream superhero film, with many criticizing the use of multiple dead actors’ likenesses. However, it seems even the one living actor they got to cameo in the film remains torn on it, with Nicolas Cage reiterating his confusion at what DC did to his version of Superman in a recent talk.
“Oh, no, I don’t think that’s coming back in any way,” Cage told Deadline while speaking about the canceled Superman Lives project. “And listen, I wasn’t angry about the situation. I really wasn’t. I was just confused.”
“I was mystified by what happened [in the first place], because [Tim Burton], one of the greatest directors in the world, had wanted to make the movie and already had kind of defined the way to make the best comic-book-based storyline with the Batman franchise with Michael Keaton. So I couldn’t understand why that studio, who had such success with that fantastic, brilliant director, would pull the plug.”
“But that was a long time ago. And then subsequently what happened with The Flash… I wasn’t upset, I was just perplexed,” He continued. “I was just like, ‘It wasn’t what I shot,’ and I was worried about it. Like, ‘Did you just tell me that I was witnessing the destruction of the universe so you could take pictures of me and then animate me?’ Whether it was through CGI or AI, that wasn’t the conversation we had. So I was confused.”
“But I was still happy to look at it. I still wanted to see Colleen Atwood’s suit, which I maintain is a beautiful suit, and 50% of that [character] was my design. I wanted Superman to have the long, kind of black Samurai hair and a vulnerable feeling — almost no blinking, a stillness in his eyes. And so it was 50/50. It was Tim and myself, we had designed something, and it never came to light, so when I saw it moving, I was very happy that Andy Muschietti wanted me to do it.”
“I did get some satisfaction from seeing the character, but to me it didn’t look [right]. But then, Superman is an alien. Kal-El is from another planet. So in that way, the CGI kind of looked right, because it’s alien. It doesn’t look real. It doesn’t look like it has a heartbeat. So I can look at it that way and think that it worked.”
It certainly seems as though Nicolas Cage’s cameo in The Flash was a wasted opportunity to resurrect one of the greatest Superman projects that never was. While it’s unlikely Cage (Or Ezra Miller’s Flash, for that matter), will return to the DC Universe anytime soon, DC fans can at least take solace in seeing some form of his take on the character on the big screen, even if it wasn’t perfect.
The future of the DC Universe
James Gunn and Peter Safran told journalists that their vision for the DC Universe includes locked scripts, wiggle room, and a unified storyline across film, television, animation, and video game projects. The two explained that the DC Universe could bring back elements from previous DC regimes, meaning that their eight-to-year plan is not a full reboot.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods, The Flash, Blue Beetle, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom have all been released following the announcement of the new DC Universe, all four projects struggling at the box office. Will the characters from those movies make appearances in the new DCU? Only Gunn and Safran know.
Stay tuned for the latest news regarding the future of the DC Universe after Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom!