Tim Burton slams Warner Bros. for including Nicolas Cage's Superman in The Flash
Tim Burton wasn't a fan of Warner Bros. using Artificial Intelligence technology to include Nicolas Cage's version of Superman in The Flash.
In the 1990s, Kevin Smith penned a script for Superman Lives and pitched the idea to Warner Bros. executive Jon Peters, whose demands for the movie became infamous.
Peters' conditions included that he did not want Superman to fly and that Superman would fight a giant spider in the third act.
Smith agreed to the terms as it was the only way the movie was going to get made. Eventually, Burton signed on to direct, with Cage cast as Clark Kent / Superman. The Academy Award winner even screen-tested for the role in Superman's famous blue and red suit.
In 1998, the project was postponed and eventually scrapped, with Smith and Burton both clashing with Peters.
Over 20 years later, Cage would appear as Superman on-screen in a cameo appearance in The Flash, though AI was used instead of Cage featuring himself.
“It goes into another AI thing, and this is why I think I’m over it with the studio. They can take what you did, Batman or whatever, and culturally misappropriate it, or whatever you want to call it,” Burton said in a conversation with the British Film Institute.
“Even though you’re a slave of Disney or Warner Brothers, they can do whatever they want. So, in my latter years of life, I’m in quiet revolt against all this.”
Cage had a softer response to seeing himself in The Flash.
"Well, I was glad I didn't blink," he joked to USA Today.
"For me, it was the feeling of being actualized. Even that look for that particular character, finally seeing it on screen, was satisfying. But as I said, it's quick. If you really wanted to know what I was going do with that character, look at my performance in City of Angels.
"I was supposed (to play) Clark Kent after that, and I was already developing this alien otherness playing this angel. That is a perfect example of the tonality you would've gotten for Kal-El and for Clark Kent: Clark would've been a little more amusing but Kal-El (had) the sensitivity and the goodness and the vulnerability and all those feelings that were kind of angelic and also terrifying."
The failed production of Superman Lives was detailed in the documentary The Death of 'Superman Lives': What Happened?
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