Nicolas Cage: “AI Is a Nightmare,” ‘The Flash’ Cameo “Not What I Did”

Nicolas Cage weighed in on the debate over the use of artificial intelligence in movies, and had some critical words about his brief cameo in Warner Bros.’ The Flash, in a new interview published Wednesday.

On the subject of AI, the Renfield actor told Yahoo! Entertainment that he has a rather dim view of the technology.

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“AI is a nightmare to me,” Cage said. “It’s inhumane. You can’t get more inhumane than artificial intelligence … I would be very unhappy if people were taking my art … and appropriating [it].”

Yet it wasn’t AI, Cage said, that was responsible for his cameo in last summer’s The Flash. The film envisioned a younger Cage as a multiverse version of Superman that inspired by Superman Lives — Tim Burton’s Man of Steel project that was famously canceled before it could get off the ground in 1998.

In The Flash, Cage’s Superman was fighting a large creature with red lasers coming out of his eyes. But the actor says this was very different from what he actually shot for The Flash.

“When I went to the picture, it was me fighting a giant spider,” Cage said. “I did not do that. 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.”

That the 59-year-old actor was actually on set is a bit unexpected, as many watching the film just assumed the entire performance was created by CG. Cage said what was actually filmed, and what he was told the scene would be, was something more solemn.

“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 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. I had no dialogue [so I had to] convey with my eyes the emotion. So that’s what I did. I was on set for maybe three hours.”

Nonetheless, Cage added that he really liked director Andy Muschietti. “[Andy] is a terrific director, he is a great guy and a great director, and I loved his two It movies,” he said.

Cage is currently promoting his upcoming film, Dream Scenario, about a family man who finds his life turned upside down when millions of strangers suddenly start seeing him in their dreams. The film is getting strong reviews, with 91 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and The Hollywood Reporter saying Cage “may have never been as flat-out hilarious as he is in Dream Scenario.” The movie will be released Nov. 10.

Previously, Burton recalled feeling quite disturbed by a story that used AI to use his iconic animation style to reimagine popular Disney characters.

“They had AI do my versions of Disney characters!” Burton told The Independent. “I can’t describe the feeling it gives you. It reminded me of when other cultures say, ‘Don’t take my picture because it is taking away your soul’ … What it does is it sucks something from you. It takes something from your soul or psyche; that is very disturbing, especially if it has to do with you. It’s like a robot taking your humanity, your soul.”

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