Christopher Reeve Cameo in ‘The Flash’ Explained: Why Are Fans Mad Over It?

reeve the flash

It goes without saying that cameos were bound to happen in ‘The Flash’ because of the fact that the movie explores altered timelines that feature different versions of beloved characters, such as Batman. The biggest surprise, however, was that different versions of Superman appeared in the movie, albeit in cameo appearances. One such cameo appearance was the Superman that Christopher Reeve played. So, why are fans mad about the Christopher Reeve cameo in ‘The Flash?’

Fans aren’t happy about the cameo featuring Christopher Reeve’s Superman because of the fact that Reeve died nearly 20 years ago. That means that his cameo in ‘The Flash’ was completely produced by CGI. As such, fans thought that this cameo appearance by Reeve’s Superman was disrespectful to the actor.

Christopher Reeve is often considered the greatest Superman actor of all time because he made the character iconic. Of course, he also embodies that archetypical Superman in terms of his facial features, and that’s why fans still look at him as the ideal Superman. As such, fans also felt disrespect in creating a CGI version of Reeve in ‘The Flash.’ Now, let’s talk more about this topic.

Was Christopher Reeve in ‘The Flash?’

When we talk about the events of ‘The Flash,’ it’s not hard to talk about how Barry Allen caused the entire timeline to change due to a simple alteration he made in his history. In fact, by saving his mother from certain death, Barry created a timeline where his mother was alive. But the same timeline was doomed because Zod and the Kryptonians were bound to destroy the planet even though the Flash had help from his younger counterpart, Batman and Supergirl.

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Of course, Batman and Supergirl were also the results of Barry’s actions. The Bruce Wayne in ‘The Flash’ was played by Michael Keaton and was much older than the Bruce that Barry was familiar with. Meanwhile, instead of Kal-El, the Kryptonian that landed on Earth first was Kara Zor-El, who fans know is Supergirl. That means that Superman wasn’t in the main storyline of ‘The Flash’ as Supergirl took over for him.

But when Barry and his younger counterpart tried to change the course of history by repeatedly going back in time to save Batman and Supergirl from death, they created the Dark Flash, which was the older version of the 18-year-old Barry Allen. This Dark Flash was obsessed with finding a solution where everyone was alive, and that was why he ruined the multiverse and caused several timelines to converge with one another.


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One such timeline was the very same universe where a familiar superhero existed. This was Christopher Reeve’s Superman character, who was seen flying with his cousin, Supergirl, in their own universe as they observed that their universe was starting to clash. So, in that regard, Reeve’s Superman was seen in a short cameo appearance in ‘The Flash.’

But the point is that Christopher Reeve was not in ‘The Flash.’ That’s because he died at the age of 52 back in 2004 due to medical complications. But before his death, Reeve had already stepped away from acting during his 40s when a horse-riding accident made him lose 90% of his body’s sensation. Although paralyzed, Reeve still appeared in a few movies and TV shows but was never the same ever again.

reeve superman

Considering that Christopher Reeve died in 2004, almost 20 years ago, the Superman we saw in ‘The Flash’ was entirely CGI-produced. It is possible that certain clips of his old Superman movies were used to recreate that scene in ‘The Flash.’ As such, although his likeness was used in the film, he didn’t appear in it because he was already long gone before ‘The Flash’ was filmed.

Why are fans mad over the Christopher Reeve cameo?

Christopher Reeve’s appearance in ‘The Flash’ was supposed to be a tribute to the man who is arguably the greatest Superman actor in the character’s history. But while that may be true, fans were quick to voice out their unhappiness about the Christopher Reeve cameo appearance in the movie.

That’s because some fans thought that creating a CGI model of Reeve was entirely disrespectful to the memory of the actor. The estate of Christopher Reeve agreed for his likeness to appear in the movie, but that didn’t stop some fans from voicing out how they thought this was quite distasteful to Reeve and his Superman legacy. The CGI recreation of Reeve was hollow and lifeless, and it lacked the charismatic look that Reeve’s Superman was always known for.

In that regard, some fans thought that this was digital necromancy at its finest because it didn’t give justice to Reeve’s overarching impact on the world of comic book superheroes and their live-action counterparts.


Every Batman Actor in ‘The Flash’ Movie

There is also the fact that the purpose of the Reeve cameo was to showcase that the timelines of the other Superman and Batman movies were on the same multiverse as the one in ‘The Flash.’ So, if that were the case, using Christopher Reeve’s likeness became questionable.

In the Arrowverse of CW, there was a huge crossover event from the comics involving the ‘Crisis on Infinite Earth’s’ storyline. Naturally, a different version of Superman was required to appear in the movie. Brandon Routh appeared in ‘Superman Returns’ and was used as Superman in the CW crossover. But his Superman was confirmed to be the same from Richard Donner’s Superman movies starring Christopher Reeve.

That means that the Arrowverse, instead of CGI, used a more recent actor that played Superman and resembled Reeve’s likeness. As such, some fans thought that ‘The Flash’ should have used Routh or another actor resembling Reeve’s likeness instead of using digital necromancy to bring the actor back to life in a seemingly distasteful cameo appearance that wasn’t necessary.

Of course, CGI is never flattering, especially if the actor is already dead or has already become too old to play their younger versions. We’ve seen this in the Star Wars movies and shows that tried to bring back iconic actors from the past but produced lifeless husks that seemed too robotic and emotionless. And the fact that the same thing happened to Reeve’s Superman makes the fans’ outburst quite understandable.

What do you think about Reeve’s cameo in ‘The Flash’? Let us know in the comments!

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