“Polar Express Superman”: VFX Artists Explain How To Fix The Flash’s Controversial Cameos




  • The Flash’s poor CGI cameos were a major controversy surrounding the movie, causing many fans to skip it.
  • VFX artists from Corridor Crew analyzed the CGI and identified issues with the Superman cameos and the use of 3D models.
  • The movie’s visual effects suffered due to misguided choices, expensive goals, production delays, and other factors.

VFX artists analyze The Flash‘s controversial cameos, pointing out how to fix the movie’s bad CGI. After years waiting to suit up as Barry Allen in a solo movie, Ezra Miller finally got to do so in The Flash, but sadly, the movie bombed at the box office. The Flash‘s multiverse cameos with poor CGI ended up being one of the biggest controversies surrounding the DC film, which led to many fans opting to skip The Flash.

On YouTube, VFX artists from Corridor Crew reacted to The Flash‘s cameos, giving feedback on how the movie’s poor CGI — which Corridor Crew claims must have been the product of tight deadlines by the studio and not The Flash‘s VFX artists’ work — could have been improved.

The VFX artists specifically commented on The Flash‘s Superman cameos, including Henry Cavill’s Superman in the Chronobowl, as well as Nicolas Cage and Christopher Reeve’s versions of the Man of Steel from The Flash‘s extended multiverse cameo sequence. Check out the full exchange below:

On Henry Cavill in the Chronobowl:

Jordan: This is where it crosses the line, man.

Sam: Polar Express Superman.

Jordan: We know Henry Cavill. We know what he looks like … The rest of [Henry Cavill’s] body seems fine, but then his eyes have no life.

Sam: If Henry Cavill was there, he’d probably be making, like, a face… Human expression, that’s the term.

On The Nicolas Cage and Christopher Reeve Cameos:

Sam: Honestly, I think they’re working against themselves a bit with the cinematography. Because when you see the first Nic Cage [shot], it’s like, ‘OK, cool, that looks like Nic Cage.’ But then the camera orbits around them, and you get the full view, and you’re like, ‘Oh, wait, this is a 3D model.’ If they would have left it at [the first shot of Nic Cage], it almost works… [The shot with his eyes glowing] looks perfect. I’m down; I’m sold. And then… uh oh. Got the uncanny eyes… Same thing with the Christopher Reeve thing, too. It looks great at first, then it starts spinning around them…

Related: Scarlet Witch Takes On Reverse-Flash In Epic Marvel & DC Crossover Video

Why The Flash’s Special Effects Look So Bad

Christopher Reeve as Superman and Ezra Miller as The Flash in The Flash movie

Instead of using requested actors by fans, such as the Arrowverse’s Grant Gustin, who appeared as Barry Allen over nine seasons of The Flash, director Andy Muschietti took another turn. The Flash opted to use the multiverse to feature several CGI recreations of DC actors that have either already passed away or that were poorly made younger for the movie.

The Flash‘s CGI problems were so pronounced that many audience members and critics were confused as to whether the movie had even finished its VFX before release. Some points surrounding the movie help explain why The Flash‘s visual effects look especially bad when compared to other superhero projects. In 2021, years before The Flash was released, The Flash’s VFX supervisor, John “D.J.” Des Jardin, revealed that some of the film’s ideas were “super, super strange.”

Those strange ideas might be attributed to The Flash director Muschietti himself, who revealed in an interview with Gizmodo that one of The Flash‘s most comically bad CGI scenes, the “Baby Shower” at the start of the film, “was part of the design so if it looks a little weird to you that was intended.” Other factors, such as the movie featuring two versions of Miller onscreen at the same time for extended portions of it, as well as delays ballooning costs, hurt The Flash. In the end, The Flash‘s VFX suffered from a mix of misguided choices, expensive visual goals, production delays, and more.

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