It’s hard to put the long-awaited The Flash movie into words, but if we had to, we’d sum it up with one: weird. The confusing DCEU reboot movie centered on Justice League’s Barry Allen (Ezra Miller), as he used his speed to go back in time to try and stop his mother from dying, and subsequently breaking the multiverse in the process. So, basically, Across the Spider-Verse, if it was really, really awful.
Along with a slim plot and downright bizarre action sequences, The Flash movie also amassed criticism for its cynical influx of cameos, as the film brought past and present DC Universe heroes together to witness the collapse of their shared universe. Nicolas Cage‘s Superman cameo formed part of this, giving a nod to Tim Burton’s canceled Superman Lives movie that would have starred Cage as the titular hero. But what should have been a tribute to past DC characters ended up being universally panned due to the film’s over-reliance on CGI.
Bringing back dead Superman actors like Christopher Reeve and George Reeves via CGI was ghoulish enough, but the amount of CGI used for Nic Cage’s Superman cameo was also bizarre. It made the finished product look so odd that fans began to doubt that Cage even shot his scenes in person at all, with some speculating that Cage’s appearance as Kal-El was based on reproduced screen test footage.
The actor also responded to some of the widespread criticism director Andy Muschiett received off the back of the film, adding, “They did put a lot of time into building the suit … and I think [Andy Muschietti] is a terrific director, he is a great guy and a great director, and I loved his two It movies.”
The resulting CGI may have made Cage’s Superman look more Pennywise than Kryptonian, but the star remained confident that he understood the assignment.
“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 explained. “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. 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 saddest part of all of this is that Cage’s big-screen debut as Superman ended up being completely overshadowed by The Flash’s peculiar VFX.
Still, with his irreplaceable charisma and long-time appreciation for the DC comics, we maintain a Nicolas Cage-fronted Superman film would be one of the best movies ever made.
He clearly also still has a lot of enthusiasm for the role, so who knows? Maybe James Gunn and Peter Safran will find a place for his iteration of the Man of Steel in Chapter 1 Gods and Monsters. First, though, we will be getting the new movie Superman Legacy, starring David Corenswet as Clark Kent.