Until very recently, Warner Bros. has been known to be the best studio in marketing its movies. Remember that amazing campaign for the Suicide Squad of 2016? I do, and I fully believe that it was the marketing, and not the terrible movie itself, that caused me to suicide squad grossed more than $700 million worldwide.
Lately, though, the studio’s marketing has seemed a bit desperate. Black Adam from last year had a secret Henry Cavill Superman cameo that The Rock “accidentally” revealed just before the film’s release. WB doubled down with its next DC movie, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, by botching Gal Gadot’s post-credits cameo as Wonder Woman by including it in a nationally televised commercial two weeks before its release. Never mind that her cameo was actually a pivotal plot point in Shazam! sequel; WB needed to put butts in theaters, no matter the cost. The director of that film, David F. Sandberg, was not very happy, and the movie tanked anyway.
Now, it seems, they are desperate again, as the director of FlashAndy Muschietti, revealed in a interview with Esquire Middle East that the Superman of Nicolas Cage will appear in the upcoming Ezra Miller/Michael Keaton DC Comics film. If some of you are wondering which movie Cage appeared in as Superman, rest easy; the actor never officially appeared in the film as the Man of Steel. In one of the great canceled film productions of the 20th century, Cage was determined to appear as Kal-El in Superman Livesgoing so far as to film costume and makeup tests for director Tim Burton, before the project was scrapped by reasons too complex to enter here.
As it stands now, The Flash will contain appearances by Michael Keaton’s stoic version of Batman, Ben Affleck’s boring version of Batman, a new Supergirl who looks nothing like Supergirl, a General Zod that nobody cared about to begin with. , and another version of Flash with longer hair and an even worse sense of humor than “normal” Barry. Now, we’ll see a cameo from a version of a character we’ve never seen on the big screen before, by an actor who was never right for the part and is too old now to do it justice.
Why is Cage’s Superman even in the movie? Who wants to see this? And since it’s all on the table now, where’s Adrienne Barbeau’s cameo? She was in Swamp Thing 1982, after all. And why not have the AI revive George Reeves as Superman? Adam West as Batman? This is nostalgia baiting at its most cynical and desperate, and it just might work.
Flash hits theaters June 16.