Another Old Interview With Christopher Reeve Indicates The Superman Actor Would Not Have Allowed His Likeness To Be Used In ‘The Flash’

Superman (Christopher Reeve) saves an astronaut in Superman IV: The Quest For Peace (1987), Warner Bros. Pictures
Superman (Christopher Reeve) saves an astronaut in Superman IV: The Quest For Peace (1987), Warner Bros. Pictures

The Flash was not received well by audiences despite Warner Bros.’s desperate attempts to hype it up. Its trailer received a coveted Super Bowl spot and Michael Keaton’s return to Batman drew mild interest, but the film could not overcome the problems that plagued it.

Michael Keaton Batman Returns-Flash
Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) decides to help Barry (Ezra Miller) in The Flash (2023), Warner Bros. Pictures

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Fortunes were not helped in the slightest by the CGI cameos of DC movie actors past and present in the Multiverse. The nearly reimagined Superman in the 90s Tim Burton and Nicolas Cage spearheaded was among the ones depicted. Like most who felt it was in poor taste, they disowned Warner’s stunt.

We once addressed how Christopher Reeve might react if he were alive today to his face showing up digitally for a few seconds. Based on interviews he did in the late 80s, he may have denounced the use of his likeness. 

On a British talk show appearance post-debacle that was Superman IV, Reeve discussed money-hungry agents and lawyers who run Hollywood making promises to go bigger and better when “quality is a sliding scale of diminishing returns.” Said the actor, “They’ll say, ‘It’ll be wonderful, we’re going back to the original, it’ll be great.’”

But, he added, “They don’t want to always do what it takes to put out the quality.” That is true today and doubly true of The Flash, but money commonly proves to be no object for the studios. So what if they had thrown a lot at Reeve to at least compensate him for his face?

nurse babies tot in The Flash
A nurse cradles a baby before falling out a window in The Flash (2023), Warner Bros. Pictures

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It’s not likely he would have accepted it if he is to be believed in a 1983 Playgirl interview. Reeve, it turns out, was ready to be done with The Man of Steel after part III, “Unless they come up with a really great idea.”

Otherwise, “But if someone said, ‘For 10 million dollars, you’ll love it,’ I’d say no. I’ve never done a project for money; that is for money alone. I have no objections to making money, but I don’t do work because I have a house with a pool and I have to pay for it,” Reeve said. 

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Superman (Christopher Reeve) speaks to the press in Superman IV: The Quest For Peace (1987), Warner Bros. Pictures

“If there’s nothing you really want to do, move out of the house. No one says you have to have a swimming pool. I think when you start working for money you turn a corner,” he continued. To him, turning that corner meant a violation of integrity.

“You’ve got very few things that are private in this life. You’ve got your pride and [yourself], and those are the last things you can sell. You can sell sex, you can sell your secrets-how you run around the house, make love swinging from the chandeliers,” he explained. 

Superman (Christopher Reeve) is introduced to new Kryptonite in Superman III (1983), Warner Bros. Pictures

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“People do that regularly. One of the few things you have to hang onto is your integrity about your work, and I think work defines a great deal of who you are. If you don’t have any pride in your work, then I wonder, who are you?” Reeve added.

He returned for Superman IV: The Quest For Peace, but that was the last straw and not solely because of his accident. The Reeve family’s involvement with WB also diminished with time and his surviving children had no say over their father’s ‘cameo’ in The Flash, per Variety.

Superman is introduced to new Kryptonite in Superman III (1983), Warner Bros. Pictures
Superman (Christopher Reeve) feels the effects of synthetic Kryptonite in Superman III (1983), Warner Bros. Pictures

They are, however, shopping around a documentary about their dad, Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story, at the Sundance Film Festival.

NEXT: Tim Burton Accuses Warner Bros. Of Cultural Appropriation For Depiction Of Michael Keaton’s Batman In ‘The Flash,’ Says He Is In “Quiet Revolt”

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