Tim Burton is opening up about Superman Lives, his abandoned superhero project starring Nicolas Cage, and also his opinions on Michael Keaton and Cage’s cameos in The Flash.
“No, I don’t have regrets,” said Burton in an interview with the British Film Institute. “I will say this: when you work that long on a project and it doesn’t happen, it affects you for the rest of your life.”
“Because you get passionate about things, and each thing is an unknown journey, and it wasn’t there yet,” he continued. “But it’s one of those experiences that never leaves you, a little bit.”
Superman Returns was Burton’s next superhero project following the success of his 1989 Batman franchise, but after almost two years in pre-production, the film got scrapped.
Cage, however, went on to make a cameo in 2023’s The Flash, starring Ezra Miller in the titular role. Keaton also made a cameo as Batman in the film.
Burton compared these cameos to using AI on already released films and franchises.
“But also it goes into another AI thing, and this is why I think I’m over it with the studio,” said Burton. “They can take what you did, Batman or whatever, and culturally misappropriate it, or whatever you want to call it.”
“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.”
Burton recently spoke out against AI versions of Disney characters in his classic animation style while speaking with The Independent.
“I can’t describe the feeling it gives you,” said Burton. 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,” added the director. “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.”