Nicholas Cage Calls AI ‘Inhumane’: ‘A Nightmare to Me’ 

Photo from IMDb – “Nicolas Cage and Pedro Pascal in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022)”

Nicholas Cage Calls AI ‘Inhumane’: ‘A Nightmare to Me’ 

By Movieguide® Contributor 

Nicholas Cage recently shared his thoughts on AI as the technology becomes more prevalent in movie making. 

“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].”

He recently had a cameo in THE FLASH, which received a -2 content rating from Movieguide®. The actor revealed that the scene he was featured in on screen was completely different from what he filmed. 

“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.” 

He expanded on what was actually supposed to take place.

“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.” 

While AI didn’t alter Cage’s character in THE FLASH, the actor isn’t the first to criticize AI and its dehumanizing effects.  

Movieguide® recently reported that the technology is even being used to imitate actors who are dead.  Zelda Williams, daughter of the deceased Robin Williams, shared how disturbed she was that AI had been used to recreate her father.

“’These recreations are, at very best, a poor facsimile of greater people, but at their worst, a horrendous Frankensteinian monster, cobbled together from the worst bits of everything this industry is, instead of what it should stand for,’ she said.” 

Burton previously shared his thoughts on “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.”

He added, “But also 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. 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.” 

Questions surrounding AI are a topic of contention in the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike. Movieguide® reported: 

…the question of AI looms as SAG seeks to protect its members from being replaced with AI characters.

Crabtree-Ireland shared his concerns about AI’s potential impact on actors.

“If an individual decided to infringe on one of these companies’ copyright-protected content, and distributed it without paying for the licensing rights, that individual would face a great deal of financial and legal ramifications,” Crabtree-Ireland said. “Shouldn’t the individuals whose intellectual property was used to train the AI algorithm at least be equally protected?”

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